To store your business data, and always have space for the new information that accumulates, you can choose to invest either in larger hard drives or cloud storage (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox). Or both. Cloud storage introduces a completely new architecture that supports services over a large set of users. It also builds on geographically distributed storage capacity.

By storing your data on a cloud, you trust it to a third party and leave it to a remote database and remote servers. In this way, you are unloading your local storage devices from accumulated data. However, you can reach the data as easily as it was stored on your computer. And from any location that has Internet access.

Since you are renting the space from a cloud provider, you will need to pay in order to acquire storage pools located in different data centers. Basic services will be free sometimes (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox), but to gain more power and bump up storage, you are likely to be charged a monthly/yearly fee.

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The Advantages of Using Cloud Storage

  • More space, more flexibility, more durability
  • Your data is reachable from any location that has Internet access
  • You don’t need to invest in large hard drives or compact discs to store all the information that keeps accumulating
  • You don’t need to carry around any physical storage devices to transfer any of the data
  • You can save and retrieve any of your information from different locations around the globe
  • You can share/edit data immediately with collaborators by allowing them limited/unlimited access
  • Data is more durable due to various copies (data replicas) created
  • You can synchronize data across multiple desktop and mobile devices: computers, smartphones, tablets etc.

One disadvantage to be considered while using cloud storage is trusting your confidential business data to a third party data storage host. However, all the responsibility for the backup creation, data replication and storage maintenance, lies with the host, as well.

Cloud storage systems, on the other hand, rely on hundreds of data servers. The servers will mostly use different power supplies, so that the client can access his information at any given time. Regardless of maintenance delays, or power supply fails.

You are probably well acquainted with some forms of cloud storage, even if you have only used web mails such as Gmail, or Yahoo! Mail. Or Google Docs to create various documents in collaboration with your business partners. Further examples include Flickr and Picasa as they store millions of digital photographs, or YouTube for hosting videos. Some of the best known personal cloud storage bases include Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, Dropbox and SugarSync.

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