Moving Data to the Cloud: The Complete List of Pros and Cons

“Moving data to the cloud” is one of the most trending topics in the modern world. Cloud computing has become a new reality, allowing companies to store data online and streamline workflows between employees no matter where they are located. Here are pros and cons of moving data to the cloud .

The first thing you need to know about the pros of “moving data to the clouds” is that there are many pros indeed!  Let’s list them all down:

High-availability storage:

With cloud storage, downtime becomes an impossibility. Even if your server crashes because it got hit by lightning, you can pretty much count on losing some files because those will be stored on a single drive (or set of drives). If your data is stored on the cloud, you will never have this problem.

Storing data in the cloud can scale infinitely:

Unlike traditional hosting providers, who often limit storage space to a couple of terabytes, cloud computing allows users to upload as many files as they want and need. It’s important to note that it does not change anything for consumers, but businesses may enjoy the scaling pros immensely!

Reliable backups:

They say there are two types of sysadmins in this world – those who have lost their data because of disks dying and those who don’t know it happened. Cloud storage ensures that you will never lose your precious files ever again. If something happens with your hard drive or server, all the data will be synchronized and backed up on the cloud, available for you to download/use at any time.

Cloud computing provides more security than traditional hosting:

Because data is synchronized and backed up on multiple servers, there is virtually no way your data gets corrupted or something like that! Also, with cloud providers giving users private encryption keys, it becomes practically impossible for unauthorized parties to access the files without proper authorisation!

Lower costs of storage and bandwidth:

While the pros of moving data to the clouds depend entirely on providers and their pricing plans (which vary greatly), in some cases having your data on the cloud can actually help save money. For example, companies which rely heavily on streaming services (think Netflix) may see a dramatic decrease in their bandwidth bills thanks to using cloud hosting.

Of course, moving data on cloud is not all pros. There are some cons as well!

Poor cloud storage performance:

While there are many providers who offer great speeds, for many users it’s simply too slow to upload files or modify/delete them online. Because of this, data often needs to be downloaded and used on local machines which may affect overall productivity if not handled properly. To avoid this problem, you can always opt for a content delivery network service that will offload your static assets closer to where they’re being called from using distributed servers. This is how popular websites like Facebook and YouTube work – by delivering your content via multiple machines located across the Internet.

Security concerns:

Because data is being stored in one place, it has to be ultra secure. Even if you have a private encryption key, there is still a chance that someone will get access to servers and start deleting or modifying files (which can even lead to legal consequences for the company operating them). Also, some private cloud providers may sell your data without asking for permission! So, make sure you’re dealing with a reputable provider !

Lack of control over the infrastructure:

Another cons of moving data on clouds is low cost of maintenance. Once hardware is set up properly, there’s not much users need to do (except paying hosting bills). However, this benefit also brings cons of low control over server configuration. If you really want more control over the infrastructure, you should consider hosting data on your own hardware, virtualized environment or colocation data centre.

Information technology areas which rely on high performance (think HPC clusters) will often require custom setups that can’t be achieved with pre-configured software packages offered by cloud providers. Depending on the needs of customers, many companies will prefer to host their servers in house.

These are pros and cons of moving data to the clouds. Make sure to hire a reliable cloud computing provider if you want to take full advantage of these pros.

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