Unlimited cloud storage offers previously unprecedented scalability and accessibility, but there is a strong case for adopting a hybrid storage environment.
Almost every organization now uses multiple cloud apps and services to handle their everyday workflows. Online storage is one of the most popular, owing to its accessibility and scalability. Thanks to vendors like Microsoft, Google, and DropBox, practically unlimited cloud storage is now within the reach of even the smallest businesses. Cloud storage offers a host of other key benefits too, such as data backup and high durability.
Cloud services, including even the cheapest cloud storage, make it possible for anyone to store and access data from any device in any location — all through a web browser. This is vital in the age of remote work, when employees routinely access corporate documents and other files from outside the traditional workplace. Cloud storage systems can be private or public, or a mixture of the two, with many companies opting for a hybrid environment.
A private cloud storage system might be hosted on-premises or in a colocation facility. Either way, the underlying hardware and software is exclusive to the client. Public cloud services like DropBox or Google Drive, by contrast, use a shared infrastructure model that trades off some control in return for greater scalability and reduced costs. However, most companies prefer to use different models for different workloads, hence the growing popularity of the hybrid cloud. This allows businesses to benefit from the cheapest cloud storage services while also retaining their own private systems for storing their most valuable data.
Cloud storage is ideal for data that needs to be accessed frequently from different devices or locations. However, given the generous data allowances of many cloud storage services, it is often easy to forget that older data is even there — even if that data is still important and must be retained. This can be problematic, since you cannot protect what you do not know about. After all, certain types of business data must be retained for 10 years.
Although cloud storage is highly scalable, in that it can often be expanded on demand, there are few vendors that offer truly unlimited cloud storage. Even if they do, the costs of keeping many years’ worth of data online can eventually start to outweigh the benefits. This is why you should have a cold data storage solution for archiving old and rarely accessed data. That way, you can release your online storage space and use it exclusively for hot storage.
Data storage requirements continue to increase, with the amount of data in the world currently doubling approximately every two years. Thusly, there is an enormous and constantly growing demand for cloud storage. To meet these demands, many organizations use multiple cloud storage services, few of which work well with each other. On top of that is the fact that a great deal of potentially important data is stored in other cloud apps, such as email services, rather than explicitly on cloud storage accounts.
For example, a free Google account comes with 15 GB shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos, while upgrading to Google One increases the limit to 100 GB. That is not much for many content creators, like photographers and designers, to store all their intellectual property. This makes clear the need for an integrated storage environment whereby your old files are automatically archived to another account or local network-attached storage (NAS).
With an integrated and automated solution that can be tailored to match your specific workflow needs, you can keep the files you are use every day readily available while also ensuring your older content is safely backed up. Furthermore, you can access and manage multiple cloud storage accounts and platforms from one centralized location to keep your workflow moving and your operational costs low.
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