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If you haven't already made a choice between storing your company's data locally or in a data cloud, you may be wondering which path to take. Although this can be a hard decision for businesses, you can find some clarity by learning the pros and cons of these different types of data storage.

Advantages of Cloud Storage

To put it simply, a cloud storage system works by keeping your company's data secure in an off-site data center managed by cloud providers. You and your employees can then access this virtual cloud of data through an Internet connection.

Some business owners may balk at the recurring cost of hosting storage in a data cloud, but potential cost savings are actually one of the biggest benefits of going with cloud storage. Unlike with local storage, your company doesn't need to purchase large bulks of hardware in order to store your data. In addition, you won't have to pay for constant upkeep and maintenance of that storage hardware, either.

Another perk of cloud storage is the off-site flexibility it offers to your staff. Whereas local storage requires employees to be on-site in order to access the data they need to complete their work, cloud storage makes working from home or in any other off-site much more feasible.

A major driver for cloud storage is the billions of dollars poured into safeguarding the system, something most people can’t afford for local storage.  They are jeopardizing all their clients if a breach were to happen.  Most cloud storage systems already include data encryption both while data is in transit, and during storage. 

Finally, cloud storage gives your company the peace of mind that comes with knowing your data is securely backed up and monitored by a team of data management experts around the clock.

But not everything can be stored in the Cloud

Of course, no system is perfect, and using cloud storage providers is no exception to that rule. As mentioned above, you and your staff can access a cloud storage system through an Internet connection.

Apart from the obvious lack of Internet access, any application that requires a database connection can’t live with the unpredictable latency that an internet connection provides. Some database application require a locally cabled network connection versus Wifi.

Many vendors claim to be in the cloud, but are really remote desktop or terminal server connections to a Windows session on a server.  A good examples are most account programs are not truly cloud based.  For that to happen, they have to be completely reprogrammed as a web application, like QuickBooks Online.

Advantages of Local Storage

While it may be seen as more "old school" than cloud storage, the local storage method of keeping data secure still has plenty to commend it.

For starters, local data storage has the potential to offer much faster speeds than cloud storage. Instead of being limited by the Internet speed afforded by your ISP, your team can see sustained transfer speeds that outpace the download and upload speeds of most ISPs.

This allows for many traditional line-of-business applications to function properly, without system delays.

But there are some drawbacks. Perhaps the greatest disadvantage of relying on local storage is the danger posed by on-site storage. Unless you have a dedicated employee or even an entire IT team that can maintain a high frequency of backups for your company's data, all while maintaining appropriate security protocols, you run the risk of having your data stolen, lost through device failure, or otherwise compromised.

Drawbacks of Local Storage

As mentioned above, for a huge company that is big enough to require a sizable on-site database in a large-scale room of physical storage servers, the up-front and ongoing hardware costs tend to weigh against using local storage.

Another drawback to consider is the built-in requirement that your employees need to be located on-site to access data in a typical on-premises storage type of setup. For employees on the road, working from home, or otherwise away from the office, this limits their data accessibility options.

Perhaps the greatest disadvantage of relying on local storage is the danger posed by on-site storage. Unless you have a dedicated employee or even an entire IT team that can maintain a high frequency of backups for your company's data, all while maintaining appropriate security protocols, you run the risk of having your data stolen, lost through device failure, or otherwise compromised.

Can you Live in a Hybrid World? 

As you've no doubt figured out by now, cloud and local storage options balance each other out, with each data storage method having an advantage that covers the drawbacks of the other system, and vice versa. This contributes to the difficulty of choosing between the different types of storage.

Fortunately, the choice doesn't have to be a completely binary one. Many companies now utilize a hybrid storage model that takes strength from the positive aspects of both local and cloud storage while covering the disadvantages of each type of storage.

For example, you might store your most important or on-demand files locally (such as on long-term hard drive backups), allowing your employees quick and consistent access to their most important data. Meanwhile, other files can be stored in a cloud system, giving staffers greater flexibility for working off-site without running the risk of hinging your entire business on whether or not you always have reliable Internet.

