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What Is Cloud Storage?

With traditional, local data storage, critical business data is extremely vulnerable. With simple solutions like tape backups, ZIP drives and external hard disks, failure is too common. These methods can be corrupted or degraded, and today’s organizations need to eliminate the potential of losing their business information.

Storage in the cloud places business data in a virtual environment that is not vulnerable to the risks that could so easily impact local data storage. Rather than storing the data on a local device’s hard drive, it gets uploaded via the Internet to a provider’s remote virtual environment. Cloud providers like RapidScale have layers of security and protection to ensure accessibility for authorized users while preventing access for outside eyes. The files stored in the cloud can be accessed easily and quickly, in any location, on any device.

the-evolution-of-data-storageTypical features of cloud storage solutions include:

  • Unlimited storage option
  • Collaboration features
  • Compatibility across devices
  • Customizable sharing/viewing/editing settings
  • Option to sync content between devices
  • File backup

Let’s look at some benefits of storing data in the cloud:

Accessibility

With local storage, a user needs access to the local device to use data. With cloud, on the other hand, users can access their data from any device with Internet access, in any location. It becomes much easier to share that data with others while avoiding sending constant emails back and forth, overall improving efficiency of collaboration, even if people are separated by oceans.

Flexibility

A business may need a certain amount of space right now, but what about in three years? The amount of data accumulated will inevitably grow, and so will storage needs. With cloud storage, you can increase or decrease the amount of storage you have access to as your needs change. You don’t need to purchase more than what you need as a cautionary step. You simply get what you need, as you need it.

Cost Efficiency

Cloud storage is extremely cost efficient, as it helps businesses avoid purchasing expensive equipment like hard drives, servers, additional computers and backup methods, and more. It also lowers business electricity costs, and reduces the time involved in managing and maintaining data, implementing updates, or ensuring data security.

Security

In the cloud, users can set passwords on their files and edit sharing preferences to share data with only selected users. Additionally, data is encrypted in flight and at rest, which ensures security at all times. A business can implement regular backups in the cloud to ensure that documents remain safe and accessible no matter what.

Data Recovery

This benefit ties in with security, but data remains recoverable and accessible in any situation with cloud storage. If a user loses their laptop, or experiences a device malfunction, they won’t lose precious data. Instead, it remains protected and accessible in the virtual cloud environment, so they can pick up where they left off online from a new device.

Traditional storage methods are not practical or safe anymore. There is an ever-growing amount of business data, and organizations need secure ways to store it while ensuring they can always access the files they need. Today, more and more companies are turning to cloud storage to solve these issues. They remain in control of their data while experiencing the multiple benefits of cloud computing.

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