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BizCloud® Network | December 19, 2014

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Pros and Cons of Using Cloud Storage Services

  • On April 18, 2011

Cloud storage services are sprouting like mushrooms. Among the many cloud computing services, cloud storage is one that the common public is very familiar with.

Just like cloud computing, there is a host of definitions on what cloud storage is. Probably the most common one is that it refers to online storage services accessed via the internet. However, there are those also available via a wide area network.

Cloud storage services are usually available for a fee (though some are offering ‘Free’ plans). Many providers offer a range of plans to allow users more choices to better find one that suits their needs. Dropbox, for instance, offers Basic (2GB, free), Pro 50 and Pro 100 (50 to 100GB, paid). Box.net, on the other hand, offers Personal (up to 50GB, free), as well as Business and Enterprise (500 GB to Unlimited, paid).

The reason why cloud-based storage services are popular is because they offer many benefits. Users find that: a) they are low-cost, b) provide backup services and recovery systems, c) do not need energy to power or cool them, and, d) they don’t require manpower to manage.

There are, however, a number of concerns related to cloud storage services. Most concerns raised by consumers are on the privacy and security of the information handed over to the cloud storage providers.

Because most providers have a large number of clients, there is concern that one customer’s information might be sharing the same storage space with that of another. If one customer’s information is compromised the possibility is there that the other customer’s data will be affected.

Another issue is on the use of authentication and encryption processes. Clients are concerned if the provider makes it a point to use different encryption keys for each customer. This is a concern since the decision rests (so far) on the cloud storage provider.

And, some consumers are hesitant to take advantage of cloud storage services because they deem it risky in the light that the infrastructure currently available has yet to be proven reliable.

Comments

  1. Michael

    Box.net's free personal storage is 5 Gb,not 50. Still, it's free.

  2. John

    I definitely see the IT industry heading in this direction, and security will be everyone's first concern when adopting this model. I think this will definitely be the main marketing tool that cloud computing providers will use to set themselves apart from one another.

    Several providers have been securing multi-tenant spaces for a long time now and many companies have developed advanced virtual and physical security solutions to prevent any type of security breech. The security solutions to manage cloud storage are available.

    I don't necessarily think the infrastructure is unreliable in all cases, but I do know, that (as with any other major change) people will be skeptical until they see others using cloud storage with success.

    In this economy where many businesses are looking for ways to reduce operating expenses and increase reliability I think that cloud storage will fit well into their business model. I don't see security or reliability being much of an issue for most companies as many of us get emails every day telling us that our servers will be down for maintenance and they are no more secure than any server on a cloud.

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