Smart business owners are always looking for ways to increase productivity, improve operations, and mitigate risks. One way many companies are achieving these goals is through the cloud. Unless your head has been in the clouds, you probably have heard about “The Cloud” before but might not know what it meant. Or, you heard about it, and the jargon used to describe it made little to no sense to you.
At EZComputer Solutions, we speak plainly, so our customers don’t have to waste extra energy trying to figure out what we’re saying. We put together this comprehensive guide to answer your most burning questions about how cloud storage works and its benefits. For over 15 years, we have been helping small to mid-size businesses like yours get the IT solutions they need to be profitable, successful, and productive.
1. What Is Cloud Storage in Simple Terms?
Instead of saving your documents, photos, emails, or other files to your device, you save them to remote computers, called storage servers, which are accessed through the internet. The servers are housed at a third-party data center. This third party is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the data servers, eliminating the need for you to worry about the integrity and security of your in-house file storage system.
Think of the cloud as a storage unit for your digital files. When you have too many possessions and not enough place to store them in your house, you rent a storage locker from a reputable storage facility that provides security for your belongings. You can access your items whenever you’d like by driving to the facility and getting what you need.
With the cloud, when you have too much data on your device, you rent cloud storage space from a third-party company that provides security for your data. You only pay for the amount of storage space you need and can increase or decrease storage as required. You can access your files whenever you like by connecting to the internet.
2. What Are the Advantages of Using Cloud Storage?
Using a cloud storage system, such as Microsoft 365, provides many advantages, like:
- Access your files and folders anywhere you have an internet connection
- Collaborate with others when you share files from the cloud
- Work from anywhere since you can have access to all your files and applications
- Prevent data loss by backing up your data to the cloud
- Scale your cloud storage options up or down as your business needs change
- Save money by eliminating the need for in-house data servers and employees to maintain them
- Improve data security because business cloud service providers are more secure than most small businesses
Your business will love cloud storage and all the fantastic benefits for your company. Employees will also love it because one of the most exciting benefits of how cloud storage works is working from home—or anywhere else in the world.
3. What Are the Disadvantages of Cloud Storage?
Like most technological advances, the cloud does come with some disadvantages. One of the most significant disadvantages is the loss of control. If your cloud storage provider needs downtime to perform updates, has glitches in their system, or experiences other issues, you may not be able to access your files until the problems are resolved.
Another disadvantage is that you need internet access to use your files. However, you can now get the internet nearly anywhere you go, so it shouldn’t be a significant issue. However, in the event of an internet outage, you also won’t be able to access your data.
4. What Are the Different Types of Clouds?
Talking about “the cloud” makes it sound like there is only one cloud. But in cloud computing, there are three commonly used types of clouds: public, private, and hybrid.
5. What Is Public Cloud Storage?
Public cloud storage is a type of cloud storage where a third-party company, like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, or Apple, stores the data for you on their servers. You access your data over the internet, and you use files on the cloud in the same way you would if they were saved to your device.
Keep in mind that just because it’s called “public” doesn’t mean your files are accessible to everyone. Cloud storage providers still provide secure data storage with better security than most small businesses can manage on their own.
Some cloud storage providers work by only offering cloud storage for certain services, like email or photo backups. However, others–like Microsoft 365–are for all types of file storage.
6. What Is Private Cloud Storage?
Private cloud storage works exactly like a public cloud, except it’s hosted on your company’s premises, rather than a third-party data center. Because it’s dedicated to a single organization, private cloud storage is often used by large enterprises who want greater control over the security of their data. The downside is that their IT departments are responsible for all the costs of protecting and maintaining the data servers
7. What is Hybrid Cloud Storage?
Hybrid cloud storage is a blend of public and private clouds. A hybrid cloud is when a company uses both types of clouds to store its files. Hybrid cloud storage offers the best of both worlds in terms of flexibility and security. You can choose which cloud to use for different files. For example, you may keep proprietary and confidential data on your private cloud and other files for collaboration on the public cloud.
8. Is Cloud Storage Only Used for Backups?
Cloud storage is a great option to ensure your data is routinely backed up and secure. However, it’s not only for backups. You can use cloud storage to share files, work remotely, access applications on the go, and so much more. Cloud-based backups are generally more secure and reliable than in-house backups, so if your company is still backing up data to tapes, you need to contact EZComputer Solution to make the switch to cloud-based backups now.
9. What Type of Cloud Storage Should I Use and Why?
Microsoft 365 is a fantastic cloud storage service provider for small businesses like yours. It makes file storage and collaboration easy with SharePoint and OneDrive. Plus, you get access to the full suite of Microsoft Office products, like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
You can also get enterprise-level email, so you no longer need to use @outlook.com or @gmail.com for your company email addresses. The best part? It’s affordable for small businesses, and EZComputer Solutions can help you transition your company to using Microsoft 365, so you get all the benefits of cloud storage and computing.
Get Started with Cloud Storage Today!
Now that we’ve answered how does cloud storage work, you can see why so many businesses are moving toward the cloud for file sharing, collaboration, backups, and cloud computing. It’s a fantastic business decision that can reduce risk, improve productivity, and save you money. Contact EZComputer Solutions today to see how the cloud can help your business!