Cloud computing has been successful in catching the attention of everyone in the technological domain. It has introduced radical changes in the perspectives of every IT professional and business. Among so many features of cloud computing, the most important one refers to storage. Therefore, you can find many cloud computing articles citing the advantages of cloud storage.
However, every new technology has a certain share of advantages and disadvantages to it. The rate of cloud adoption among contemporary businesses is increasing at an exponential rate. As a result, it becomes important to investigate the positive as well as negative points associated with the cloud. Why?
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An unbiased interpretation of technology helps in perceiving its strengths and weaknesses that can help in using it effectively. The following discussion would outline cloud storage advantages and disadvantages separately in detail. Let us dive deeper into the details of cloud storage, right now!
All of us know clearly that cloud computing has outlived the hype surrounding it. Many alternatives for storage kept coming up over the years until the arrival of cloud storage. The appealing advantages of cloud storage are the prominent reasons for the rise in the popularity of the use of cloud storage.
Many experts claim that the underlying fundamentals of the cloud made this possible. However, before proceeding towards a discussion on cloud storage advantages, it is important to figure out “what is cloud storage?”. Also, it is necessary to reflect on modern industry trends in cloud storage.
Knowing about Cloud Storage
When you think of “what is cloud storage?”, do you think of numbers and characters flowing on a cloud? Not! Cloud storage is a service model used for maintaining, managing, and backup of data remotely. The service provider gives users the option to store their files online with the facility for accessing them.
Users do not face any restrictions of time or location for accessing their files stored on the cloud through the internet. There are three different types of cloud storage services, such as public, private, and hybrid cloud storage services. Public cloud storage follows a multi-tenant architecture and is ideal for unstructured data. The examples of cloud storage on public cloud include Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Microsoft Azure.
Private cloud involves a dedicated environment with organization’s firewall as protection. Private cloud storage runs on an on-premises set up and provides better opportunities for customization and control over data. Hybrid cloud storage involves a mix of third-party public and private cloud storage platforms. The interesting thing in hybrid cloud storage is the facility of orchestration between the two platforms for effective management.
With different types of cloud storage options, adoption of cloud storage is not an uncommon phenomenon. Cloud adoption was considerably slow until 2012, and since then, cloud adoption has been through exponential growth. Present-day industry trends reflect the numerous benefits of cloud storage. Almost 78% of companies in the world are either planning or implementing their cloud storage strategy. In the following discussion, we’ll have an insight into the cloud storage advantages and disadvantages in detail!
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Advantages of Cloud Storage
Now that you have got enough information about the cloud storage services and solutions, it is important to know if cloud storage is the right option for you. Let us find out by taking a look at the cloud storage advantages in detail!
The foremost mention among the advantages of cloud storage refers to cost-effectiveness. Cloud storage enables users to leverage economies of scale easily. Cloud vendors purchase massive storage capacity with savings that are translated to customer’s bill for cloud storage. However, the cost-effectiveness benefits of cloud storage are not just due to the low-cost of per-GB consumption of storage.
Cloud storage takes away the need to purchase hard disks, RAID cards for data redundancy, hard disk enclosures, electricity, and hardware warranty services. Also, cloud storage helps in reducing management costs. With the help of cloud storage, there is no need for on-premise hardware and software management. Cloud storage facilitates simple monitoring options and also clips of the need for extensive capacity planning. As a result, administrators could focus on core business tasks rather than worrying about data storage.
Data Redundancy and Replication
Another prominent mention among the advantages of cloud storage refers to data redundancy and replication. Cloud storage provides in-built features for data redundancy and replication. Majority of cloud storage vendors have multiple copies of data for providing better object durability. As a result, you can prevent any concerns of data loss on cloud storage. Most important of all, users could also make the most of geographic replication options.
The geographical replication options help in making multiple copies of data across multiple regions. Some vendors also provide geographical replication as a storage class option. Replication services are also available with facility for data migration between data centers. Data redundancy and replication are formidable pros of cloud storage because of the protection for significant data in cloud storage.
