The Yottabyte Blog

 

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Tape has spent several decades as the medium of choice for data storage. It reigned supreme throughout the 1980s and 1990s, but with cloud storage growing in popularity and the price of flash storage declining, many people have been eager to declare tape a dead storage medium.  Although tape as a storage medium is on the decline, it isn’t dead yet; it will likely still be hanging around for quite some time still.

 

Regardless of whether you’re using tape or a cloud storage system, having your data backed  up off-site is always a wise idea. Off-site data backup creates an extra layer of security for your data in the event something catastrophic happens to your main facility. If your backed up data is stored on-site, there’s always the possibility that it will be lost or damaged if something catastrophic happens to your main facility, like a fire or natural disaster. But if you’re going to invest in backing your data up off-site, cloud storage has some significant advantages over tape.

 

Predictability

When businesses put their data into storage, they need their data will need to still be readable anywhere from 15 to 30 years later. When you use tape to backup your data, you’re storing your data on a relatively unpredictable medium. Because tape is a physical medium, it is susceptible to wear and tear. Tape also needs to be stored properly if it’s going to remain in good, readable condition. If tape isn’t stored properly, it can deteriorate or be damaged, potentially making data irretrievable in the event you need it.

 

Convenience

Your data belongs to you; you shouldn’t have to wait to have access it. Have you ever logged into your bank account to look up a bank statement from several months ago, only to be told you’ll have to make a special request for that statement and it’s going to take a while before you’ll be able to have it? This is something that happens when banks use tape to backup their data. Once the data is moved to tape, someone has to go back and look it up when it’s needed. With cloud storage, your data is there for you exactly when you need it.

 

Lower Costs

Since you won’t need a person to look up older information that has been archived to tape, cloud computing is going to inherently have some cost savings over tape storage. Since cloud storage solutions are becoming more and more affordable, the cost savings also make it easier for companies to create redundancy that is always desirable with data storage. Although cloud storage is less susceptible to damage the way tape is, that doesn’t mean cloud storage is completely fail safe. If there are issues with one cloud, you can afford to have another cloud to fall back on until the main cloud is gotten back online.

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2014 was the first year in which the majority (51%) of workloads were performed in a cloud instead of a traditional IT space. Within the next five years, the amount of work performed in a public cloud is expected to grow by 44%. Clearly, cloud computing has taken the world by storm and it is here to stay. It’s not hard to see why it’s become so popular when you consider all the benefits if has to offer businesses:

Cost Efficiency

There’s a common misconception that cloud computing is prohibitively expensive. This isn’t true at all; 82% of companies report saving money after switching to the cloud and 14% said they were able to downsize their IT department or repurpose efforts to more strategic, business-impacting initiatives. Companies that make the switch to the cloud also save an average of 25% on personnel costs and 40% on consultations.

Scalability

Before cloud computing, provisioning resources was always a challenge for IT professionals. If you under-provision, applications aren’t capable of running optimally. If you over-provision, you’re wasting money on resources that aren’t actually being used. Cloud computing takes the work out of provisioning and you only pay for the resources you use. If you suddenly find yourself in need of more resources, it’s easy to add more. If those extra resources are no longer needed, it’s just as easy to scale back down again.

Greater Flexibility for Employees

Cloud computing offers great potential for giving your employees the flexibility to work remotely. Studies have shown that many working adults would be willing to take a pay cut in exchange for being able to telecommute for work. If you have employees working remotely, that means you can have smaller office environments, saving you money on rent.

Sometimes companies want to hire freelancers, but don’t have room in their office for extra people. Cloud computing provides the perfect solution to this problem since a company could hire freelancers and have them work remotely. Companies get the benefit of the extra help when they need it, but don’t have to find extra space in the office or pay for additional desks or computers.

Even if you don’t want your employees working remotely on a full-time basis, it can still be very beneficial in certain situations. Sometimes an employee can’t come into the office for reasons other than being sick, such as inclement weather, having to wait for a repairman, or car problems. An employee could work from home in cases like those, preventing total losses of productivity.

Easier Collaboration

If your employees frequently collaborate on files, cloud computing is exactly what you need. When a person works on a file, their work is automatically saved on the cloud and other employees who need to work with the same file can instantly access the updated file. There’s no longer a need for employees to be constantly e-mailing each other updated versions and nobody is left wondering whether or not they have the most recent version of a file.

The ease of collaboration is a huge benefit if you’re a business that has team members working in different states, regions or countries. Even if people are working on opposite sides of the globe, they can access files from one central location. A 2010 study by Frost and Sullivan found that companies that invested in collaboration technology saw a 400% return on investment .

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