In a previous article, we talked about the fundamentals of cloud storage, we tried to solve this puzzle once for all for the laymen. Many of our readers not only liked the post but also contacted us to publish the second part of it as soon as possible. As promised, here we are with the benefits of cloud for the companies.
Cloud Storage -Implementation
A storage in the Cloud that is already in the phases of Implementation or Use of this technological change, will not force to have the files copied in our devices. It will be understood, with the passage of time, that doing things like this we lose the fundamental characteristic of unlimited capacity. In addition, this type of storage provided by the virtual disks gives another type of related problems: consistency of the data when producing conflicts with the files, security, virus attacks and control of access to documents.
As the storage in the Cloud becomes known and the mentality of the users evolves, the demands and forms will change. Two decades ago Google did not exist and the most used search engine was Yahoo. Half a century ago, the only car produced in series was a Ford. The first versions have a wide initial implementation although they may not be the definitive ones in the long term.
The greats of computer science know that the user has the fear of the transition phase of technology, that’s why everyone is offering solutions based on virtual disks and synchronizers. It’s as if when they started using the email they had put a big “print” button on top of the emails. The influence of the greats of the computer world is so great that there is a very high percentage of users who understand that cloud storage is related to file synchronization.
The Cloud Storage supply chain.
Cloud Computing and in our case Cloud Storage is an industry that moves billions of euros worldwide. As in any industry there are a number of suppliers and retailers. Being technology, the actors involved are small. Retailers will be those services or applications that provide a storage product directly to the customer. Normally they are those applications that can be downloaded and start using in a free version.
Virtual disks are basically synchronizers. The synchronizers work by sending the files from our computer to the Cloud. Some folders that are kept updated to and from the Cloud are determined. If there is a new file in the Cloud it is downloaded in our folders, if there is a new file in our folder, it is uploaded to the Cloud. They are very appropriate for individual use.
On the other hand, there are the Document Management systems, designed for companies, designed for group work, allowing users to control access while maintaining security and control over stored files, another difference is that they do not require synchronization to work with the files.
We have commented that cloud storage exists wholesalers. What these wholesalers do is provide that unlimited storage to user applications. For practical purposes it is as if those applications used a huge hard drive to save the files. When an application is used, it in turn uses a large vendor’s storage space.
There is a lot of confusion with Cloud providers, applications or retailers are often confused with large providers. This happens even in technology blogs.
In many cases this confusion is intended by some who want to gain notoriety by joining the wave of Cloud Computing. There are many types of top-level providers, in our case we have focused on those that provide cloud storage, but there is already a wide variety of services. For example, IBM offers a Cloud service that provides artificial intelligence capabilities through Watson.
Is the cloud safe? Cloud computing security
Let us now enter into the controversial issue of cloud security, since the area of computer security is what many find most complex.
A virtual environment does not have to be less secure than a computer system located in the company’s premises. In the cloud we work with computer servers that have all the security measures: antivirus, firewall, server monitoring and maintenance. In fact, many corporate IT teams have fewer and worse security measures than cloud service providers.
On the other hand, installing a private network through which different terminals can connect to the same management software can lead to numerous maintenance costs, in addition to acquiring adequate hardware for its implementation. If we want to take advantage of working online, the cloud offers us a more versatile and effective solution.
Do we differentiate the straw grain?
To differentiate well the straw grain. We would have to exclude from the list of suppliers. To those who only do web page and email hosting. As much as you include the Cloud in your advertising, you don’t do Cloud Computing. Cloud providers offer services through a thing called computing (Application Programming Interface). These APIs are used by application programmers to connect their systems to providers. For example WhatsApp can save your photos on Amazon. Also your favorite Weather app on your mobile connects with an API. That is to say to a meteorological service to obtain the data to show you.
Therefore, applications or services use these providers to store the files. When users upload or synchronize files with a given application, they are stored in the space that those applications have contracted with the provider. We will put two examples: Dropbox stores in Amazon, Dataprius stores in Azure.
Where are our files?
Final storage is of the utmost importance. It is the final place where the archives reside and this has legal and technical repercussions. Application or service providers must be transparent when declaring what storage they use and where it is located.
In Europe, data protection laws are very strict. Any storage outside the territories of the European Union may violate these regulations. There are suppliers such as Azure, which is located in Ireland, certifying compliance with data protection laws at European level.
The advantages of cloud storage for companies.
Companies around the world are migrating their files to cloud storage services. The advantages it offers are decisive and there is an urgent need to free yourself from the old infrastructure. It is about having outsourced services that save costs of dependence on physical elements such as servers and hard drives. Companies need mobility and access from anywhere to their data and documents.
Below we show a summary of the advantages for companies:
Access to documents at any time and from any place and with different devices. It is not dependent on a computer or a device to have a certain document at hand, it is in the Cloud and therefore it is anywhere where we have an Internet connection.
Access Unlimited capacity, use of resources according to needs. Cloud Storage adapts to the needs of each individual or company. The Cloud allows payment for use and as a service. The resources are used efficiently and even ecologically.
Teamwork and collaboration is the basis of the new economy. Documents stored in the Cloud are available for work teams and project development. No one has to swim looking for files and documents scattered in different places. The Cloud is the central place where the information resides.
When you bought a certain software and hardware, you were captive of a system for years. Online storage allows the freedom to change the system whenever you want. You just have to download the stored files and pass them to another provider.
The cloud storage provider has exceptional security measures. It has teams and personnel dedicated exclusively to this work.
In the company. The use of the Cloud for online storage allows savings of up to 40% in hardware and software. Of 31% in labor costs of computing and 80% in energy consumption of equipment.
The company can demonstrate to its customers that it deals with the proper handling of its documents. When you use quality cloud storage. It is demonstrating legal compliance with privacy and data protection regulations. In addition, it also deals with the protection of its clients’ files and documents.
Cloud storage prospect.
Cloud storage is already widely used by companies and individuals worldwide. Immediately the question arises as to what its evolution may be. After all, we are facing systems that with more or less features only store in the Cloud and allow file sharing. Everything indicates that the systems will evolve offering new functionalities and integration with other systems.
As examples of integration we have some systems and applications that already offer facilities for using Microsoft Office files. Another example is how Dataprius integrates with Outlook to save email attachments. These are shy steps in compatibility and integration. The truth is that the possibilities are endless and depend largely on user demand.