July 5, 2024

Cloud vs. On-Premises: Choosing the right data storage for your business

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Handling data can be quite a headache. In the midst of all your other responsibilities, you have to spend hours ensuring all of your sensitive information is safe, you have a proper backup and disaster recovery plan, and your processing capabilities are just the way you need (so you can work efficiently and effectively),

Thankfully, when you choose the right data storage for your business, most of these problems disappear. So how can you do this? Here are our tips for finding the best data storage solution for your company that’s not only secure but also cost-effective.

Understanding different storage solutions

When thinking about the best data storage solutions, you’ll come face to face with several options. However, it’s important to note that what works for one business won’t necessarily work for yours. It all depends on your company’s specific needs and goals. Below, you’ll find an overview of the most popular data storage solutions on the market.

On-premises storage

If your businesss has been on the block for some time, it has likely used on-premises storage. As the name states, with this option, physical servers and data storage devices are managed within a company’s premises. What makes it an attractive option is that you have full physical control over your information.

But this also has its disadvantages. Companies with on-premises storage have to be responsible for the maintenance of the storage hardware. Although on-premises storage can initially seem more affordable, the costs of maintaining it can quickly add up.

Network-attached storage (NAS)

When you google ‘the most popular data storage solutions’, you’ll most likely also hear about network-attached storage (NAS). Unlike on-premises storage, NAS provides centralised storage for multiple users who are all connected to the same local network. Because it is a cost-effective solution that can be easily expanded as the company grows, it’s often used by small and medium-sized businesses.

While NAS certainly has its benefits, it also has its cons. The biggest disadvantage of network-attached storage is that you have to rely on network speed, which can quickly become annoying.

Let’s say you have to finish a task by the end of the day. If your network is not working properly, you won’t be able to access the files you so desperately need. Consequently, your business may not always be able to operate as effectively as possible.

Generally, NAS devices are also more vulnerable to local network security threats.

Cloud storage

Over the last few years, cloud storage has significantly advanced. In fact, you might be taking advantage of cloud solutions without realising it! Dropbox, photo services with cloud access, OneDrive – these are all examples that use the technology.

With cloud storage, the idea is simple: Your data is stored on remote servers managed by third-party service providers. A report by McKinsey & Company predicts that cloud computing will generate over $3 trillion by 2030, so it’s clear that it’s not disappearing any time soon.

But cloud storage isn’t just a great option for keeping your personal information safe. It is also an excellent choice for companies of all shapes and sizes, mainly because it offers nearly unlimited scalability, minimal maintenance, and much lower upfront costs.

The cons? Cloud data storage is dependent on internet speed and bandwidth. If you don’t have access to internet, you won’t be able to use your files. Moreover, there’s less control over your information as you have to rely on the provider.

Did You Know

The global data storage volume is expected
to reach 200 zettabytes by 2025

Cloud vs on-premises storage: Which one should you choose?

Think about your data storage needs

To figure out which is the best option for your business, you must start by thinking about storage needs. How much data do you generate per year? If you’re a small company selling baby knits, it may not be wise to invest in a complex system. In this case, a simple external hard drive will do the trick just fine.

In contrast, if you’re a large marketing firm that produces huge amounts of data or an architectural firm that deals with heavy data on a daily basis, you’ll need something more sophisticated.

Come up with a budget

Budget, of course, plays a huge role when choosing a data storage. Ideally, you should look for an option that fits your budget constraints while still providing the necessary functions. In this scenario, it’s best to get a consultation from a professional IT team which can advice you on the best strategy.

Cloud storage is generally considered a more cost-effective option since most providers offer a pay-as-you-go pricing model, meaning you only pay for the storage you use.

However, it’s important to note that some options that may sometimes seem expensive upfront can turn out to be more cost-effective in the long run.

Pay attention to security

According to a study by the University of Maryland, a cyberattack is projected to occur every 39 seconds. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? But, unfortunately, it’s the reality. Even if you think your business won’t ever be affected by cybercrime, it’s not really something you can predict. That’s why it’s better to be prepared and look for a data storage solution that will keep your and your clients’ information safe. Ask these questions:

Does it provide strong encryption? What about firewalls? What other security features will protect you against unauthorised access?

Consider access speed

The right data storage solution doesn’t just give you a sense of security – it should also help you operate more effectively. But if your chosen option doesn’t have the access speed you need, you won’t be able to use your company’s potential to its fullest.

When you compare different ways to store your data, look for a solution that’s as user-friendly as possible and allows you to access information quickly.

Don’t forget scalability

Using an external hard drive may work for now, but what will happen once your business gains traction and your data needs grow? To choose the right data storage for your company, you must think about your future plans and goals. Will you be able to scale up your business when you need it?

Final thoughts

Choosing the right data storage for your business is no easy task. There’s quite a bit to consider. If you’re unsure which is the most effective solution for your company’s specific needs, we’d love to help you! Contact us here to discuss data storage options for your business.

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