- The benefits and drawbacks of public cloud
Cloud Storage has increased in popularity with services like Dropbox and Google Drive. These products have made it simple to synchronize files between your phone, desktop, laptop, and tablet. The companies that offer this service have sophisticated redundant data centers where downtime becomes almost nonexistent, providing the ability to get your files anywhere, anytime, from any device.
While this may sound very attractive, there are some drawbacks. One obvious downside is the need for a reliable high-speed Internet connection in order to access your files, assuming they are not being stored locally in addition to the cloud. For this reason, cloud does not compete well with a local file share where access speed and time to open a file are critical. Even opening a simple Word document can be frustrating when downloading from the cloud when you are used to a local file share.
Certain use cases are certainly more suited towards cloud computing. Many companies are using cloud storage as their preferred backup storage, since it is offsite. Should anything happen to the primary location; users are able to switch over to the cloud location, providing a fantastic option to prevent downtime or data loss.
Another common complaint with cloud computing is that companies are unaware of where their data is physically being stored; this is done by the hosting company to provide extra security. However some companies have restrictions on whether sensitive data can leave the country or even their own premises. Of course, just because data is in the cloud with a reputable hosting provider does not mean there will never be a security breach. With the media making some of these security breaches very visible (think Amazon), many companies are not willing to take the risk.
With all of this considered, Able One typically recommends that a business use secure private storage but take advantage of cloud technology such as ownCloud or similar.