Into the Cloud
By Melissa Yee
Over the past few years, there has been a lot of hype about cloud computing. It has become the coolest new thing and many consumers and businesses have jumped aboard. It has been projected that cloud computing is the future of back up storage. It seems relatively simple and likeable. Cloud storage offers many benefits, such as being able to gain access to your data from almost anywhere. It offers you complete mobility and you don’t have to worry about backups. This has led many people to jump on the band wagon and into the Cloud. You can share almost everything from songs, to watching movies, to writing documents, or managing your business. Cloud storage sure has its upsides, but there are a few things to consider before switching over.
So what are the big differences between cloud and physical backup? Many believe that cloud storage saves you money. However, that is not always the case. Cloud services have monthly fees where as you pay one price for a physical back up. On the upside, Cloud services also do the hard work and constantly meet the needs of a growing business. It is easier for cloud servers to update their system. However, that doesn’t mean that your on-site backup method will become obsolete as your business grows. Pick and buy wisely when purchasing physical backup.
Some major concerns about cloud storage are security, accessibility, portability and the backup contents. Backing up your data to a cloud server takes your data out of your hands. Cloud servers promise that their systems have “hack proof” security. However, this won’t stop people from trying, and many so-called “secure sites” have been hacked… just look at the headlines. The best way to ensure your data is safe is to control it yourself.
Cloud storage does offer an advantage, easy mobility. You don’t need to carry a device with you as long as you have internet connection. However, moving all your information to a cloud server means you are dependent on that business. If that businesses server crashes, you will not be able to access any of your data. As long as that server is down you will not be able to run your business until their server is back up and running.
What can you backup to the cloud? Data. Data consists of all your user files, such as music, videos, documents and business information. What you cannot back up to cloud?; your whole computer. So this leaves installed programs, favorites and the entire Windows or Apple operating system out. In case of a problem due to a virus or hard drive crash, you first have to painstakingly rebuild the computer basics, install all of your applications, THEN start the recovery from the cloud. This process could take many hours or even several days.