Pros and cons of online storage

The demand for data storage continues to grow at a staggering rate, driven by increasing volumes of email, Web content, streaming media, and distributed file sharing. As a result, organizations are struggling to find cost-effective approaches to managing the growing volumes of data on traditional storage solutions. Online storage services help organizations meet these requirements – reduce costs, reduce risk, improve access and increase business flexibility. However, concerns about the security of online storage remain. Cloud Storage
Analysts IDC, in their presentation of research work for cloud storage, states that “the emergence of cloud-based applications and IT services is already having a profound impact on the storage industries.

Cloud storage is a data storage facility on massive servers located on the premises of an external service provider. Customers transmit and retrieve data over the public Internet or a private network. Service providers offer customers a service level agreements that guarantee a certain level of service availability.

Access

Putting storage online makes it easy for users to access data, even if they are away from their desk. Mobile workers or authorized partners can access data over the Internet, which increases flexibility. Making data more widely available also increases its value and contribution to effective decision-making. However, the cost of transmitting data to and from an online storage system does detract from other cost advantages. When costs are low, online storage can be a cost-effective option, depending on transmission volumes.

Security

When companies store their data in the cloud, they are unable to enforce their own security policies, increasing the risk of data loss. Data is also at risk when it is in transit over the public Internet. Companies must therefore negotiate stringent security agreements with service providers to ensure that data storage is fully protected. High value information or business data that is critical to a company’s operations must remain on internal storage systems. Companies can also use private networks for secure transmission to and from cloud storage.