Local Drive Vs The Cloud – For Data Storage, Security and Accessibility

Local Drive Vs The Cloud – For Data Storage, Security and Accessibility

Businesses are keeping more files, bigger files and collecting more data than ever before; a trend that is likely to increase in the future. This has made storage one of the key features of modern IT infrastructure. However, while having adequate storage space solves one problem, there are other needs to be addressed. Files and data need to be secure, organised, easily accessible and shared. Today, there is a range of storage options available, including local drives and cloud storage platforms. Here, we’ll look at the pros and cons of both of these solutions.

The pros and cons of external hard drives for data storage

Cost

External hard drives are relatively inexpensive and easy to get hold of, available from many online and high street outlets. Advances in technology have also made them able to hold more data. Portable drives can store several Tbs and larger external drives significantly more. Overall, portable drives benefit from being a one-off expenditure, helping those with limited IT budgets avoid ongoing charges for third-party storage services.

Processing power

Evolving technology means portable storage now has SSD drives which read and write data far quicker than older HDD drives. That said, they need to be plugged into another device, such as a laptop, using a USB cable. While USB speeds have increased, USB 3, for example, can reach up to 10Gbps data transfer, this is significantly slower than the capacity of the SSD inside and thus limits the performance of the external storage device overall.

Security

Small and easily lost, stolen or damaged, data loss is one of the biggest disadvantages of using external drives. Lost files can cause major disruption to your business and if a misplaced or stolen drive contains personal information about customers or suppliers, it can result in a data breach that lands your company with a large fine.

Another concern is that It is not unheard of for former employees to take external hard drives containing critical business intelligence with them to new jobs where they can use that information to the detriment of your company and the benefit of their new one.

From a design perspective, another flaw with many external drives is that, unlike computers and storage servers, they have no internal fan. Without an in-built cooling mechanism, there is no control over the temperature other than a small vent. In hot rooms, when working busily for long periods, they have the potential to overheat and this can result in hardware failure and the loss or corruption of data.

The final risk is with the disposal of old drives. If data isn’t completely erased, it can be restored. Selling a drive second hand or throwing it away could potentially lead to your deleted files getting into the wrong hands.

The pros and cons of cloud storage

Cloud is now the go-to IT infrastructure and used by businesses and individuals for all manner of purposes, including running critical applications, data analytics, automation, IoT, app development and storing data. Here are the pros and cons of cloud data storage. – Read more

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7 Reasons Businesses Should Use Cloud Storage

If you are running out of storage space or find that your current way of storing data makes it difficult to manage and use, then it’s time to consider an alternative option. Today, growing numbers of businesses are finding that the cloud is the best place to store their documents, files and data. Here, we’ll explain seven reasons to store your data in the cloud.

1. Never run out of space again

The amount of data that businesses store is growing exponentially. Companies are collecting more types of information than ever and keeping it for longer – and as they grow, so does the amount they generate. That can cause problems when storing it as its easy to run out of server space.

The benefit of storing it in the cloud is that no matter how much data you have, your vendor will always have enough space to store it. What’s more, upgrading to a bigger capacity package can be done very easily and quickly. It is also much less expensive than buying a new and bigger server.

2. Easy accessibility

Centrally storing all your data in the cloud means that none of it gets buried in departmental silos, making it accessible to anyone you have given access permission. What’s more, when someone updates a file and saves it to the cloud, everyone will have access to the latest update.

Equally important for the modern business is that being in the cloud, the data can be accessed over the internet. This means your employees don’t need to be in the office to do their work; they can work remotely or be out on the road and still have access to it on any device with a connection.

3. Solid security

Cloud vendors have to meet strict security regulations to keep your data secure. Their employment of security experts and use of the latest firewalls, anti-malware and intrusion prevention tools provide levels of security hard to match in-house. Of course, you’ll need to implement your own security measures, such as access rights, strong passwords and two-factor authentication, but, together, these make your cloud-stored data extremely secure – especially when the cloud provides a centralised repository for it all to be stored and securely managed.  

