Although the term cloud computing was already well known, the COVID-19 crisis was responsible for helping this technology become a reality for most companies.
When confinement measures began, remote work presented itself as the only solution to guarantee the survival of companies. And cloud services played a crucial role.
Cloud computing offers companies flexibility, productivity, and security that would involve very high costs for hardware maintenance in a face-to-face environment. The cloud allows companies to have more for less.
Cost savings and speed are the top two reasons CIOs adopt cloud services. Thanks to the cloud, it’s possible to innovate faster than traditional structures. It also improves efficiency by synchronizing documents, saving them automatically, and allowing several workers to collaborate on the same document.
Types of cloud storage
Cloud storage is a method of storing data on virtual servers of cloud providers.
Unlike traditional servers, cloud storage allows information, files, and programs to be stored in a digital space instead of a physical space, such as hard disks or on-premises servers.
Cloud storage can be classified according to the types of cloud that exist or the types of cloud services offered.
Types of clouds for storage
There are three different types of clouds:
– Public cloud: This is a cloud service offered by an external provider. Customers host their data on the provider’s infrastructure instead of investing in their own. This allows them to access the company’s resources for storage.
– Private cloud: In this case, the company invests in private infrastructure and has its own servers. People can access these servers via the Internet without having to connect to them physically.
– Hybrid cloud: This storage system combines the previous two. It consists of the use of a public cloud to host less relevant data and the use of a private cloud for confidential data.
Types of cloud storage services
There are three types of cloud storage services that companies can hire:
– Software as a Service (SaaS): This cloud service is entirely managed by the external provider, and the user only connects to the applications through the Internet.
– Platform as a Service (PaaS): The provider offers a development platform and programming tools, but in this case, the user controls the applications and the data. Users can also develop their own applications.
– Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): It consists in renting infrastructure where the user manages the operating system and applications. The provider, in turn, is responsible for managing the servers, network, hard disks, data storage, and hardware systems.
The advantages of cloud storage for businesses
Cloud storage allows users to access files and data in real-time as long as they have an Internet connection.
It enables companies to access information from anywhere in the world.
In addition, it allows maintenance and security to be outsourced to specialized providers in these fields, saving costs.
Also, cloud storage is scalable: companies can acquire storage space according to their needs. This means that there are no unnecessary costs or product limits.
Multi-Cloud or Hybrid Cloud: how to choose the one that best suits your business
Companies are looking to improve storage and data protection through innovations such as multi-cloud or hybrid clouds.
These two terms are often confused but have entirely different meanings in practice.
Companies adopting multi-cloud systems are betting on using different public clouds supplied by various providers. On the other hand, a hybrid cloud, as its name suggests, consists of the joint use of public and private clouds.
According to a study by Microsoft, 76% of respondents were willing to adopt hybrid cloud or multi-cloud services.
This decision is driven by the goal of improving scalability, using resources more efficiently, having access to more personalized clouds to improve customer service, and reaching new geographic boundaries, among others.
What type of cloud system should I choose?
Choosing a cloud system depends mainly on its intended use.
A hybrid cloud provides excellent flexibility and ease of management, and it is highly recommended for those companies that rely heavily on technology and face constant changes.
It is also a good option for companies that handle confidential information because they can host it within their data centers.
Banks or financial institutions usually prefer using hybrid clouds because they require more sensitive procedures and internal certification processes.
However, hybrid clouds have some drawbacks: it can be challenging to synchronize private data centers with those of third parties, so management becomes an issue.
Multi-cloud systems, on the other hand, are starting to gain popularity. These cloud services have multiple advantages, such as more advanced security and management developments and the possibility of choosing different providers for each service needed and achieving optimal outcomes.
However, the multi-cloud system is complex and can be challenging to implement.
The best storage systems
Before choosing a storage system, we must consider several factors:
- First of all, we must take into account the available space. This is one of the most important factors as it will allow us to know how much data we can store.
Storage systems usually offer a limited number of gigabytes. However, on some occasions, files do not take up space. This is the case with images on Amazon.
- It’s also essential to check compatibility with operating systems and applications. The chosen storage solution must be compatible with the user’s computers or mobile phones.
A significant advantage of the cloud is the possibility to access information anywhere and everywhere. That’s why looking for a system compatible with one’s own devices is essential to be able to make the best of the cloud.
- Finally, it’s necessary to check that the storage system is reliable and offers good security.
Companies use cloud services to store essential data and confidential information, so choosing a reliable cloud system is a priority.
In addition, you need to consider factors such as price, scalability, and included services.
Now that we know what to take into account when choosing a storage system, here are the most effective ones:
It’s possibly one of the best-known systems because it belongs to Google.
This file system offers up to 15 GB of free storage —and sometimes even more through a rewards system.
Backed by a well-known company, Google Drive offers user reliability, excellent accessibility, and device synchronization.
In addition, it saves files and changes automatically to prevent document loss and is compatible with all versions of MS Office.
It also offers excellent flexibility regarding the sizes and formats of uploaded files.
Box is also compatible with the Office package and offers up to 10 GB of storage.
One of the strengths of this system is its security.
Box has a limit of 250 MB per file. It is excellent for file storage but not very suitable for other uses.
This option is gaining popularity. It offers the largest storage capacity: up to 20 GB.
In addition, you can get an extra 5 GB thanks to the achievements and rewards systems.
Mega offers scalability to companies, allowing them to add new members and synchronize the information necessary to carry out their tasks.
In addition, it has security measures in place: it uses a key derived from users’ passwords to encrypt all customer data. It also has two-factor authentication.
On the downside, Mega has a bandwidth limit of 10 GB every half hour.
Dropbox is another major player in the sector. It offers 2 GB of storage that can be expanded up to 18 GB depending on the task systems.
The bandwidth is limited to 20 GB per day.
On the bright side, Dropbox allows storing files in all formats and sizes and offers data accessibility.
Although it’s one of the most popular systems, the features fall far short of the capabilities of other systems.
Onedrive is Microsoft’s storage solution and is preinstalled in all Windows systems.
One of its advantages is that it supports all the files in the MS Office package and can be synchronized with the account.
However, it has some downsides, such as its dependence on Microsoft or its limited 5 GB storage space, which may not be enough if you work with large volumes of digital files.
Cloud services are an essential ally for businesses
Cloud services are one of the top priorities for CIOs, especially in the wake of the pandemic. The business needs of 2022 and the coming years demand more advanced cloud services aligned with customers’ new consumption habits and organizations’ cultures.
The advantages of working in the cloud are unmatched, which is why new companies are incorporating these systems to enable remote work, task synchronization, collaboration, scalability, and greater security.
However, organizations can only leverage these advantages if they choose a storage system that meets their needs.