Are There Advantages to Local Storage in the Era of Cloud?

Today is arguably the era of cloud computing with trends continually moving toward cloud storage for business of all sizes. But there are select groups who still prefer to utilize local storage. While the cloud has many positive aspects, there are some down sides as well. Because of these, there are businesses and government organizations who choose to utilize on premise management of their storage, and some others who are using a hybrid environment to make the most of both worlds.

Let’s explore some of these points on each side – pros and cons.

Downside of Cloud

One point that is unacceptable for this group is the cloud’s reliance on internet connectivity. If there is no internet, there is no access to data. Or if the internet speed is slow, the productivity drops dramatically. Access speed is always going to be faster with local storage, and in some professions like those in the financial business performing stock trading, every second counts. If you cannot afford this kind of standstill delay, using a cloud-only approach is not the best option.

The cloud also gives third parties direct access to your data. While cloud security is more secure than it’s ever been, for some entities like those in the government who possess large quantities of sensitive data, the risks associated with this are simply too high to go with a cloud storage model. They prefer full control of data backups, with select access among personnel, along with the ability to disconnect drives from the network to save the data from attacks.

Advantages of Cloud

Now, the cloud storage has many advantages as well, hence its popularity (particularly among small to mid-sized businesses).  It saves capital costs without the need to purchase more hardware, and is easily scalable for rapidly growing businesses. It makes it easier to implement a BYOD (bring your own device) model, as workers can connect from any location. It also offer assurances in the case of a hardware failure by minimizing the data loss in disaster scenarios. It also saves from costs of having physical space for hardware, as well as people to manage it. For these reasons, many SMBs have turned to the cloud.

Hybrid – Best of Both Worlds

While some organizations may not accept cloud storage under any circumstance, there are many instances when a hybrid model is advantageous to a business. Having on premise server hardware allows companies to be free of the dependency of an internet connection, and gives the added protection of a higher level of data security where required. Yet, it also allows them to take advantage of popular cloud solutions like Office 365, allowing employees to connect from wherever they may be working. Businesses can choose to have local backup storage for their cloud environments, and employees can utilize the local network for other desktop applications, files, and other local devices like printers.

The flexibility of a hybrid environment is why many businesses are turning to this model, according to the latest numbers from reports like the 2017 State of Cloud Survey by research group RightScale, which found that hybrid cloud is the preferred enterprise strategy. As cloud use matures, the study found that managing cloud costs has become a common challenge, with respondents reporting around 30 percent waste in spend. Managing wasted spend on cloud was the top priority among IT respondents of the survey.

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