Over the past five years, cloud technology has become very popular because it allows organizations and individuals to access software and hardware managed by a service provider on-demand. Cloud storage certainly offers benefits to many businesses; nevertheless, some organizations are finding that local storage is a more effective solution.
To start with, we should be clear about the differences between these two types of services. Cloud storage is the process of storing digital data in an online space that has multiple servers and locations, and it is usually maintained by a hosting company. Local storage is the process of storing digital data on physical storage devices, such as hard disc drives (HDDs), solid state drives (SSDs), or external storage devices.
Cloud services are popular because enable many businesses to access to application software without the need for investing in computer software and hardware. Other benefits include scalability, reliability, and efficiency. All these advantages allow organizations to focus on other relevant aspects such as product development and innovation.
Below, we will analyze pros and cons of cloud storage and local storage, so you can understand the differences between both and make a responsible choice.
Pros and cons of cloud storage
Buying physical storage or hardware can be expensive. Cloud storage is cheaper per GB than using external drives.
Cloud storage gives you access to your files from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection.
Cloud storage is safer than local storage because providers have added additional layers of security to their services. Thanks to the use of encryption algorithm, only authorized personnel such as you and your employees have access to the documents and files stored in the cloud.
Syncing and updating
When you are working with cloud storage, every time you make changes to a file, these will be synced and updated across all of your devices. That will save you a lot of time and simplify your job.
In case of a hard drive failure or other hardware malfunction, you can access your files on the cloud, which acts as a backup solution for your local storage on physical drives.
Downtime is a factor that need to be considered while working with cloud computing because your cloud provider may face power loss, low internet connectivity, service maintenance, etc and all these factor will affect your perfomance.
Good internet connectivity is essential in cloud computing. Otherwise, you won’t have any other way to gather data from the cloud.
Performance can differ
When you are working in a cloud environment, your application is running on the server, which, at the same time, provides resources to other organizations. Therefore, you are using a shared resource and this factor will affect the performance of the storage service.
Pros and cons local storage
Storing data on external hard drives is faster than uploading data to the cloud. Additionally, you have full control of your backups and better control of who accesses your data.
One of the major advantages of local storage is the capacity. While 15GB is definitely a good amount for cloud storage, a hard drive can provide easily 2TB.
You have complete control over how the data is stored, who has access and information security protocols.
It does not depend on internet
Local storage is also not dependent on internet technology. Once you save something locally and you need access to it, you will find it straight away.
One of the limitations of local storage is that data is not easily accessible and it is more difficult to share your data with others. To do that, you need to upload on a hosted server and then send either an email or a link to the intended user.
The hardware and infrastructure costs are high and adding on more space and upgrading only adds extra costs.
If your server dies, the data dies with it. This may be the major concern for businesses when moving data into the cloud. Data that is stored locally is much more susceptible to unexpected events, such as fires and floods and local storage and local backups could be easily lost.
As with any technology decision, the best choice for your business depends on your goals. Understanding the pros and cons of cloud storage vs local storage is useful in determining and planning how to store and access your data. So, which data storage option do you prefer: local or cloud? Are you even backing up your data?
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