How to

How to Choose Cloud Storage for Business

The recent proliferation of solutions offer cloud storage for business can make choosing the right one for your company difficult – but there are ways to make it easier.

AcronisCyber Backup Cloud

In this article, we examine:

  1. How to choose cloud storage for business
  2. How to evaluate different cloud storage options

How to choose cloud storage for business

All business decisions should start with better enabling your company’s processes and operations. Selecting a cloud storage provider should be no different. After all, the best cloud storage for a small business might not be the same as a large enterprise. It all depends on the types of files you are storing, how you need to access those files, and with whom you want to share them.

To make the right decision, you need to examine the main purpose of your cloud storage so you get the solution that meets your company’s needs.

Cloud based software

Cloud Storage for Files

One of the primary uses for cloud storage is file syncing and sharing. With more employees working remotely and using mobile devices, you need a single spot where they can sync and share the documents, videos, PDFs, etc. that they use every day. Whether they're traveling or working from home, cloud storage provides employees more flexibility and accessibility than a local drive or memory card.

Moreover, you need a "single source of truth" for your business files. With a cloud-based sync and share solution, your employees are all working off the same version of a file. You don't need to worry about one person having a different version of the file. Plus, since the files are stored remotely in the cloud, you don't need to worry about losing any data if an employee’s device is lost or stolen, or if a fire or flood destroys your office.

Cloud Storage for Objects (Object Storage)

Traditional file storage lets you set up information by giving the data a name and then placing it in a folder. If you think of it like a filing cabinet with folders, you need a different filing cabinet and a different drawer for each data point.

As you add more information to the database, however, you can experience slowdowns in processing power. That’s because the metadata stored with the file can throttle the device – the process of moving from folder to subfolder to sub-subfolder to sub-sub-subfolder to document strains your system.

Object storage, on the other hand, acts like expanding file folders where all of the data and metadata is placed in a single location. Instead of having to search through all the different filing cabinets to find the specific drawer that contains the one folder you want, object storage lets you pick up the single expanding file folder that has everything you need.

If you're analyzing big data or looking to optimize your resources, you want to incorporate a solution that provides cloud storage for objects, not just files.

Cloud Storage for Backup

A business might consider a cloud-based file sync and share storage solution to allow employees to collaborate and share files. Relying on that solution to back up your business would be a mistake, however. That’s because it only protects the files linked to the cloud storage solution – leaving all of the other devices and data your organization relies on completely unprotected.

A quality business backup gives you the ability to create mirror images of everything, from the operating system to applications to settings to individual files. That way you have everything you need to reliably restore your IT infrastructure quickly and easily. To protect yourself from financial and reputational losses caused by business interruptions, you need to combine cloud storage with backup and restoration functionalities.

For example, if you're already using Acronis Backup to safeguard your IT by backing up to a physical server, the Acronis Cloud add-on provides a cloud storage for backup solution.

 Acronis Backup with Cloud StorageCloudBerryCarbonite Cloud BackupArcserve UDP Cloud Direct
Basic plan

$59.67

$299.99$269.99$175.00
Free storage space5GB5GB  
Operating systems supported

 

Supports more than 20 platforms, including virtual and cloud environments

 

Windows and Mac OS X, Linux support, no mobile support

 

Windows and Mac OS X, no Linux support, very limited virtual platforms support

 

Windows, limited Apple OS X and Linux support

 

Support for third-party cloud storage

 

    
Microsoft 365 backup

 

    
VMWare backup

 

    
Mobile app

 

    
Local Disaster Recovery

 

    
Cloud Disaster Recovery

 

    
256-bit AES encryption with user-defined password protection

 

    
Proactive ML-based ransomware protection    
Automatic restore of the affected files    
HIPAA Compliant    
ISO 27001 Compliant    

Cloud Storage for Archives

For businesses that must retain data for a long time to meet compliance requirements, archival cloud storage may be necessary. When looking at cloud storage for archives, you need consider the ability to meet compliance standards involving security certification and encryption of data both at rest and in transit.

Archival cloud storage is also important for companies that maintain large files like digital media assets, or tape libraries. These large file types and different data storage methodologies typically require additional expenses and present challenges for data movement. Having a cloud storage solution for archives is one way to help manage those costs while making the files more accessible.

Comparing Cloud Storage for Business

Depending on the purpose of your cloud storage solution, you can get good value without breaking the bank.

Shared Needs

When comparing cloud storage solutions, you might find it overwhelming. Large and small businesses often have different needs, yet they share many concerns. The first step to choosing the best cloud storage for your business is realizing that not all options are created equally, regardless of organization size.

Sync What You Want

Most sync and share options seem perfect at first glance. Everyone can collaborate no matter where they're located. However, these options come with an important limitation – as soon as one person makes a change the earlier version are gone.

Moreover, if you save a file to any location other than the synced folder, those changes don't get saved as part of the backup.

If you want to ensure full organizational consistency, you need to make sure you set policies over file changes and then make sure they're also following the policies.

Keep the Keys to Your Castle

Most cloud storage business offerings encrypt data in transit and at rest – encoding the information so no one else can understand it even if it is stolen.

If the cloud storage provider holds the decryption key, however, the data can be at risk if a bad actor or unhappy employee gets access to it.

The better option is to utilize user-defined passwords for encryption. Zero-access encryption means that the data holder can't access the information because only you know the decryption key. As such, it provides two layers of data protection instead of one.

Recover from Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. Whether it's forgetting the milk at the grocery store or accidentally deleting a file. With cloud storage options that focus on sync and share backup, one person's mistake can become an organizational nightmare.

When searching for a cloud storage and backup solution, you want to make sure that you can recover accidentally deleted files and data to ensure that you can recover important information no matter how it was destroyed.

Cloud backup software

Don't Be Held Hostage

With ransomware attacks on the rise, more companies are looking to protect their data from being held hostage. While it's easy to think that your company is too small to matter to a hacker, the opposite is true. Hackers recognize that small companies often lack the resources (both financial and human) to adequately protect every device and system from ransomware.

A single ransomware attack can lead to costly business interruptions, reputation damage, and legal expenses. To protect yourself, you need to look for a cloud storage solution that also supports solutions that keep your organization safe from these online threats.

Bigger on the Inside

Large organizations store and upload more information. The data difference can lead to different storage and different bandwidth needs. However, at the same time, many large organizations may be looking for object storage to compress the data they leave in the cloud.

Meanwhile, small organizations need to account for scalability. What they store today may be far less than what they need to store two or five years from now. Additionally, they may be using hierarchical file structures that use more space and require more bandwidth than they realize.

The Price is Right

All organizations are budget conscious. However, small businesses often have a lack of financial resources which lead to them choosing based on money rather than functionality. Additionally, many cloud service providers offer only two or three pricing options which makes deciding on the best one difficult.

Best Cloud Storage for Business

Acronis Backup offers the best cloud storage for small business owners, mid-sized businesses, large companies, and professional service providers. By offering a series of data protection solutions, you can choose the cloud storage services that meet your needs and have the flexibility to add to those later when you need them.

Acronis cloud backup solutions enable you to access files anywhere you have an internet connection to ensure less downtime in the event you need to restore your systems. With an easy-to-navigate dashboard, you can remotely manage backup plans, set them to automatic back or manually backup, and store them to a destination of your choosing. The Acronis Cloud also lets you keep as many file versions as you want, or for archiving purposes need, for as long as you want or need to store them. Finally, Acronis' commitment to data protection includes military-grade AES-256 encryption store in SSAE-18 certified data centers and includes the first of its kind, built-in AI ransomware technology.

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