In the last five years, cloud technology has become very popular with businesses of all sizes. It gives organizations access to on-demand software and hardware managed by a service provider. Cloud storage certainly offers many benefits; however, some businesses still find local storage more practical. With advantages to both cloud storage and local storage, it’s essential to understand and weigh the options before making the right choice for your company.
Cloud vs. Local Storage: What’s What?
Understanding the difference between these two storage options is the first step to identifying a better solution for your business.
With cloud storage, your business’s data is managed and stored by a hosting provider using remote servers, often across several data centers. On the other hand, local storage involves storing your data on physical drives such as hard drives, USB flash drives, and NAS drives, which are located on your business premises.
Cloud storage providers offer a variety of security and productivity features to help you run your business efficiently. Local storage doesn’t provide the same pre-built features, but you do have control over your data’s physical location.
Cloud vs. Local Storage: Features
Before deciding which storage option is best for you, here are some key features and benefits of both.
Collaboration is crucial for most businesses, especially in this age of remote working. Many cloud service providers offer a variety of tools to help your team work together regardless of where you are, which is not an option when using local storage.
A good cloud storage provider, like Microsoft Office 365, also offers a host of apps and integrations to add more functionality and help you work efficiently. For example, your team can access and work on the same file no matter where they are located, without having to email the file back and forth, using a shared computer, or passing off USB sticks. In addition, since cloud storage offers services like syncing and file versioning, any changes made to files by multiple team members won’t be lost.
Using local storage gives you complete control over your files. You decide who has access to them and where they will be stored. Local storage devices, like an external hard drive, are typically not connected to the Internet unless you insert them into a computer. This reduces the chances of malicious cyberattacks and data breaches. However, using local storage does come with several dangers. For example, if your hardware fails, malfunctions, or is stolen. In addition, unexpected disasters like fires and floods can destroy your local storage infrastructure.
When using cloud storage services, you’ll have a suite of security features like encryption keys, password protection, and two-factor authentication readily available. However, with local storage, you’ll have to be ready to set up these security features yourself, and not all drives are designed with security features in mind.
On the other hand, cloud storage services use disaster recovery and backup strategies to ensure that your information is never lost. For example, cloud storage services store backup copies of your files across multiple servers to prevent you from ever losing your data due to disaster.
When it comes to transferring and downloading files, local storage may be faster than using a cloud system. This is because cloud storage service depends entirely on internet connectivity. If your internet connection is slow or unstable, you’ll have difficulties accessing and collaborating on files. So while your internet connection or bandwidth does not limit local storage, it does limit where and when you can access your files.
You might think that cloud storage is more expensive than local storage, but that is not the case. Cloud storage providers usually offer a subscription-based pricing model. Businesses pay a monthly or annual fee to get a specific amount of storage and features. You can also scale up or down based on your business needs.
For local storage, the prices are pretty straightforward. You pay for the amount of storage space you purchase. However, you will also have to factor in the costs of setting up and maintaining servers, data centers, and hard drives. A local storage infrastructure will need to be maintained consistently and upgraded every few years.
As with any business decision, the best storage solution will depend on your business goals. Whether it’s cloud storage or local storage, the team at Grand Technology Solutions can help. We understand that every business is different and will make recommendations based your business’s specific needs. Give us a call today at (904) 606-6011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.