While every type of company has different needs, you might consider pursuing a hybrid model for your own business so that you can experience the combined benefits of flexibility, cost savings, and data security that a combination of local and cloud storage provides.

Contact a Leading File Storage Provider to Schedule a Consultation

Whether your business is a small startup or a large organization, you need a data storage solution that is custom-designed for your team's needs. Taking advantage of the strengths of cloud storage, local storage, or both is a must for your company.

Contact us today for a consultation to see how our data storage solutions can save your organization money, decrease downtime and reduce your IT risk.

The simplest way to describe a virtual machine (or a "VM") is to say that it is like a virtual computer, complete with the ability to run applications and store data just like a physical computer could.

If you're wondering how a virtual machine can benefit a cloud computing set-up, read on to learn more.

What Are Virtual Machines Used for?

Virtual machines can be divided into two major groups that represent different types of virtualization:

System virtual machines can stand in for a physical computer and can run an entire computer operating system. These VMs are managed by a form of software called a hypervisor, which allows multiple cloud environments to run on the same physical machine without interacting with each other. In essence, a system VM runs like a physical computer while existing within a cloud computing setup.

Meanwhile, process virtual machines focus on supporting a single process within a host operating system. A process VM acts as if it were a regular application on the host OS, allowing functionality for the specific process across multiple devices.

Among other things, VMs allow you to:

End-to-End Isolation

Running a virtual machine provides a higher level of security. For example, using VMs allows you to implement fault and security isolation, which means dividing the operations of a machine into different sections. By having different VMs that focus on their own separate processes, you can track any security issues that arise within an individual machine.

If one of your devices is infected, you can use your VM setup to isolate and study the virus through an external program rather than allow it to risk your physical host machine. Similarly, you can run an application that may or may not be secure on a virtual machine instead of on your main operating system. That way, any security issues will only affect the VM rather than your host device.

Apart from security, another advantage of cloud tech via VMs is greater control over the resources used by your systems, meaning you can make sure that your machines are performing at a high level.

Hardware Independence and Cost Benefit

Virtual machines offer you a greater degree of mobility. Instead of being trapped on an individual piece of physical hardware, you can use your cloud computing resources to migrate between different virtual desktop machines that you have set up.

Apart from maximum flexibility and convenience, the hardware independence produced by the use of VMs can also save you money in the long run. Instead of investing in a wall of servers, you can instead rely on a virtual server setup. Through server virtualization, one piece of physical hardware can run multiple virtual environments, each devoted to a specific function or process.

Fewer physical servers mean less money that you need to spend on repair, maintenance, electricity, and even A/C for your servers.

Quick Partitioning

As previously mentioned, software virtualization through the use of virtual machines can make an individual device far more efficient in its ability to run multiple processes or applications, thereby improving server workload.

In fact, VMs can run more than one operating system on a single physical machine. This means that each device can devote the appropriate level of physical resources toward each process, with all of the operating systems partitioned from each other. This gives you greater control over workload placement.

All of this can be done in a relatively short amount of time because a VM is easier and faster to create than a completely new virtual environment. This gives developers more time and energy to focus on developing test case scenarios to be run within the VM, which can streamline your entire development process.

Enables Encapsulation

Imagine the difficulty of moving and copying an entire operating system from one device to another. With the use of a virtual machine and storage virtualization, that process becomes about as simple as copying and moving files between devices.

That's essentially what the hypervisor does as it manages the resources of each VM that is under its control. This can lead to faster performance and greater efficiency.

Enables Workload Migration

If you've ever had to go through moving a service or program from an in-house infrastructure to a cloud service provider, then you know that the workload migration process can be quite the undertaking.

Fortunately, virtual machines are portable and allow for a high degree of digital flexibility and mobility. This means that any workload migration that you undergo can take place in far less time and with a greater degree of efficiency. In other words, workload migration with VMs is less of a headache.

Improve Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

A similar benefit of virtual machines is that each self-contained VM can be treated as a portable asset. This means that you can move a VM from one machine to another, or from the control of one hypervisor to another one.

