When it comes to cloud data storage, there are certainly numerous pros and cons to consider. In this article we’ll expand on these advantages and disadvantages of cloud storage to help you decide if it’s the right option for you.
On the one hand, cloud storage can be more flexible, scalable and accessible than on-premises storage options.
But on the other hand, cloud storage can impose security and compliance challenges, and may not offer the same performance as local storage solutions.
So, which is right for you? Here’s a look at the pros and cons of using cloud data storage services.
Some Pros of Cloud Data Storage
Cloud storage is often marketed as a scalable solution, but what does that actually mean? And how important is scalability when it comes to cloud data storage?
In general, scalability means that the system can handle the increased load without any major problems.
When it comes to cloud storage, this means that the storage space can grow in capacity with your business without any major limitations.
Scalability is important for businesses that are growing rapidly or that expect to experience sudden spikes in storage needs (for example, due to a large marketing campaign, increased customer needs etc).
A scalable storage system will be able to handle these increased demands without any issues.
There are two main types of scalabilities when it comes to cloud storage:
- horizontal scalability
- vertical scalability
Horizontal scalability is when the system expands by adding more nodes (or servers).
This can be done either in-house or by using a public cloud provider.
Vertical scalability, on the other hand, is when the system grows by increasing the performance/capacity of its existing nodes.
2) Access Data From Anywhere
There are many benefits to storing data in the cloud. One of the biggest benefits is that you can access your data from anywhere.
This is especially beneficial if you have multiple devices that you use to access your data (e.g laptop at home, laptop at work, smartphone etc).
With cloud storage, you can easily switch between devices and still have all your data available to you.
Another benefit of cloud storage is that it can be accessed by multiple people.
This is perfect for businesses or families who need to share data. With cloud storage, you can easily access and share your data with anyone you choose.
3) No Hardware Maintenance or Storage Responsibilities
When you move your hosting (and storage systems) to the cloud, there are some big benefits.
You’ll have more time and resources available for developing core business functions since servers aren’t sitting around waiting patiently until they break down, but instead getting taken care of by an expert technician right away when something goes wrong!
This one key advantage is enough by itself to justify moving over to cloud data storage for many organizations.
4) More Cost-Effective
Cloud computing is a fantastic way to upgrade your IT infrastructure without breaking the bank.
There are many pay-as-you-go cloud storage packages and other scalable options available with lower upfront costs.
These cost plans make it very reasonable for businesses of any size to switch from traditional on-premises hardware with an old system that may not be working properly anymore or just too expensive in general when considering yearly maintenance costs plus capital expenditure requirements needed during the installation process.
The main cost-savings benefits of switching to cloud storage include:
- Not having to purchase any software or hardware upfront, but instead paying as you go.
- Lower operational expenses, fewer maintenance expenditures, and upgrade costs.
- Overall reduction in operations-oriented human resources.
- Lower CapEx and OpEx.
By using the cloud, you can get instant access to your data without having to wait for hardware or software installation or maintenance on-premises.
You won’t need long setup times either because most of these services offer quick on-boarding options that take only minutes and require little maintenance afterward – saving hours every week!
5) Disaster Recovery for Your Data
With cloud-based disaster recovery, an organization or individual can minimize downtime and data loss to ensure business continuity.
It also helps them stay in compliance with regulatory requirements while lowering their total cost of recovery over time.
Cloud data is very versatile because it offers for safekeeping different types or sizes of information assets on remote servers which are continually updated, without having any negative impact whatsoever when restoring from a backup.
Moreover, a cloud storage service can work as Disaster Recovery option for your data in case the on-prem infrastructure is unavailable for any reason.
6) Cloud Data Storage Can Serve as Backup for On-Premises Data
In addition to disaster-recovery, cloud storage can also serve as backup option for your on-prem data.
There are a couple of benefits to using cloud storage as a backup for on-premises data.
First, it can provide you with offsite storage that is redundant and can be used in case of a disaster.
Second, cloud storage can make it easier to access your data from anywhere with an internet connection.
This can be especially helpful if you need to access your data quickly to resume operations after a disaster.
Some Cons of Cloud Data Storage
1) Security Concerns with Cloud Data Storage
There are some security concerns that should be taken into consideration before using cloud storage.
First, cloud providers may have access to your data, which could potentially be used for malicious purposes.
Second, your data may not be as secure in the cloud as you think.
Third, if your cloud provider experiences a data breach, your data could be compromised.
The risk here is that data storage providers are often targets of hacking groups. If the provider get’s compromised, then huge amounts of data (including yours) could disappear overnight.
2) Must Have Good Internet Connectivity
Good and fast internet connectivity is needed to transfer large amounts of data. If your internet connection is unreliable or slow, it can take a long time to upload or download files from the cloud.
This can be frustrating and may cause disruptions to your workflow. Moreover, it reduces the whole performance of your data communications.
3) The Hidden Costs of Cloud Data Storage
The first hidden cost of cloud storage is the price of bandwidth. When you store data in the cloud, you are using your internet connection to upload and download that data.
And depending on how much data you are storing, that can use a lot of bandwidth.
If you have a limited internet plan or pay for each gigabyte of bandwidth used, those hidden costs can quickly add up.
Moreover, some cloud storage services charge extra money by the amount of data transferred out of the cloud.
This means that you can upload data to them without bandwidth cost, but when you need to download data from the cloud, they charge you extra costs for the “outgoing” bandwidth.
Another hidden cost of cloud storage is the price of the security. While most cloud storage providers offer some level of security, it is often not as comprehensive as what you would get if you store your data locally.
That means you may need to buy more security software or services to protect your data in the cloud.
Finally, there are the hidden costs associated with cloud outages.
While they are rare, outages can happen with any cloud storage provider. When they do, you may lose access to your data for a period.
That can be costly if you rely on that data for business purposes. So, before you decide to store your data in the cloud, be sure to consider all the hidden costs involved.
4) Compliance Issues with Cloud Data Storage
As organizations increasingly turn to cloud-based solutions for data storage, it’s important to be aware of the potential compliance issues that can arise.
Cloud storage providers may not always adhere to the same standards as on-premises storage, which can create problems when it comes to meeting regulatory requirements.
One of the biggest compliance issues with cloud data storage is data location.
Many organizations must keep data within certain geographical boundaries to meet compliance regulations (i.e., GDPR, etc.).
If your data is stored in the cloud, it may be located outside of these boundaries, making it difficult or impossible to comply with regulations.
When To Avoid Cloud Data Storage
Most businesses rely on cloud data storage to keep their information safe and accessible.
However, there are times when a business should avoid using cloud data storage.
One reason is if the business is subject to compliance regulations that require them to keep its data within certain boundaries or even on-prem.
For example, healthcare providers and banks must follow strict HIPAA and GLBA regulations, which require them to keep data within their own systems.
Another reason is if the business relies on real-time or near-real-time access to their data.
For example, a stock brokerage firm needs to be able to access data quickly to make trades. If the data is stored in the cloud, it may not be accessible promptly.
Finally, if the business is concerned about data security, it should avoid using cloud data storage.
While cloud storage providers have their own security measures in place, it’s always possible for a hacker to gain access to the data.
By storing the data locally, the business can take information security to their own hands and impose stricter protections against cyberattacks.
When it comes to data storage, businesses need to weigh the pros and cons of using the cloud. In some cases, it’s the best choice, but in others, it’s better to avoid it.