In addition, your data is protected against data loss through hardware failure. If there is an issue with hardware in a cloud datacentre, the virtual server on which it is stored will simply be moved to another physical machine. It will always be there and always be online for you to access.

4. Cost-effective storage

A cloud storage package is far less costly than the capital expenditure needed to purchase a large storage server. Neither are there any additional running costs, such as electricity, insurance or premises rent. Your vendor will even take care of the hardware management for you.

5. Makes collaboration and file sharing a breeze

Cloud storage gives companies the ability to share files and sync updates and new additions. Files can be sent to other users and audiences can be invited to access data available online. This helps teams collaborate far more effectively no matter where the members are based, giving them all access to the most up to date versions.

6. Complete convenience

When data is stored in the cloud, it can be accessed directly from the internet. This means it’s not reliant on any internal business system or specific device. You won’t need to be connected to your internal business network, use a company computer or plug in an external storage device. What’s more, viewing or working on a file can also be done online, meaning that you won’t need to fill up storage on devices, though copies of files can be downloaded if required.

It’s also worth considering that cloud servers offer exceptional performance, their all-flash storage and Intel CPUs ensuring that data-heavy applications will run like clockwork. – Read More

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Essential Content Types for Online Sales

My Post (16).pngGreat content is essential if you want to sell goods and services online. It’s what informs, advises, and persuades your visitors that buying from you is the right decision. Google, meanwhile, hails high-quality content as its most important ranking factor, enabling content-rich sites to increase their traffic. Content, however, comes in different forms and here, we’ll look at the different types needed for selling online.

1. Product descriptions

The most basic and yet fundamental form of content is the product description. This is the copy on a product page that gives vital information about the product and which also helps to persuade the customer to buy.

On a website, product descriptions, images and customer reviews are the only things a visitor has to help them make a purchasing decision and the description, therefore, needs to provide all the information a customer could find out if buying from a shop. This includes the products’ features, specifications (dimensions, weight, colour, etc.) possible uses and benefits.

2. Category descriptions

One step up from the product page is the category page. Many eCommerce sites simply fill these with product images and short descriptions. Others make greater use of content to give general information about the products found in the category. The importance of this is that such content is likely to be keyword-rich and this can benefit the page from an SEO perspective, helping it to rank on search engines.

3. Tools

Most people don’t consider website tools as a form of content but they can be incredibly useful. On eCommerce sites, perhaps the most advantageous tools are product search boxes and filters. Rather than visitors having to browse page after page of products, they can simply type in what they are looking for and then filter the results, e.g., by colour, size, customer rating, etc. Product comparison tools are also quite common.

You’ll find tools on other types of website, too. For example, garages have tools that let customers type in their registration number to find out the exact tyres they need and supermarkets provide tools for customers to book home delivery slots. They are all there to make the experience of buying easier and more convenient and, in doing so make themselves highly valuable.

4. FAQs

Customers often ask the same questions about the products and services that a company sells. If the answer isn’t in the description and they are unable to find it on your site, they can be discouraged from buying. One increasingly common type of content that provides a solution for this is the FAQ section. Simply make a list of the most regularly asked questions, answer them and put them in the most appropriate place on your website. You can always link to it from other pages if needed.

5. Customer reviews and ratings

Reviews and ratings, whether about individual products or about the company itself, have become an essential element of the business website. Customers want social proof that the things you say are true and will look for independent verification from your previous customers.

6. Self-help

User forums and knowledgebases are found on many sites where customers need ongoing support about the products and services they have purchased. Found on countless sites, they provide expert guidance and community help with a wide range of needs and even enable customers to ask advice about specific issues. Websites use them as they help develop long-term relationships with customers. What’s more, they are often full of important keywords and can be searched online, enabling new visitors to find your website.

7. Blog posts

Blogs are one of the most valuable types of website content. They enable the company to attract new visitors by providing information and advice that helps people solve problems. In doing so, companies can recommend their products and services as part of the solution and increase overall sales.

What’s more, a blog positions the company as an expert in its field, improving its reputation which helps generate even more sales as well as creating loyalty among its customer base. Furthermore, as blog posts are indexed and searchable on search engines, they help attract more new visitors. – Read more

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