In practice, this allows you to use a VM as a solid backup solution. If you're worried about your host machine failing in an unexpected event, you can rely on a backup in a cloud environment VM to preserve everything you need.

Even if you don't face an unexpected digital disaster, you can still use cloud architecture to create a sense of continuity thanks to replicating systems that provide continuous updates.

Contact a Leading Cloud Provider to Schedule a Consultation

No matter what the size of your team is, setting up a cloud virtual machine can save you money, provide greater cybersecurity and digital stability, and give your organization the edge it needs.

Contact TechBldrs today for a consultation to see how our cloud computing services can save your organization money, decrease downtime, and reduce your IT risk.

The use of cloud-based services in business applications is skyrocketing as more businesses in Southeastern Pennsylvania are focusing on virtualizing their operations to boost efficiency and reduce workload while involving minimum employees. Cloud computing system allows you to store and access data and applications over the internet network instead of accessing it on your computer’s hard drive.

There are many benefits of a cloud-based system, and it has become an indispensable part of the modern business demands that limit the dependency on on-site physical servers, offering a wide range of benefits.

High Speed – Quick Deployment 

Cloud-based platforms have revolutionized the software development process by empowering developers to spin up new cloud instances in no time!

As cloud experts no longer have to depend on on-site hardware, the testing and designing process of new software/app architecture has become more agile and speedier.

Above all, once you take up cloud computing, your office computer system can be fully operational in just a few minutes. It has the unique benefit of quick deployment, but it is subject to the exact type of technology you need.

Automatic Software Updates and Integration 

Software integration usually occurs automatically when it comes to cloud-based systems. You do not have to wait for system updates or any bad connection. Automatic integration and updates make it hassle-free for users to use the system.

Users in Exton, PA, also won’t need to conduct manual updates with their software, letting them use the latest features of the software without any worries. One of the essential cloud-based platform benefits of automatic software updates is that the applications automatically refresh and update themselves. 

Efficiency and Cost Reduction

One significant advantage of using cloud technology is that you can avoid spending a lot of money on setting up your company's on-site IT infrastructure with sophisticated software and hardware. Because cloud services are owned, hosted, and delivered by third-party CSPs, you can have industry-grade IT facilities at your disposal for a low capital outlay and operating costs.

Additionally, moving services and applications to the cloud frees up resources and capital expenditures in exchange for the cost of a subscription. For example, we used to buy and own DVDs and DVD players, but now we just stream.

Data Security

No business data is safe from cyber threats today. With Cybersecurity issues on the rise, accessing your in-house systems encumbered the system with VPN and 2Factor Authentication.

Fraudsters and data breaches can destroy your business operations by stealing sensitive information if you fail to ensure top-notch data security. Because of Cybersecurity breaches, government and industry regulations enforce more strict controls that your IT department may not be able to handle.

Cloud-based data protection tools protect your system with advanced firewalls, standard encryptions, DDoS attack protection, SSL/TLS, traffic monitoring, and other features. Furthermore, they include multi-factor authentication before granting access to sensitive data and allow business owners to enable or restrict

Scalability

Scalability is one of the most critical business advantages of cloud computing for businesses of all sizes. Your IT requirements will change as your company grows. A large company with 1500 employees, for example, will not have the same technical requirements as a small/mid-sized business.

These platforms ensure that you can scale up or scale down your resource usage based on your business continuity planning. So, with no upfront investment in physical infrastructure, you can easily scale up or down the power/size of your cloud solution and only pay for what you use!

Collaboration

Cloud collaboration tools definitely make teamwork faster and more efficient. It's idle for flexible work schedules and can easily be shared between collaborators with different working time zones. The level of improvisation in productivity is huge with the use of cloud collaboration services. 

Collaboration across teams improves productivity with access control by helping teams work faster and more efficiently. It is also perfect for flexible work scheduling since tasks can be shared between individual users and enterprise users with varying working hours and time zones.

Disaster Recovery 

No matter how strong your infrastructure is unless you back up your business data, it is vulnerable to data loss in the event of an accident or crash.

