How you store your data can make all the difference in the efficiency of your business operations. With the need to increase efficiency while cutting costs, choosing between cloud storage and an in-office server room can be a challenge. To ensure you make the right choice that fits your company’s data storage needs, you need to have accurate information about your options. Read on to learn more about each data storage option, so you can settle for the one that makes the most sense for your business.
What Are In-Office Server Rooms?
In-office server rooms are data storage solutions that you keep within your business’s premises. Usually, your company is solely responsible for procuring, installing, controlling, and maintaining the server room. Your in-house IT team or third-party IT support also manages the servers, and data storage infrastructure and equipment are usually within your business premises. With an in-office server room, you can share company data and other information between your company computers and storage network.
What is Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage is a storage solution where a third-party provider like Microsoft or Google hosts your data. The cloud storage provider controls everything, ranging from procurement and installation to maintenance and offering support for the IT infrastructure and necessary equipment in their data centers to keep it running optimally. You can manage your account and access your data and applications in the cloud through the internet.
Pros and Cons of In-Office Server Rooms Vs. Cloud Storage
With many businesses moving towards cloud storage, it may seem like the best option for your company. Before you decide to take your data to the cloud, you need to understand the pros and cons of both in-office servers and cloud storage. Below are the pros and cons of in-office server rooms and cloud storage based on crucial differentiating factors that determine their suitability.
When choosing a data storage solution, you want one that is cost-effective and delivers value for your money. In-office server rooms are more costly than cloud storage as they require high capital investments. Besides acquiring equipment and setting up the infrastructure, you also incur maintenance costs and the expenses of maintaining an in-house IT department for maintenance and support.
With time these costs can add up as your data capacity increases, stretching your finances in the long term. If you need to replace parts or upgrade, you will have to invest in additional hardware and software. Since the server rooms are on your premises, you have to consider the cost and availability of space.
Cloud storage is cost-effective as providers offer the service on a subscription basis. What’s more, you don’t incur the costs of procurement, installation, and maintenance of the data center. You also get access to new technologies and upgrades without spending extra on equipment or software.
With cloud storage, you only pay for the services you need. You also save on utility costs as you require less energy to run it. Keep in mind that charges differ with providers. Compare different vendors to get a solution that meets your data storage needs within your budget.
Data storage needs usually change with time. When setting up your in-office server room, you have to commit to scaling it in the future, which also requires time, labor, and financial investment. With the increase in storage capacity needs, you will have to acquire additional hardware, software, computing power, and memory.
Most businesses seldom make these arrangements from the onset, making it a challenging task to scale up data storage capacity when the time comes. If the increase in demand is short-term, the investment will be inefficient and wasteful as you spend lots of resources for a one-time need.
Cloud storage allows you to scale up or down depending on your data storage capacity changes without taking much of your time or finances. When your data needs or budget is low, you can buy a smaller package to save on costs while meeting your data storage needs. The same is also true for when your data storage needs increase. You can scale upwards and downwards or in and out using in-built features with only a few clicks. It, therefore, saves you the hustle and costs of manually stacking up servers and equipment to accommodate the new demand.
The decision to stick with either on-premise servers or cloud storage relies heavily on available data protection and security. Most businesses feel like in-office servers offer more threat protection as they have total control over everything on the premises and no third-party providers accessing their data. While it may be true, you will also need to create, implement and maintain a security system to safeguard your data center, which requires expertise and regular monitoring.
Your cloud storage service provider helps keep your data storage secure and protected. World-class cybersecurity experts work tirelessly to secure your cloud storage, guaranteeing high-level security and threat protection. Also, reports show that cloud storage suffers up to 60% fewer security issues than on-premise or traditional storage options. However, note that the security of your data and applications is still your company’s responsibility.
Accessibility and Data Back-Up
When you choose an in-office server room, your data storage will be easily accessible to other staff members and relevant parties in the office. Also, you don’t need a good internet connection to access your data as on-premise solutions do not require internet.
However, if you don’t incorporate a remote access solution, an in-office server room will limit access to only those physically in the office. Given the growing popularity of remote work, on-premise server rooms can be a stumbling block to achieving this flexibility. Also, you require an offsite backup option to avoid data loss in case of disasters.
Storing your company data in the cloud means you can access it anywhere, given you have a good internet connection. With this in mind, a disaster like a fire or a flood will not stop your business operations as employees can still work remotely, as long as they have internet.
Therefore, you have to invest in a good internet connection as it can make or break your company’s productivity. Fortunately, cloud storage comes with features that minimize and mitigate data loss in case of a disaster, like automatic backup, monitoring, failover, and in-built redundancy. You can also automatically generate large amounts of data within minutes.
Complying with existing rules and regulations protects your company from fines and audits. With an on-site data center, you need to have the team and resources to ensure your systems are compliant and in line with the law. In case of issues, you are solely responsible, and you may suffer fines and penalties.
Most times, you don’t have to worry about compliance issues with cloud storage. Providers have a team of experts who ensure they meet all the compliance needs, including industry-specific requirements for businesses in areas like health, finance, government, and media. While your provider can help, the burden of ensuring compliance still falls on your company. Ensure your cloud storage providers show you compliance certificates and meet all your business compliance needs before transacting.
With the above information, it is no doubt that cloud storage has the upper hand. It is especially ideal for small businesses with limited resources that seek to enjoy convenience, data security, and efficiency
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