Placement of data in cloud storage: advantages and disadvantages

In the modern world, having a website for a company or private entrepreneur is considered essential. Only in this way can potential customers of their products and services access them, obtain necessary information, and even place orders without the need for personal contact with employees. If it is a small firm, purchasing physical media (servers, cables, peripherals) and maintaining a whole team of IT specialists to service the website will not be cost-effective. Even providing web hosting through a third-party provider is not always justified. The optimal solution is considered to be placing one’s data in cloud storage.

Ways to use cloud storage

The main task of any cloud server is the safe storage of data placed there. It is precisely for the purpose of saving money on purchasing powerful physical media of large volumes that company executives switch to using virtual space. Over time, important information appears there, access to which, with the appropriate permissions, is assumed from a location other than the office.

Let’s list the most in-demand ways to use cloud storage:

  1. Hosting websites and related web applications operating via HTTP protocol.
  2. Placement of archival data, which occupies significant space on the company’s own servers.
  3. Placement of databases that are intended to be accessible 24/7.
  4. Hosting corporate applications to ensure smooth operation within the company. This achieves independence from setting up a workstation and force majeure circumstances, such as power outages.
  5. Storage of backup copies of corporate applications and used documents. This way, the principle of “not putting all your eggs in one basket” is observed.
  6. Saving video recordings from surveillance cameras. In this case, malefactors will not be able to cover up traces of their illegal actions by destroying physical media (recording device).
  7. Processing “raw” data. Sometimes there is a need to upload large volumes of primary material – audio and video files, logs, images, etc. – for a short period before sorting through them in search of necessary information.
  8. Collaborative data usage. In demand when working from different parts of the world and different time zones.
  9. Synchronization and timely updating of data. Corrections made in one place are relayed to various applications/websites.
  10. Using freely available software. Although demo versions have limited functionality, in most cases, it is sufficient for the needs of users and for a superficial acquaintance with the application.

Conclusion: Cloud servers provide more opportunities for the average user.

Advantages and disadvantages of hosting data in the cloud

Additional services from companies providing cloud hosting

Self-placement of data in cloud storage presupposes the presence of a company’s own IT department. After all, not every person is a universal specialist capable of simultaneously performing the roles of a database administrator, website administrator, content creator, manager, etc. As a rule, for manufacturers of goods and services not directly related to computer activities, maintaining a whole IT department becomes unprofitable. In such cases, this part of the work is outsourced, leaving one person in the staff as a liaison.

Abroad, services of this kind are divided into directions:

  • IaaS, from English “infrastructure as a service” – the use of someone else’s infrastructure. When the main goal of application is considered to be storing large volumes of data.
  • PaaS, from English “platform as a service” – the use of someone else’s platform. Essential for startups that enter with minimal investments. Developers do not need to update software versions, which significantly reduces the time to release.
  • SaaS, from English “software as a service” – the use of someone else’s developments/applications. There is no need to come up with your own text/graphics editor or accounting program if there are Google Docs, Designer Pro+, Canva, QuickBooks Online, etc.

Cloud servers: are there any disadvantages?

The main tasks performed in the cloud space and services that improve company operations were discussed above. Among the advantages of cloud storage, it is also worth mentioning:

  • Payment for actually used resources. If you only needed to store a large amount of data for a certain period and then freed up the cloud space – you no longer pay for it. The same goes for services that are periodically used for your work.
  • Confidence in data safety. Your website and other materials of your company are distributed among several physical servers. The failure of one of them will not result in the loss of all information.
  • Universality of the service. You independently choose the operating system and applications you work with – there is no strict binding, as if it were hosting from a provider.
  • Performance. High data transfer speed multiplied by maximum possible performance.

And what about the disadvantages? Are there any for cloud hosting?

As practice has shown, users of virtual space have only one risk – the failure of physical servers. This happened on March 5, 2024, when Houthi rebels in the Red Sea damaged four cables that provided internet and communication in the region. On this day, all subscribers of the social networks Facebook, Instagram, and Threads owned by the Meta company were thrown off their pages. However, if you look at this taking into account power outages due to weather conditions and other negative circumstances in our country, the uptime of cloud storage significantly exceeds other IT service solutions offered on the market.