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Scalability is another one of the important advantages of cloud storage. Users have to pay for the amount of storage they use, and you don’t have to be fixed in that. The cloud vendor can adapt according to the growth of your business and the emerging requirements easily. If your business grows, you can always ask your cloud vendor to accommodate your new storage needs.
All you have to do is increase the payment for cloud storage, and you have the required storage space for your business needs. On the off chance that your business shrinks, you can also reduce storage space by paying less. The pay-as-you-go payment model is quite common in examples of cloud storage vendors such as AWS and Azure. So, you don’t have to worry about addressing storage needs depending on the levels of growth of your organization.
Another crucial mention of the advantages of cloud storage is regulatory compliance. Storage of data backups in the same region as the origin of the data ensures proper regulatory compliance. Various cloud vendors provide datacenter alternatives all over the world. For example, cloud vendors would store customer data generated in the US in a US datacenter. Most important of all, regulatory compliance also improved performance. So, even if you can neglect the regulatory compliance aspect in certain regions, the performance aspect is a noteworthy advantage.
Speed is also one of the notable entries among advantages of cloud storage. The cloud has the support of appropriate enterprise technologies which can outperform onsite data storage. A business could use a 1Gbit available pipe for using 15 servers simultaneously for backing up around 75TB of data. This data is for the Zetta.net service. The incremental backup transfer rate for Zetta.net was 975Mb/sec which is very fast as compared to a 5400-rpm hard drive.
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Disadvantages of Cloud Storage
Now that we have reflected on the various pros of cloud storage let us move towards the setbacks. Here are some of the notable disadvantages of cloud storage.
Cloud storage presents one of the formidable setbacks in the form of difficulties for migration. After you have selected a particular cloud vendor for data storage, you can face difficulties in migrating data to another vendor. The term for such a situation is ‘vendor lock-in’ and is prominent in the case of medium and large size businesses.
Such businesses generally store large volumes of data with a particular cloud vendor. In case of any problems with the existing cloud vendor, the migration of data to another cloud vendor is not feasible. First of all, the massive volume of data can be a huge setback. Also, the complexities associated with the migration do not present a favorable proposition.
Issues in Security and Privacy
The next crucial entry among disadvantages of cloud storage refers to ambiguities for privacy and security on the cloud. Cloud storage involves transferring control of confidential information to a third-party company. Therefore, you need to have complete trust in the cloud vendor.
This setback of cloud storage presents considerable threats, especially considering the critical events for cloud storage vendors in the past. In 2014, Dropbox accidentally leaked confidential customer data such as mortgage applications and tax returns due to a security glitch. Furthermore, the National Security Agency in the US is known to spy on data stored by cloud vendors.
Despite the high-flying claims of complete hardware independence, the advantages of cloud storage are limited. Thus, we have another prominent setback of cloud storage that is a mandatory concern. Cloud vendors use data centers for data storage, and the datacenters require electricity and internet for operation.
Unprecedented power failures or failed internet connections can result in massive downtime. It may not be possible for us to control natural disasters that have resulted in power failures for datacenters. Users could also face shortcomings in accessing their data stored on the cloud in the case of slower internet connections. Not a good thing, is it?
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On a concluding note, we can assume that cloud storage outweighs in terms of advantages. On the other hand, the setbacks also have a certain influence on the advantages of cloud storage. For example, data redundancy on cloud storage can be faulty in certain cases of unprecedented hardware failures. As in a recent case of AWS outage on August 31, 2019, customers lost important data beyond recovery.
Considering the predictions for the future of cloud storage, the positive factors of cloud storage can surely present a feasible case for adoption. With these services, the cloud platform has set the most demanding career options in the cloud. So, if you are about to start or upgrade your cloud career, don’t forget to validate your skills with a cloud certification. It is highly recommended to enroll in cloud certification training courses to prepare well.
However, you should also consider the setbacks of cloud storage for preparing the right cloud storage strategy. The point here is that, be prepared for anything that may come your way in cloud storage!
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