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The pros and cons of cloud storage

A checklist to help organizations examine the cloud storage market.

Storage requirements are growing exponentially and, as a result, companies are looking for alternatives to traditional tape-based solutions. The cloud can provide a cost-effective storage alternative, but it may not be the right solution for every case. Logicalis, an international IT solutions and managed services provider, has provided a list of the top pros and cons to a cloud-based storage solution to help organizations determine whether this cost-effective alternative to tape will work for their specific requirements:

The top pros and cons of cloud storage

Pros
1. Offsite storage. Cloud-based storage is not typically housed on the business’ own premises, making this a pro by providing a second offsite copy of the company’s data; this may eliminate the need for a separate service to store backups offsite.

2. Automated backup. Cloud storage can enhance backup automation by providing the ability to make immediate offsite copies of a company’s backups. Many leading-edge backup and archival products have been tightly integrated with cloud-based storage to make backing up to off-site cloud storage very simple and hassle-free.

3. Lower cost. The cost can be much less than traditional direct-attached or SAN-based storage. This may occur for several reasons. Cloud storage is a traditional Tier 2 or 3 type of storage providing a lower-cost storage platform. It is frequently a shared infrastructure, again driving down the base costs. Finally, cloud storage can be consumed on an as-needed basis, allowing end users to only pay for the storage they are actually using while they are using it.

4. Policy-based administration. The day-to-day administration of cloud-based storage is typically managed by the provider on a policy basis, freeing the end user from this responsibility. This allows in-house people to set plans for future growth and focus their time and energy on IT activities that will contribute to the company’s competitive advantage in its unique market or industry.

Cons
1. Off-site storage. This is on both the pro and the con list. Since the storage of data in the cloud is generally provided off-premise, which means it is outside the business’ direct control, storage clients must rely on the cloud provider to keep data both secure and available, making it critical to choose the right solution provider as a cloud partner from the start.

2. Slower I/O responses. Cloud storage is not normally considered a high-performance platform, and transactional systems would normally not be good candidates for cloud storage because of their response time requirements. The I/O response time of data stored in the cloud is much slower than direct-attached or SAN-based storage.

www.us.logicalis.com

•Date: 27th July 2012 • World •Type: Article • Topic: Cloud computing

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