Cloud vs Hardware: How To Store Your Electronic Data
With all the advertising out there pushing companies to take their business processes and data storage onto the cloud, you might think storing your data in-house is quickly becoming obsolete. It’s not so simple as that, though.
Depending on your company’s needs, maintaining your own data center is still a good alternative to cloud storage. On the other hand, there really are a number of advantages to cloud storage. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of each to figure out which is best for your business.
Understanding The Difference
Both cloud and hardware storage lets you store data in an electronic format. In both cases, the electronic data is stored on servers. The big difference involves where the servers are located.
If you set up your own data center, you own and control the servers where you store data. If you opt for cloud storage, you’re renting space on servers maintained by a third-party.
Pros and Cons: Hardware
Increased control is the biggest advantage of maintaining your own servers. You’re in charge of privacy and access. You also control the server hardware and get exclusive use of all the processing power and storage capacity.
On the other hand, if you’re setting up your own data center you’re limited by the capacity of your hardware. If you need to increase the amount of storage and workload it can handle, you’ll have to upgrade and expand your servers. Also, if anything happens to your servers, you’ll lose your data. It’s also difficult to access data if you want to work remotely.
Pros and Cons: Cloud
Cloud storage is highly flexible and accessible. It’s also really easy to use and set-up. No need to worry about maintaining your own servers or upgrading when you run out of storage space. Cloud storage scales to your needs and backs up important information automatically so you don’t lose data. You can access it and work from any location with internet access.
The downside of this is that you loose some control over how your data is stored. Reputable data storage companies have clouds that are quite secure and they are committed to maintaining security. However, the fact remains that cloud storage is easier to hack than a dedicated in-house data center. You’re also sharing space on the servers with other customers.
We haven’t talked about cost yet. That’s because it’s hard to make a definitive statement about whether cloud or hardware storage is the most economical choice. Cloud storage plans are priced differently based on how much storage space you need. With the cloud, you’ll also avoid up-keep costs related to server maintenance.
But if your company isn’t growing quickly and employees don’t need to access information when they’re off-site, you might find setting up a data center is the way to go. It might work out that the cost of cloud storage for a year is higher than what you’d pay for servers you think will last for several years.
Which One’s For You?
Deciding on cloud storage versus hardware storage is a matter of weighing pros and cons. If you’re most concerned with directly controlling access to your data and securing it from any outside access, you’ll want to setup your own data center. But if having a flexible storage system that’s easy to access is your top priority, you’ll want to go with cloud storage.
For many companies, opting for a storage solution like NextProcess’ online document management system is the best choice. Our secure system not only lets you store records online and access them anywhere but also helps you manage your files so they’re easier to find and use. Contact us today if you’d like a demonstration.