Though the cloud has been part of the data storage landscape for some time as a way to back up data, archive it, or simply use for general storage, there is still skepticism around it from professionals working in IT. Is this skepticism legitimate or unfounded? It depends on how cloud storage is being used. To further explore this idea, we’ve compiled the pros and cons of cloud storage for backup.
Pros of Cloud Storage for Backup:
When using cloud storage as a way to back up or store data, there is no need for IT workers to diligently manage, maintain, deploy, or configure any physical storage hardware. This cuts down on costs, as well as giving IT personnel time to focus on other issues.
The turn around between setting up cloud storage and being able to use it is only a few minutes long. Compared to the amount of time it would take to implement brand new storage hardware into a data center (which could take between weeks and months), the benefit the deployment speed the cloud has is undeniable.
On-premises storage has the drawback of being more limited in its storage capabilities and capacity. Because of this, businesses have to plan ahead and attempt to gauge their storage needs. Organizations that use on-premises storage will also need to buy excess capacity to accommodate their growing data. However, when using cloud storage, more space is readily available to businesses as they need.
Cons of Cloud Storage for Backup:
While the public cloud negates any need to manage hardware, without the physical presence of a data center, it’s difficult to have a tangible way to see that data management policies and best practices are being followed. Those who use cloud storage must instead trust that their provider is following protocol.
Within their data centers, businesses have fast connections which give them the ability to gain access to their data quickly. However, the public cloud is beholden to the public Internet. Because of this, the connection is slower, impacting business’ abilities to access their own data.
In line with the issue of connectivity is that of migration. Moving terabytes of data to a vendor when using the public Internet could potentially take weeks. In addition to this, when the data is transferred, businesses can find that their cloud storage operates differently than their on-premises storage did.
The cost of cloud storage is seen as a pro to some and a con to others. Public cloud providers are able to offer storage at a very low price. In addition to this, by using public cloud storage, there is not a need to pay for a company owned data center, and all the hardware that comes with that. However, if a business has legacy storage appliances that will last for years already, the cost to migrate to the cloud is not necessarily worth it. Businesses can also struggle with optimizing costs, leading to financial losses.
Cloud storage security is another issue that IT professionals are divided on. One argument that could be made is that bigger cloud vendors have the money and knowledge to be able to protect data from threats. However, on the other hand, some IT professionals are uncomfortable with entrusting their most sensitive data to someone else.
The use of cloud storage for backup is dependent on each business’ wants and needs. When looking into storage solutions, the cloud can be a great option if your organization’s data is growing quickly, but it’s important to be aware of any drawbacks that are present as well.