Cloud Storage vs. Local Storage

Hybrid Cloud Computing in Nashville, TN

You can’t have a conversation about modern IT without talking about cloud environments.

According to the “2022 Cloud Computing” study by Foundry (formerly IDG Communications), “69% of companies have accelerated their cloud migration over the past twelve months, and the percentage of companies with most or all IT infrastructure in the cloud is expected to leap from 41% today to 63% in the next eighteen months” (source).

But what exactly is a cloud?

A cloud is used to store and manage data in a way that lets you access it via the internet.

In a traditional network, you own the space you use (i.e., a physical backup drive or server on-premises). With cloud computing, however, you rent that space, paying a monthly or yearly fee for access.

You’re probably already connected to a cloud through apps like Dropbox, Gmail, Instagram, TurboTax, Canva, Evernote, LinkedIn . . .

local storage

Local Storage

What Is Local Storage?

Local storage for businesses is similar to having a secure filing cabinet in your office. Just like you store important documents, records, and resources in that physical cabinet, local storage keeps your digital files and data directly on your company's servers or network systems.

This means that employees can access the data and files they need without an internet connection, providing quick and direct access to critical business information.

Disadvantages of Local Storage

Local storage has its drawbacks:

  • Limited scalability. Local storage often has limited, fixed capacity that is determined by the hardware in use. As your business grows and generates more data, you may need to continually invest in additional storage hardware.
  • Higher upfront costs. Setting up and maintaining local storage typically requires significant upfront investment, including servers, storage drives, and networking equipment. These initial costs can be substantial for your business, especially if you have a limited budget and resources.
  • Maintenance and management. Local storage systems require ongoing maintenance, management, and monitoring. These ensure optimal performance and reliability. Your IT staff need to be able to handle hardware upgrades, software updates, data backups, and troubleshooting issues, all of which can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.
  • Vulnerability to physical threats. Local storage is susceptible to various physical threats, including theft, natural disasters, fires, floods, and power outages. These events can result in data loss, downtime, and disruptions to your business.
  • Security risks. Local storage systems may lack the advanced security features and protections offered by cloud-storage providers. Without robust security measures in place, data stored locally may be more vulnerable to unauthorized access, data breaches, and cyberattacks.

Advantages of Local Storage

There are some upsides to local storage:

  • Predictable scalability. If your business has stable storage needs, predictability can be good. You can plan your storage requirements without the need for continual adjustments or upgrades.
  • Direct control and customization. With local storage, your business has full control over its storage infrastructure. This ability to customize means you can meet specific requirements and compliance needs.
  • Reduced dependency on internet connectivity. Local storage ensures you have access to data—even in situations where internet connectivity is limited or unreliable. This can be critical if your business operates in remote areas or faces intermittent network outages.
Cloud storage

Cloud Storage

What Is Cloud Storage?

Cloud services are like having a virtual storage facility that's accessible from anywhere in the world. Instead of storing your important documents, records, and resources in a physical filing cabinet inside your office, cloud services store your digital files and data on remote servers managed by third-party providers.

This setup allows employees to access the data and files they need securely and from any location with an internet connection, offering convenient and flexible access to critical business information.

Disadvantages of Cloud Storage

Cloud storage does have some potential downsides:

  • Dependency on an internet connection. Cloud storage depends on a stable and fast internet connection. If your connection is slow or unreliable, accessing or transferring data to and from the cloud can be frustrating—or even impossible.
  • Security concerns. Despite advancements in security measures, you might remain concerned about the security of data stored in the cloud. Cybersecurity breaches can pose significant risks to sensitive information.
  • Vendor lock-in. Switching between cloud-service providers can be challenging and expensive. There might be compatibility issues, data-migration complexities, and even contractual obligations.
  • Data privacy and compliance risks. Depending on the type of data stored in the cloud, your business may face regulatory-compliance challenges related to data privacy, residency requirements, and legal obligations.

Advantages of Cloud Storage

Businesses like yours choose cloud computing because of the benefits, including:

  • Lower cost. With traditional networks, the larger your business, the more equipment you need. Cloud computing removes much of that, reducing the cost for data storage, backup servers, and software upgrades. In fact, a 2019 article in InfoWorld estimated a savings of anywhere from 25–75% over traditional networks, especially when it came to backup systems (source).
  • Scalability. The cloud grows as your company grows, with no need for additional hardware or software. Cloud providers can easily and quickly increase services that are critical to your company’s performance, like storage capacity, power, and speed.
  • Disaster recovery. Because your data is stored off-site and virtually, it’s always safe from both natural disasters (e.g., tornadoes, floods, and fires) and manmade disasters (e.g., ​ransomware attacks, hardware failures, and human error).
  • Automation. System updates, security patches, service packs, and data backups are performed automatically, keeping your hardware and/or software up to date and, therefore, more secure.
hybrid cloud storage

Hybrid Storage

The Best of Both Worlds?

Not every company is able to move to full cloud computing. For example, if your business wants to keep its file server on-site; if your network uses legacy applications; or if you need to keep Active Directory domain controllers on-site so your staff are ​​always able to log in using credentials.

Situations like these are why hybrid cloud environments were created.

Hybrid cloud storage keeps part of the network on-site and the other part off-site—i.e., in the cloud. This hybridization allows users to share data and applications securely and on-demand without going fully to public cloud usage.

Your network is the first half of the equation—the private cloud.

For the other half, you need to link to a public cloud.

WYRE Cloud Recommendations

We work with two public cloud providers that offer a wide range of features while truly standing up to the demands of businesses.

  1. ​​​Azure. Azure is part of the Microsoft family. In our experience, this is the public cloud service that integrates best with most mature small, medium, and enterprise businesses—especially if those businesses already rely on Microsoft infrastructure (Windows, Office, Server, SQL, etc.). Azure’s cloud-based services include application development, computation, integration, database services, data and analytics, IoT, networking, mobile, and cybersecurity (source).​​​
  2. Amazon Web Services. AWS is often preferred by businesses looking for a non-Microsoft option, especially web, software, and mobile application startups. AWS “offers a broad set of global cloud-based products, including compute [computation], storage, databases, analytics, networking, mobile, developer tools, management tools, IoT, security, and enterprise applications” (source).

You can see why WYRE has chosen to partner with Azure and AWS specifically—they offer everything businesses need to stay current, productive, and secure in a hybrid cloud environment.

In fact, AWS includes companies like Moderna, Siemens, Sony, GE, and Johnson & Johnson on its roster (source). And Azure is used by Walmart, Daimler, Walgreens, SEGA, and HCA Healthcare (source).

Is Cloud Computing Right for You?

Cloud and hybrid cloud environments allow your business to expand its borders and increase its capabilities with less cost, better efficiency, and more control.

WYRE can help you stay ahead of the technology curve, putting our extensive cloud experience to work for you. Whether you're in Nashville, TN, or anywhere else in the world, we'd love to work with you!

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