The use of cloud services has expanded rapidly over the last decade, with a huge number of providers offering space to upload you data files. Most of these services provide a fairly modest free allocation, beyond which fees are payable. With the huge amount of data being created, this space is likely not to be large enough to store all the data you would like to back up.
There are many factors which determine whether the use of a cloud service provider is the correct choice. There are situations where it does not make sense to make use of a cloud service provider, despite the many useful features and benefits.
Data Volume and Transfer Speeds
In a news article we discussed the issues surrounding network speed, when it comes to restoring data from the cloud, and how once you reach terabytes of data, unless you have superfast broadband, it could take weeks to restore your data. In such a scenario it may be a lot faster and cost the company less to have a data recovery done.
With the bandwidth on most broadband services in the UK being asymmetrical, the upload speeds are in general considerably lower than the download speed available. This means that if you or your company create large quantities of data which need to be transferred, it could take a long time before all the data is synced across the connection. There are reports of some service providers who are not even able to utilise the full upload bandwidth. Using all of the upload bandwidth can also cause a saturation of the broadband connection, causing all other internet traffic to become slowed down.
Cloud services rely on installing software that runs on the client machine which synchronising of files as they changed. There are reports however that these do not operate correctly, which if left unchecked could result in some files being out of date, risking date loss, particularly when attempting to share files.
Another issue which has been seen is that with some software, it all too easy for a user to delete files from the cloud service. Again if this is not noticed, this can result in lost data. It is therefore of key concern, that if you do use a cloud service provider to back your files up, that you understand exactly how their software works, and keep regular checks to ensure that you are not risking your data.
Cloud and Data Recovery
Cloud services are largely sold on the idea, that when you suffer the loss of data on a machine, that you can easily download all the files from the cloud. As highlighted though, this whole process can suffer bottlenecks and potential problems, which may still lead to the need for data recovery.
When business continuity is of the utmost concern, it is extremely important to weigh up all the possible issues, to decide whether storing your data in the cloud is the major benefit it should be. It is a rude awakening for a company to realise that although their data is safe, it will takes days or even weeks to restore their files.