Much about the benefits of cloud storage, but in some cases, nothing is obvious, especially when it comes to choosing a cloud service for small and medium businesses.
Before hiring a cloud storage service for your company, it is worthwhile to review essential concepts on the subject and understand the alternatives for storing and sharing data via the Internet.
Merely transferring your storage system to a data center may not be the best solution to keep your data safe and always online, so check out our tips.
What is cloud storage?
To understand what cloud storage means, it is necessary to have a clear vision of the cloud. In short, a cloud is a computing service that any person or organization can access remotely via an internet connection, free of charge or with a monthly fee.
Cloud computing systems can run programs or store files. Some cloud services allow for both, where storage is only part of a sophisticated computing environment.
For simplicity, think of cloud storage as a large external hard drive inside a data center, to which your company connects via a specific network (probably via the Internet).
Thus, cloud storage is a secure virtual space and always online, owned or from third parties, provided by a service provider or a system for this purpose, through a browser or application via the Internet.
What is the difference between local and cloud storage?
The primary difference between a local data storage system and a cloud one is the final destination of files and folders: While a local server, storage, or hard disk keeps your data within the company, a cloud service makes space available in an area (instance ) of any data center.
Because it has several variations, cloud backup, online storage, cloud drive, online backup, and file hosting can also be considered cloud storage solutions.
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What are the leading cloud storage services on the market?
iCloud (Apple), Google Drive (Google), OneDrive (Microsoft), Dropbox (Dropbox), and Box (Box) are the top five cloud storage providers.
These services serve millions of users, making small virtual hard disks available to companies and users, free of charge or through monthly fees.
What types of clouds are available?
An enterprise cloud can use the organization’s own IT infrastructure or data center (private cloud), use internal and external data centers simultaneously (hybrid clouds), or contract the space in the form of service from providers such as those mentioned (public cloud).
Small business cloud storage
Cloud storage can cover dozens of different demands within an enterprise.
Small offices generally only need to make files and folders available to various employees for access via the web, in which case the simplest alternatives are:
1- Use cloud storage services like Google Docs, Dropbox, Box, or iCloud
2- Install a NAS storage and create a private data cloud
Hiring cloud storage
The first alternative is the cheapest (sometimes even free) and indicated for sharing a few files and folders in the cloud.
Although home users use this type of service frequently, most companies, including small ones, need professional resources, such as data management and user access control.
Storing and sharing files from the entire corporation in the same environment can require a lot of storage space, so providers’ amount to host unstructured data does not always justify this type of solution.
Risks of public cloud storage
Also, hiring environments at ISPs to share files via the Internet usually means making company data available without control, where any malicious employee can improperly access, change, or delete files.
Another point to be considered is that sharing information through these services can escape the organization’s control, allowing the leakage of critical data due to the lack of defined processes or human error.
These risks, coupled with concerns such as maintaining the privacy of stored information and keeping monthly fees under control, lead many companies to set up their private cloud.
A NAS to create a private storage cloud
The second alternative is to install NAS storage and create a private storage cloud.
These devices are easy to install, have several useful management tools, and share files and folders via the Internet simply and securely.
Creating a cloud drive using a NAS to share unstructured documents and data such as spreadsheets, texts, and images via the Internet is very simple and does not require IT professionals’ help.
A free and always online file server
A NAS with only two hard disks can efficiently deliver 8TB of storage without significant complications. A NAS can meet most small business file sharing demands (via the Internet).
means sharing office documents and other files such as videos and images, without security risks, privacy problems, and monthly fees.
How to share folders and files via the Internet without monthly fees?
NAS Qnap arrays provide various tools for creating a private storage cloud, incorporating management features such as folder creation, privileges, login and password authentication, user activity logging, data encryption, and unlimited capacity.
Another important point when creating a private storage cloud is to keep your data safe and away from unauthorized access.
means more security and privacy for corporate data. A NAS does not charge monthly fees, does not require plan upgrades, and can be easily expanded.
This system’s only disadvantage is the higher initial disbursement, as buying storage costs more than simply hiring a storage service in the cloud.
Remote access to the company’s administrative software
In addition to all the listed benefits, building the company’s cloud storage system using Qnap NAS storage provides additional services, such as the ease of setting up a VPN server.
This service can, for example, allow remote access to Windows-based administrative software and old SQL versions without significant complications, in addition to providing storage capacity to mount a backup server in the cloud.
Bring your project and ask your questions: We are authorized distributors Seagate, Western Digital, Qnap, Synology, Infortrend, and specialists in data storage systems.