Cloud Storage is cheap? Think again, Cloud Storage vs. Local Storage compared

Cloud Storage had been considered cheap and effective when it comes to Cloud Computing vs. Ordinary Computing. Let’s face the hard facts, Cloud Storage can be much more costly than a local storage for your ‘Sensitive and Secure’ data.

Here are the Top 10 reasons why Cloud Storage is ultimately costly than your local storage or a local server.

Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Box and so on provide enterprise level cloud storage for free and paid plans. Though the free versions are often for enthusiasts, the paid ones are for serious Cloud Computing guys.

Cloud Storage vs. Local Storage - CloudPlugged
Cloud Storage is a mix of all the tools you do on your desktop but with advanced technologies

Paid versions of Cloud Storage are cheap at the start but they tend to be more costly as the time and data storage increases.

Here are a few reasons why Cloud Storage is not cheap for daily users. We have considered the general issues that end users face and have reported them here.

1. Storage Access time: ‘The Cloud is fast, Cloud Computing is redundant’, this is the general ideology of the starters in Cloud Computing. In practice to access a local storage, you don’t need an internet connection and also the speed of access and the time taken will be less. If you consider a Cloud or online storage then you need an internet connection and also time of access will be 2x slow no matter even you have enterprise grade Cloud Storage plans at hand.

2. Unforeseen Costs (Bandwidth): Most people generally don’t consider bandwidth usage for Cloud usage. Though you have a Tier 1 Bandwidth based plans for Cloud Storage in the end you only need your local desktop or laptop to access it. The bandwidth usage at this local level is often misjudged.

Apart from bandwidth, you need a top notch connection like Google Fibre for uninterrupted connectivity.

3. Size of Files in Cloud Storage: The files that can be stored in the Cloud must be always small in size. If you consider uploading GB’s of files the connectivity will pose many issues both on your local and cloud machines. The size of the data also influences the CPU usage of the Cloud machine your data is stored in. Often due to some buffer overflow or similar issues your connection might be dropped thereby wasting some bandwidth for you instantly.

Apart from file size, you can’t just Zip, Unzip, RAR etc. on your files if they are on a Cloud Storage. Compression saves us local disk space.

4. Cost of the Cloud Storage: You can easily buy a local hard disk of your choice under or at 100 $. Cloud Storage on the other hand is available from 20$ and above. These costs are fixed on your local machine, but they are increasing linearly when you consider collaboration in the Cloud. You won’t get the facility for more number of users to access the files unless you are on a costly plan of the Cloud Vendor.

5. Backup/Restore: An area where Cloud Computing is still failing. Backing up your data on a local machine can be a copy paste function, but on your Cloud it is a Costly function. Backing up data on something virtually spread all across different locations is a real pain for the server admins and also the location to where the backups will be sent must be carefully chosen.

Restore functionality is a very tough task in Cloud as the data is to be traversed back to multiple servers without any complications and changes in the data.

Perhaps Restoring data is the most expensive part of Cloud Computing than backups.

6. Security: The best myth on Cloud Computing that ‘Cloud Computing is highly insecure’.

Though Cloud Computing is secure, your data isn’t unless you take necessary steps to protect it

Securing your personal or business data can be easy on a local level than on a global cloud level. You can’t just lock or password protect something in the Cloud that easy. There are several databases and application depending on it and locking the data is like shutting down everything. On the other hand, if you leave it unprotected then you are leaving your Cloud ripe for security beaches.

You need to carefully plan and strategize your Cloud protection mechanisms and also get some advice from protection from experts before doing anything stupid. Again, local storage is simple like lock and load.

7. Cloud Vendor Outages: When the Cloud vendors face an outage, you don’t have access to your data unless you have multiple cloud instances running to keep your data stable and safe at all times. In case of Microsoft SkyDrive, Google Drive, Box, Drop Box etc. the servers are already preconfigured to face the outage issues with zero or minimum downtime.

You won’t have any problems with them unless you are on a private or hybrid configured cloud. You need a personal configuration policy in case of redundancy and uptime.

8. Sharing of Data through Cloud based identity access: Data can be easily shared when on a local machine. You don’t need any huge transfers or schedules for doing it. In case of Cloud Storage, the data sharing with colleagues and collaborators needs cloud based access management which in turn is a costly solution.

9. Service Level Agreements (SLA): SLA’s are framed by every Cloud business solutions provider these days. They can help is saving your money when the fault is on their side or during an outage. But think, you can get your money or credits back but you lose access at the right time when you need it. So SLA can merely help you with uptime or security.

10. Term of Storage:  The more you store your data, the bigger plans you need to purchase for further operations. Amazon had provided AWS Glacier for long term data storage when you need to store data that is not needed daily. Such options are not widely available yet for all types of users which makes it a small but a sincere drawback.

Note: These drawbacks are not necessarily present in all the Cloud Storage services. These are just the basic problems that end users face while using Cloud Services. There are Cloud Storage services where some of these problems are already solved while some have these issues still. We can’t afford the process of comparing each and every Cloud Storage service available right now but we might be able to do it in near future. Don’t assume Cloud Storage to be a waste of time, they have their own advantages.

When you are choosing a Cloud Storage, make a decision if you really need all your data in the Cloud. Categorise your personal, private and general data and store them in Cloud and Local storages according to the right security your data needs.

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