At present, cloud computing has become one of the “hot words” in the emerging technology field and service field, and a new storage model –cloud storage has been extended from the concept and practice of it.
Cloud storage is coming into our life through a variety of application services, gradually changing our perception of the traditional storage mode, and also constantly refreshing the file storage mode.
For most people, having a secure place to store their data is critical. This requires it to be highly secure, easy to access, and non-corruptible. Choosing cloud storage or hard disk storage is an important issue, it actually depends on the user’s usage and needs.
First of all, what are local storage and cloud storage?
Local storage: The process of storing digital data on a physical storage device such as a hard disk drive, solid state drive, or external storage device.
Cloud storage: The process of storing digital data in an online space spanning multiple servers and locations, usually maintained by a hosting company.
Second, in terms of building cloud storage services, it uses technologies such as virtualization and intelligent configuration to achieve massive, low-cost and low-energy shared storage resources. Essentially, the cloud simply provides an off-site, broad solution for storage.
Advantages of Cloud Storage
Accessibility: Cloud storage enables the users to access and share data on any device no matter where they work, as long as there is in the network environment. This connection can improve collaboration, work efficiency and business agility.
Collaboration: By accessing the same data, the team can share resources and work together effectively.
Disaster recovery: When a disaster occurs, the information system is destroyed, causing business interruption. Cloud providers can use the cloud solution platform to re-enable the data, hardware, and software equipment of the information system through pre-made plans. In this way, the normal data operations can be restored to ensure the continuity of business
Scalability of capacity: For cloud storage, the backup capacity is unlimited and can be obtained at any time. The organizations or individuals can rely on the unlimited expansion capabilities of the third-party cloud storage service providers without worrying about storage capacity issues.
When the company or organization grows, they find that their previous storage space is insufficient. If it was in the past, they must consider adding storage servers to meet the existing storage needs, while cloud storage service can easily expand the service space on the original basis to meet the needs of users.
In short, the advantages of cloud storage are scalability, off-site management, rapid deployment, and low upfront costs. In addition, in a world where more storage capacity is always needed, cloud storage could provide unlimited additional capacity.
But at the same time, cloud storage also has some unavoidable shortcomings, which are mainly focused on compliance, overall life cycle cost, security concerns, and speed issues. Also, if data sets are critical to the continued existence of an organization, they are typically not stored solely in the cloud.
Advantages of Local Storage
Simple operation: Compared with cloud storage, the operation of local storage is simpler. Just plug the hard drive into your computer, click the file you want to upload and drag it to the external hard drive. In addition, external hard disks are also useful for backing up or moving large files.
Fast access speed: When connected via USB, the speed is usually faster than Wi-Fi or even a direct network connection. When accessing files, the data on local storage is much faster than uploading and downloading to the cloud.
Security control: The user can completely control the data storage way, access authority, and information security protocol.
In general, local storage is simple to operate, but its full control may also affect usability and collaboration. The cost of buying a hard drive is fixed, and cloud providers work on a subscription basis, so users pay annually or monthly.
But once the storage space is found to be insufficient, upgrading or replacing the hard disk is not cost-effective. If unfortunately the hard disk is damaged, the data stored by the user will undoubtedly be lost or damaged.
For the average users, cloud storage may be a better solution: users can pay for the space they use and easily add more space. Because the cloud storage provider adopts a modern redundant system, the possibility of file loss is small or even close to zero. What’s more, the users can access files through a network connection from anywhere, including mobile phones or tablets, but external hard drives provide almost no special functions.
On the one hand, cloud storage providers provide multiple capabilities to easily synchronize, store, and share files. Continuous backup and file synchronization are advantages that hard drives don’t have. As long as the user is connected to the Internet, all of the user’s files will continue to be backed up and synchronized regularly. Not having to take the time to think about backups is a great convenience.
On the other hand, cloud storage has been evolving for a long time in terms of security. In some cases, it could even be considered more secure than having a hard disk. For example, if the user puts the file on the hard drive but does not encrypt it, if the hard drive is lost, then the data inside is easy to be illegally leaked.
In contrast, cloud storage providers provide powerful encryption capabilities. Users’ files are also more secure, thereby protecting them from damage or loss.
In conclusion, external hard drives have some advantages, which may attract some users in some special cases. But for general users, cloud storage may be more convenient.
The user’s files will be updated regularly and stored safely, and the cost is negligible. The risk of data corruption or loss is greatly reduced, and even if such a situation occurs, cloud storage providers will use relevant technologies to provide support and assistance. As a result, it may be even more advantageous.