Data storage is key to any business operating smoothly and successfully in the modern world. After all, ensuring that your organisation’s data is stored in a secure and accessible manner is a huge challenge, but is a key consideration for any business.
The cloud has made this far easier than ever before. Now, companies don’t have to worry about installing their own data storage solutions — and the costs and challenges that come with doing so. Instead, more businesses are looking towards the cloud as the future of data storage.
In this article, we’re going to go over the key factors of cloud data storage and on-premises data storage, and how you can get started today!
What is Cloud Data Storage?
Cloud data storage is a storage solution that utilises the internet to store and access data (using the cloud). This means that your files and data don’t need to be stored within on-premises storage, and instead can be stored somewhere safe and far away.
- Cost Reduction: Rather than having to spend money on on-premises storage hardware, you simply just need to pay the cloud provider as an operational cost. This turns capital expenditure (CAPEX) into operational expenditure (OPEX) and saves costs all around.
- Security: There are added security benefits to utilising the cloud. Since the data will be stored on the server hardware of the cloud provider, there is no way for any malicious actors to gain access to your servers and data — at least without breaching some of the most secure servers in the world.
- Ease-of-use: Having files within the cloud makes them more accessible in a more flexible manner. You can easily access cloud files wherever, and work on them from any device — which suits the modern remote working environment.
- Personnel: Setting up an on-prem data storage infrastructure requires hiring personnel to be able to both build and maintain the system. Using the cloud mitigates this challenge, and lets you allocate resources elsewhere — all the technical aspects are handled by the cloud provider.
- Scalability: Scaling a cloud-based data storage solution is simple. Instead of having to invest in new hardware for each upgrade as you would with an on-prem system, you only need to simply change your cloud plan.
- Network: While it’s a good idea to do so anyway, a cloud-based infrastructure would require great and consistent network connectivity, and so this is a consideration to make when looking into cloud-based solutions.
- Shared Cloud: There is a consideration to be made for organisations that need a high level of data security. This is due to the fact that cloud infrastructure is often shared between lots of different organisations, and so isn’t always suitable for the most security-conscious organisations.
There are a few different options for cloud-based storage, but Microsoft Azure is by far the best for any modern organisation. Azure is both easy to get started with and also integrates well with other Microsoft-based systems — giving you boundless access to powerful tools such as 365 and the Power Platform.
Some other options include OneDrive and SharePoint, which is great for personal and shsared data storage. Individual users can access their files from anywhere, and ensure that their work files are stored safely and securely.
What is On-Premises Data Storage?
The traditional method of data storage, on-premise data storage is when your data is stored within your organisation’s hardware on-site. This requires server hardware and maintenance, as well as many administrative costs.
- Increased Control: On-premises storage gives you more control over how your data is stored, as you’re in control of the whole hardware.
- No Shared Cloud: If you want to have more control over where your data is stored, on-prem ensures that your hardware is solely your hardware.
- High Costs: Between the costs of hiring personnel and the capital expenditure of buying hardware, the cost of the on-premise solution makes it a challenging option for lots of businesses.
- Difficult to Scale: Scaling on-prem hardware is difficult and inflexible, as it requires buying new hardware. Scaling down is even harder as you’re stuck with the additional hardware anyway.
There are lots of options for creating an on-premise solution. Usually, doing so would require hiring an expert to look at the needs of your organisation and create the best technical solution for your organisation.
Which is Right for You?
It can be difficult to know which is right for your organisation, as there are benefits to both cloud storage and on-prem storage. However, the benefits of cloud data storage speak for themselves.
The flexibility and lower cost of cloud storage already make it a good choice for any organisation looking to take a step into the future, but the integration of Azure with other Microsoft services means that it’s one of the best propositions for any forward-thinking organisation.
However, if your organisation has a high level of data security requirements, get in contact to figure out which solution is best for your company. After all, some companies need full control over their data storage, and working with a knowledgeable partner is the best way to ensure that you’re making the right choice.
While both cloud-based and on-prem solutions have their pros and cons, there are benefits in investing in a good cloud solution for your company going forward. There are lots of integrations and benefits with a cloud-based system, and many businesses are looking towards the cloud as the future of business.