I would prefer to own my own storage in the cloud and have control of the infrastructure. I'd like flexibility to engineer that infrastructure, too. Egnyte is a good example of at least at higher tiers giving you some flexibility on security and deployment and at ever level you have a blended cloud/synch potential. But it could be more flexible and it's somewhat silo'd into cloud file sharing. With storage being so cheap, why not let me pack images of machines on the cloud without having to jump through hoops. Or why not let me have apps that run in the cloud, data connected to cloud, synchronized, to certain LAN devices. I want choice. I want open. I want to feel all the legos exist to get where I want to go.
I use my own personal storage for keeping all my working files on day to day. However, I use the cloud as a backup for all my computers.
The reason for doing this is because I don't want to be in the situation where my work becomes unavailable if there is a cloud outage. Which could be any of comms line(s) out of building breached, comms trunk/routers to your site breakdown or simply power off (and yes I know they have backup power for 5 days - what happens after 5 days?)
There is no perfect solution or answer when it comes to storage and services. You need to estimate your requirements, scalability, performance and security; and then collate the information in two categories i.e. cloud vs personal. Cloud is surely easy to deploy, easy to manage and easy to scale. Personal is easier to control, secure and probably you get better performance if good hardware is thrown at it. However, we live in times where we have to focus on what is core or important for our business. Anything non-core should be buy and discard. Answer is in striking balance and maintaining pragmatism!
It is going to depend on several factors. If it is a small to medium amount of storage and they can help with Disaster Recovery and failover in a timely manner I would say that was the way to go. Having managed 4 Petabytes of storage across 24 colos I would say you are better off doing Cloud as well. But it comes down to finance. I had a storage team of only 8 at the that company. You have to weigh the cost of headcount, cost of ownership and maintenance contracts and colo cost against what the cloud provider is going to cost. My biggest problem with cloud is response in an outage. What SLA will the give you on outage response, is it adequate for your needs. These all need to be weighed to make the decision. Also if you are a small or startup your time to get it up and running is going to be faster with cloud. I hope this helps.
I'm old school and a control freak when it comes to backing up & sharing our files :)
I prefer my own storage with double backups. Recent cloud outages and price changes really scare me.
I must clarify though that we handle a lot of confidential information and large video files. So the storage solution is best for our purposes, while cloud could work for other models and businesses.
Speaking from the point of view of our company we have recently moved everything from our server to Microsoft Office 365, incorporation SharePoint and our own individual and shared SkyDrive accounts. As long as there is security in place to protect your data, and the data centre in which it is stored complies with your local laws you should be fine. Leave the maintainence of the infrastructure elsewhere, and there would be no big bills or loss of data if your own server goes down. I would still recommend that you back up your data unless your cloud provider offers some form of guarantee against loss of data.
Scalability, quality of service, security and features at a fraction of the cost of developing it yourself. A general rule of thumb says you save 70% of the development cost of an app with a cloud backend.
Well, I might be biased running a niche mobile backend-as-a-service startup for mapping and positioning apps, pingpal.se :)
I don't get it. What about just uploading the files as non-searchable files to your own website?? You can still access them from any computer. If you think you'll forget the urls, just e-mail them to yourself. Save the e-mail, so the link can be found from any computer by logging in. Click your link, then POOF! There are your files. My site gives me unlimited file storage.
Did no one else think of this, or is there a down side to this I am not seeing??
I would opt for a combination of your own storage and cloud-based tools, as others have stated. Having worked in the healthcare space and on military contracts, very few cloud-based tools currently have the security and privacy controls that such industries require (although this is improving). Where security and privacy are less a concern such as routine document sharing, then cloud storage is a much more cost-effective strategy.
I prefer cloud. Preferrably Bitcasa. Was a bit skepticle at first but have grown to appreciate it for what it does. The infastructure of building your own may not be as secure if your background isn't lengthy in the hosting industry. Unless you take on someone to manage your own hosting. With Bitcasa, they don't have access to your storage at all so basically it's like having your own personal storage. I used Drop Box but eventually converted over because Bitcasa offers what Drop Box does and more. Check it out!
Thank You @all for valuable comments. It's obvious there is no single best-for-everything solution, it is a spectrum as Michael described.
Yet, there is a lot of untapped potential in own storage solutions, especially in space of sharing and secure access to big files / big data. Offsite cloud always means moving large amounts of data, increasing risks involved.
I believe better onsite software can resolve most of needs in therms of access, sharing and backup.
We are working on solution for that spectrum range at sher.ly
Speaking as a guy who spent a decade in the hosting industry, unless security and privacy are core services you provide that your customers pay you for, I would wholeheartedly recommend the cloud. Maintaining your own infrastructure, fighting the daily fights against intrusions and DDoS attacks, upgrade and version control management, not to mention recruiting and staffing and overhead costs - all these are expensive and complicated. Significant ROI needs to exist to justify taking them on.
By the way - it's not necessarily a binary solution, there's a spectrum. You can manage your own datacenter, co-locate your own hardware in someone else's datacenter, hire a service to manage power/pipe/ping and essential services on your own boxes (while using your own people to manage your applications and data), or even get into a shared environment where you share the cost of everything with other businesses. Cloud is just one possible solution.
Why keep the maintenance of the storage? Let someone else do it in the cloud! Make sure you have security features available to ensure the integrity of the data for loss prevention and access control.
At ForgetBox, we're working on just that. Our product launches soon :)
We love owning our storage!
I think you answered your own question looking at your comments. Storage is very inexpensive now. If protecting intellectual property, trade secrets, customer data, etc. is a concern store and secure it yourself. Depending on the volumes you have you might consider a hybrid approach OR store the primary data yourself but use the cloud for encrypted backups. This would get the data offsite for DR purposes and eliminate the need to backup to disk and store disks somewhere secure and remote. If you choose to go cloud route read the SLA's very closely and find out how company backs up your data and how you get your data back if you want to change vendors and the costs involved. There are many more considerations but I think those are key ones to consider. p.s. typically with free (or near free cloud storage) you get what you pay for.
If you are concerned about security with the cloud you may want to check out LogMeIn's new offer of Cubby. It works a lot like Dropbox but allows for file encryption. https://cub.by/i/00_V0WmhdGGOAe
I would definitely use the cloud. I use dropbox to store all of my design work and i have a folder called portfolio where i load my designs and when I'm in a meeting i can pull up that folder and show my potential client work I've created.
I also had a crash a few years ago and lost 2 years worth of design work because i had my artwork stored on my hard drive so that caused me to search for a solution that is cloud based.
it depends mostly on the type of data and the relative value that it creates for your organization. in general I would say that petty stuff you may want to have it in the cloud. critical stuff you better keep it at home if the cost is reasonable.
Technically though, IMHO, there is no question, go cloud. Administering IT infrastructure is only fun if you are a geek.
If all things are equal, (Or not), I would still go with personal storage.
At the risk of sounding paranoid, with my experience working with organisations of all types and sizes in the last two decades, security and privacy are major concerns. Especially when working with ultra-sensitive documents and information.
The cloud has its advantages, and as an early tester/adopter, I am still not really content with the security offered by most cloud services. Even though the advantages of the cloud services, be replicated in personal storage through implementation of several technologies, the investment for doing it is steep.