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The cloud is a crucial part of our day-to-day lives. Whether as an individual or a business, cloud computing has become the most convenient mode of data storage and application use over the years. Data storage can make or break your business as a business or organization. According to statistics, medium-sized businesses suffer some form of data loss every five years, and the cloud helps resolve that issue.
Cloud computing has proven to be a convenient backup as it is frustrating to lose data stored in the cloud services. For some individuals or businesses, the cost of storage is an added expense they can avoid. In this article, we discuss cloud computing in detail and some of the pros and cons.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is an essential component of the cloud computing world. It is a service model that allows third-party storage and management of data that can be accessed and managed remotely. Everything we use and rely on on the internet is hosted in the cloud services. This includes email, video services like YouTube and Netflix, and old cloud computing systems like Dropbox.
Millions of people trust cloud technology for a reason. Unlike physical storage systems like your computer hardware, they allow easy access to large volumes of data. You no longer have to worry about your computer crashing because you were trying to load some data or install some software.
While cloud computing services are undoubtedly here to stay, it is essential to be aware of their pros and cons. Like any other product or technology, both sides of the coin need to be assessed in detail. That said, the benefits of cloud services are more than the risks.
Pros of Cloud Computing Services
Unlimited Storage Capacity
With cloud computing, there are no limitations when it comes to storage space. You can buy as much storage as you need. Limited storage was one of the barriers to traditional storage systems.
Additionally, you would need to purchase multiple hardware for storage purposes which meant your data was all over the place and therefore at risk. With cloud computing, you can buy as much space as you need, and trust me, there’ll still be more for everyone else. This makes it very easy to scale your business.
Automated backup and file/data restoration on Cloud Computing
If you ever used any traditional storage systems, you must have lost data at one point and had no way of retrieving or recovering it.
You can enjoy peace of mind with cloud computing systems as cloud backup services provide backup for your data and applications on a remote server. This ensures your data is safe and available in case of a natural disaster, power outage, and even system failures.
While this can be done on private servers, cloud services automatically backup all data and applications as standard practice. This hands-off approach means you will never have to worry about data loss.
Cloud Computing Advantages: Cloud Computing is Affordable
With cloud computing, you only need to pay a monthly subscription or yearly subscription, and you can enjoy the service for that period. This means you won’t be buying and managing applications, security, and software. You get one package covering everything, provided you have a trusted cloud service provider.
It relieves you of the cost of infrastructure and personnel you would have hired for the services. This means fewer administrative and management duties, which means savings and efficiency for your business.
Cloud Computing Advantages: Sharing and Collaborating
With cloud computing, sharing files and collaborating is much easier. Your entire team can quickly access files, making collaboration a walk in the park. Any changes to files are synched and updated instantly, ensuring seamless collaboration and efficiency. You will also have automatic software integration.
Advantages of Cloud Computing: Security
Getting the services of a professional cloud computing service means you will enjoy added layers of security for much more than you could implement on your servers. Data is shared over encrypted technology and can only be accessed with a password.
Cloud Computing Advantages: SpeedThe speed of data processing and transfer over a cloud service is commendable. Therefore, data transfer is much easier, and updates are made instantly across all servers in cloud storage.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing: Dependency on Internet Connection
One of the main disadvantages of cloud computing is that it entirely relies on the internet. This, therefore, means you cannot access the files if you are offline. This is because your data is stored on a third-party site which can cause downtime for your business if the internet connection is lost. Slow internet speeds may also slow down access to data. This is one of the main disadvantages of cloud computing.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing: Cloud Computing Privacy Concerns
With cloud computing, data privacy is an issue. It would be best to find a trustworthy cloud service provider as you are entrusting all your data to them. There have been cases of data breach and misuse, as seen in 2014 when Dropbox deleted user files due to a security glitch. Therefore, you must evaluate the cloud computing service provider you choose before subscribing to their services.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing: Bandwidth Limitation
Some cloud computing providers offer limited bandwidth, which means you will need to pay for any additional storage if your business exceeds the limit. While comparing cloud computing service providers, bandwidth subscriptions are something to consider. If all checks are met, providers that offer unlimited bandwidth should be the best choice, especially for businesses dealing with large data volumes.
Susceptibility to Attacks
Hackers are constantly coming up with ways of hacking cloud systems to gain access to crucial data. Using cloud computing means you are at risk of attacks as the internet isn’t a safe space. Data leaks, loss, or theft are some of the potential risks posed by cloud computing. However, most cloud infrastructure has measures to prevent such attacks. Data leaks can negatively impact your business, and viruses render your data unreadable and useless if your cloud storage is attacked.
Over the years, the costs of maintaining data in a cloud server may go up as your business grows. Subscription costs may go higher as your bandwidth increases. The additional costs of uploading and downloading files can add up quickly if you deal with many uploads and downloads. The cost of downloading data from your cloud computing is known as the egress charge. These charges can pile up quickly, leaving you with a hefty bill. While the upfront charges are attractive, these additional costs can dull your shine and reliance on cloud computing.
Some industries have regulations that prevent the use of public cloud technology. These compliance regulations affect businesses in health, finance, and publicly traded companies.
Lack of Control Over Your Data
It can be impossible to manage and customize your data when using a cloud computing service. Large companies with complex needs may find it challenging to customize cloud computing to suit their needs.
Difficult to MigrateSuppose the need to migrate your data from one cloud computing service to another cloud computing platform arises at one point. In that case, you will find it very difficult, mainly because you will need to rely on your service provider heavily. In addition, the migration of large amounts of data can be delicate as there are many complex issues to consider to prevent data loss and leaks.
Future of the Cloud Environment
There is a growing demand for cloud infrastructure. Statistics have shown that data storage demands are growing by about 40% each year. Cloud computing service providers are also flooding the market to meet the demand. The competition has led to the creation of a wide variety of features, prices, and attractive subscription packages. While the pros outdo the cons, it is crucial to audit the service provider you choose to ensure they are reliable and suitable for your business before you commit.