Is Cloud Computing Really As Viable As They Say It Is?

No amount of hype surrounding a product or service can make it better or worse than it actually is. And yet, millions of people around the world make decisions on their purchases based on how much hype that item has received. The more a product or service is advertised as being useful, the more consumers will believe it to be so, or so it seems.

Some consider life without items like the iPad to be unbearable, while others see it as just another addition to what will eventually become a device graveyard. Truly, the value of anything is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, and this does not exclude cloud computing services. Is storing information remotely really a good idea, or is it another trend that will quickly disappear?


The Cloud Storage Conundrum

The same division in opinions can be seen about file storage in the cloud. The ‘cloud’ simply refers to online storage, as opposed to the storage available on a physical device like a computer’s hard drive.

While many analysts see cloud computing as the future of data trafficking, and the amount of data being created and stored daily is reaching the billions of gigabytes for businesses, others are wondering just how feasible this alternative really is.

Cloud Computing Pros

Storing information in the cloud is seen as the next logical step from closed servers and hard drives by trend analysts. And given the amount of information being stored using more traditional means, it is a much-needed step.

When the question of the environmental viability of cloud storage comes up, this new form of data storage appears to surpass all expectations. A recent Australian study showed that cloud computing can result in a 90% reduction of energy use and carbon emissions when used by small businesses.

Good Use of Space, But There Is User Risk

Cloud computing companies don’t plan for more data than they need, due to the costs to do so. Instead, cloud computing companies route data to where it will be best utilized, which leads to less energy being consumed.

Unfortunately, once a person begins cloud computing with a particular company, it can be difficult to switch to a different provider. So if the service one receives is sub-par, there is little choice but to deal with the shortcomings of the chosen provider, which can end up costing the individual or company in downtime.

Utilization and Security

Cloud services are shared between an individual and others who use the same server. But each user is only charged based on the space they’ve used. The down side to sharing for many is the concern about privacy.

For example, all of the personal data of any client of a cloud computing service will be present on its servers. Will that service be able to guarantee this information won’t be accessed? As well, the fact that most cloud computing services are small makes them and their clients less immune to hacking attacks. How safe are cloud computing service users?

Flexibility

When you use your own storage services, you are most likely able to transfer the documents you create from one program to another. But some cloud storage services require you to use their own proprietary software, adding file extensions which may not be compatible with the programs you currently use.

Careful Consideration is Key

Before deciding on a cloud storage service for either individual or business use, a good idea is to thoroughly research all of the available options to see whether they offer features and benefits that can help improve your efficiency.

Consulting web sites which offer some type of review on the various cloud storage service options can be a way to get more information about whether cloud computing is something that can benefit you.