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BizCloud® Network | September 1, 2014

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Introduction to Cloud Storage Providers

Storing your company data on hard drive alone holds potential risks to security of data given that hardware failures are very common and can lead to data loss. One of the popular alternatives to in-house data storage and backup is using cloud storage services. It allows companies to store data outside their data centers on cloud storage provider’s shared infrastructure. Cloud storage is usually embraced by organizations that can no longer handle the raising costs and complexities involved with the in-house storage provisioning.

Cloud Storage Benefits:

  • The pay-per-use model of cloud storage services brings significant savings for a company.
  • Easy to use and to manage storage solution.
  • Offers increased flexibility and scalability in terms of capacity and performance.
  • Improved data accessibility makes cloud storage attractive to businesses as the cloud enables authorized company personnel to obtain the data from anywhere simply by logging onto the server.
  • Enables file collaboration and sharing

How secure is data stored in the cloud?

Given the current hype around all the services labeled as “cloud services” and the avalanche of studies and articles written to warn users about the uncertain security of data in the cloud, many companies are still skeptical about using cloud storage. The importance of data security surely cannot be stressed enough, but the reality is that established cloud storage vendors leverage the most sophisticated high-end security measures to protect the users’ data and this level of security is usually very difficult to achieve with in-house storage.

What is ideal for cloud storage?

Cloud storage is a perfect fit for companies that have unpredictable storage demands. It is also a compelling solution for companies that have storage requirements such as file archiving, backup storage, or a need for online document collaboration or content distribution.

Cloud Storage Providers

Evaluating cloud storage providers and the quality of their services can be difficult. There are many cloud storage providers out there and it is important to find a provider with a proven track record of reliability that can respond to all your storage requirements and keep your data safe. Here we will highlight the most trusted cloud storage vendors in the market and provide a short overview of their services that can be a good starting point for your search for the right cloud storage provider.

  1. 1. Box.net

Box.net was founded in 2005 and since then has been serving SMBs and large companies alike providing them with a simple and secure cloud storage solution. Besides being a cloud storage service, Box enables content collaboration allowing employees within a company to easily upload and share files using Box cloud content management platform. This feature is very useful for companies that have offices in multiple locations making it easy for geographically dispersed employees to work together on a project. It costs $15 per user for a month of service and receive 256-bit encryption, reporting, full-text search, a 2GB file size limit, and 15GB of storage per user.

  1. 2. DropBox

DropBox was founded in 2007 and offers an easy to use feature-rich cloud storage solution. DropBox  allows you to sync your files instantly across multiple machines, automatically backs up your files, and makes file sharing easy enabling you to make shared folders within your account. Dropbox keeps users’ files secure by leveraging military grade encryption methods to transfer and store their data.

With a basic account, users get 2GB of free space and can upload any type of file up to 350MB in size. For users who need more than 2GB of space, DropBox offers pro plans up to 100GB. You can upgrade to 50GB for $9.99 a month, or go with Pro100 and get 100GB of storage space for a monthly fee of $19.99.

  1. 3. Mozy

Founded in 2005, Mozy is a cloud-based backup service providing backup solutions for businesses and consumers. It is owned by EMC Corporation which is the largest provider of data storage platforms in the world.

MozyPro is a storage solution suitable for larger companies. It supports both PC and MAC and offers companies the ability to back up computers and business servers. MozyPro includes administrative features that allow managing of multiple-users through a single online administration console. Online business backup solution from Mozy is available starting for less than $5 a month.

  1. 4. Mezeo Software

Mezeo provides software platform that enables service providers to quickly and efficiently deliver cloud-based storage for customers and resellers.

Their highly scalable platform solution can be deployed at one of their premier hosting partners, or as an enterprise private cloud behind the firewall. The Mezeo Cloud Storage Platform for the Enterprise is a perfect fit for organizations looking to implement private clouds and it offers numerous business benefits to enterprises. Mezeo private cloud can help enterprises reduce storage costs, eliminate security and compliance risks, and improve efficiency trough advanced services such as sharing and collaboration. The Mezeo Cloud Storage Platform is quickly deployed and provides unlimited storage capacity. Backup and archive processes are automated to ensure backup, archive and disaster recovery.

  1. 5. Zetta

Zetta is a Storage as a Service provider founded in 2007 and  has aquired a strong reputation in offsite data protection for enterprise data. Using Zetta service, companies receive immediate access to fully protected storage capacity, at the same time eliminating the costs and complexities associated with capacity planning, provisioning and storage management. They provide virtually unlimited storage capacity and charge based on pay as you go model. Data is encrypted both in transit and at-rest ensuring the privacy of data within the Zetta cloud storage service. The performance is SLA guaranteed as Zetta provides storage at close distances over high speed, low latency networks to improve storage response time.

  1. 6. Microsoft Live Mesh

Live Mesh is Microsoft’s free cloud storage service that provides users with 5GB of online storage. Once you create a Live Mesh account you can log in through Windows Live ID login. The service supports upload of all types of files but currently does not allow for file editing through the online desktop. Live Mash is soon to be replaced by Windows Live Mesh 2011 that will have additional features.    

Comments

  1. I would like to add Huddle to that list!

    A cloud computing application that allows users to store any file online, with packages starting at free, personal (£5), small team (£25), pro (£125) and enterprise packages. Each allowing different amounts of storage. Other features include conferencing, task management, team workspaces and discussion boards, ability to approve and edit documents online allowing for easy sharing and updating of important information and documents.

    You can manage people, projects and information inside and outside of your company, securely. It is available online, on mobile devices, on the desktop, via Microsoft Office applications, major business social networks and in multiple languages.

    Take a look at the facebook page for more cloud computing news and uses: http://www.facebook.com/huddle.net

  2. Great post. Your list of benefits, especially the point about the security concerns is spot on. In addition to the consumer focused cloud storage/service providers, there are also companies like Nasuni (www.nasuni.com) which provide more of a business oriented feature set, e.g. Active Directory Integration, ability to manage keys, CIFS and NFS support, etc.

    Another topic that has been coming up more in recent weeks has been that of comparing the cost of data stored locally vs. stored in the cloud. I recently responded to a similar question on Quora, you may find it interesting: http://qr.ae/V4Ro

  3. Mike Towers

    DropBox and SugarSync are the best cloud storage companies.
    Their systems are reliable, but easy to use.
    Use this link to open a DropBox account & you will get an additional 250Mb of free space. http://db.tt/rzorpr6
    Use this link to open a SugarSync account & you will get an additional 500Mb of free space. https://www.sugarsync.com/referral?rf=bixpe4rkf9o

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