In cloud computing, your data and information are stored, backed up, and archived on a regular basis in a secure storage system. As a result, you can easily restore them whenever you need to.

Mobility 

Cloud computing mobility provides your co-workers in Bryn Mawr, PA, with anywhere-anytime access on any device, provided they have an internet connection. Mobility and working from anywhere become paramount for bringing on new workers, and access to cloud applications can be quickly deployed without the need for a lot of infrastructure. Covid lockdown made a big push for people to work remotely. Never has this benefit been more critical.

Cloud tools work with any device, including smartphones, tablets, and computers. Daily users can save, process, and access information from a virtual office and files in the cloud at any time with only a network connection. It has ensured continuous connections between employees in order to drive business innovation. 

Taking the next step 

There are many reasons to utilize cloud-based applications. Above all, the technology can prove to be a great asset to your company, with its enormous benefits, again if used appropriately and to its full range. By making a move to the cloud environment, you can bring real-world improvements to almost every area of your business model.

So, are you ready to get on the cloud journey with us? Our team of experts will be able to answer all your questions to help you with your personal and or business goals. We invite you to contact us today!

Choosing the correct file storage system is critical because it affects your business operations. Factors such as cost savings, accessibility, scalability, and level of security must be prioritized, as these server solutions hold all your data on internal servers.

Have you ever asked yourself when you need a server for your business? Here are a few suggestions that might help answer your question.

In this article, we will share with you the important factors why an on-prem server is essential for any business in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

On-Premise vs. Cloud 

Before the advent of cloud server integrations, on-prem infrastructure was how all software operated. You bought a software package that came on a CD-ROM (or floppy disc), installed it onto as many computers as the license allowed, and ran it from there. On-prem is an in-house private cloud service that will enable businesses to collocate all cloud computing equipment on premises, which is either managed by themselves or by some third-party cloud vendor. Many business owners in Collegeville, PA, still prefer to do things this way.

Cloud-based software is accessed through a web browser and hosted on a cloud server and comes with a host of strengths that SME owners might find much more advantageous. As the name suggests, a private cloud is a single-tenant environment, meaning the cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a single business entity comprising multiple consumers or business units. A third-party cloud vendor provides the services.

On-Premise Software 

Companies are responsible for maintaining and facilitating the related processes with this software. Instead of a remote cloud or server farm, On-premise software is installed on computers on the business premises.

While this is more expensive than cloud software and requires hardware, software investment, and additional licenses, it is considered more secure because all data is stored entirely within the organization.

On-Premise Pros 

If your business in Chester County, PA, is considering a more traditional method of storing data, then the onsite server may be the perfect solution for you. Here are some pros:

On-Premises Cons 

While On-premises solutions provide robust security and data protection, which are its biggest benefits, they do come with a few limitations.

Cloud Computing 

Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—such as servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—via the Internet ("the cloud") in order to provide faster innovation, more flexible resources, and economies of scale. 

You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping you lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.

Cloud-Based Pros 

Cloud-based computing is a significant shift from the traditional way businesses think about IT resources. Here are some advantages of cloud computing:

Cloud-Based Cons 

While the future is bright for cloud-based applications, they are not without issues. These are the key drawbacks to cloud computing that you should know: 

Key Differences of On-Premise vs. Cloud

With so many cloud services, the time for storing your data on a server may be over. But many people fall outside that space and can say bye-bye to buying another server. Below we will list the key differences between on-premises vs. cloud:

 Conclusion 

Growing companies will find that on-premises services boost productivity and data security. As your business grows, it needs a centralized data storage location. Where you may have depended on cloud email or storage to start, it can become unwieldy and costly. A server helps organize the IT management of your company by managing user permissions, software, and security. If you have more than a handful of computers, a server can help you save time, maximize productivity, prevent security breaches, and recover if a disaster strikes. It's a solid investment offering much to gain and little to lose.

We have the correct server solution for your business needs. For more information, please contact us!

Helpful tip: Microsoft office 365 has Sharepoint when configured correctly; it can be the storage server you need. The best part is it comes with your Office 365 subscription. If you're a Google GSuite user, you can use Google Drive.