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Cloud vs Offline Data Storage Compared

Published on 13 September 16
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Data storage is one of the biggest challenges today in the IT domain. IT administrators are always on the lookout for cost optimization in the data to be stored for easy and fast access. With Big Data growing exponentially, the adoption of cloud data storage is also on the rise (in addition to traditional data storage systems).If you are in charge of designing the storage architecture of your organization, you may have a quandary over which type of data storage to go for. Here is a comparison between offline data storage devices and online cloud storage to help your decision-making process.


  1. Additional overheads for IT:

Offline: Additional security measures are needed to secure the storage devices against unauthorized access, and other malpractices, which in turn, becomes a burden on the IT department expenditure. Though a password can be set to desktops and laptops, there are skilled hackers that can break into systems and render these basic measures useless.


Cloud: With data being stored in the cloud, it is the service provider that has the onus of protecting your confidential data. Hence, the IT in-charge need not take on stress and instead channel their energies towards other productive tasks.


  1. Initial Cost:

Offline: Secondary storage devices like tapes, compact discs, USB drives, USB sticks are cheaper, but the question is, how much can they store in today’s age of terabytes and petabytes


Cloud: With cloud storage, there is no need to deploy new devices with every chunk of incoming data. It gets triple benefits of cost savings, flexibility, and scalability based on the kind of data velocity and volume needed for your business.


  1. Mobility Support:

Offline: Offline storage offers poor compliance as far as mobile access is concerned. This puts a big question mark on the success of your employee empowerment, work flexibility, and BYOD programs. In today’s times where it is becoming increasingly important to carry the devices on the go, this issue can become a business disadvantage.


Cloud: Cloud gives empowers users in terms of mobile data access using the Internet. With the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend as strong as ever, businesses are scrambling to gain control of employee-owned smartphones, laptops, and tablets, and this can be easily controlled and managed via the cloud.


  1. Recovery Time:

Offline: All offline data backup devices can be used to recover data and restore files in a quick and easy manner provided they don’t undergo any mechanical or technical flaws. Mechanical errors or technical issues might make a dent on the business continuity objectives and hence score lower as compared to cloud storage.


Cloud: Cloud storage can easily host your enterprise data without impacting business continuity. This, in turn, will keep the employee’s access to data swift and hence reinforce his/ her productivity. Cloud backup is useful in case of emergency disaster situations and helps businesses recover faster than traditional IT storage systems.


  1. Management:

Offline: Offline data storage solution is at a disadvantage as data can be stored across different entities, thus increasing the difficulties in managing them at all times. The biggest problem with offline storage is that a malware or virus can easily cripple a hard drive and all of the data that it contains. In fact, a Google study in 2007 has shown that 8.6 percent of three-year old drives fail.


Cloud: In case of cloud, the entire data is stored in one place, thus making the daily management and monitoring simpler than offline data storage systems. Storage admins get a lot of powerful functions inbuilt into their cloud storage solutions. They can create users, control their permissions and restrictions easily, with the help of a simple yet powerful control management system over the Internet. Different functions in the storage domain (data compression, archiving, retrieval, and encryption) can be configured based on your business’ needs. The best part is that since it is web-based, the admins can execute these from anywhere, and at any time.

These points heavily favor cloud-based storage systems over offline data storage systems like USB sticks and hard drives. The shift in technology landscape and changing preferences have also further strengthened its case as the preferred storage option for enterprise data.

Cloud vs Offline Data Storage Compared - Image 1


Data storage is one of the biggest challenges today in the IT domain. IT administrators are always on the lookout for cost optimization in the data to be stored for easy and fast access. With Big Data growing exponentially, the adoption of cloud data storage is also on the rise (in addition to traditional data storage systems).If you are in charge of designing the storage architecture of your organization, you may have a quandary over which type of data storage to go for. Here is a comparison between offline data storage devices and online cloud storage to help your decision-making process.

  1. Additional overheads for IT:

Offline: Additional security measures are needed to secure the storage devices against unauthorized access, and other malpractices, which in turn, becomes a burden on the IT department expenditure. Though a password can be set to desktops and laptops, there are skilled hackers that can break into systems and render these basic measures useless.

Cloud: With data being stored in the cloud, it is the service provider that has the onus of protecting your confidential data. Hence, the IT in-charge need not take on stress and instead channel their energies towards other productive tasks.

  1. Initial Cost:

Offline: Secondary storage devices like tapes, compact discs, USB drives, USB sticks are cheaper, but the question is, how much can they store in today’s age of terabytes and petabytes

Cloud: With cloud storage, there is no need to deploy new devices with every chunk of incoming data. It gets triple benefits of cost savings, flexibility, and scalability based on the kind of data velocity and volume needed for your business.

  1. Mobility Support:

Offline: Offline storage offers poor compliance as far as mobile access is concerned. This puts a big question mark on the success of your employee empowerment, work flexibility, and BYOD programs. In today’s times where it is becoming increasingly important to carry the devices on the go, this issue can become a business disadvantage.

Cloud: Cloud gives empowers users in terms of mobile data access using the Internet. With the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend as strong as ever, businesses are scrambling to gain control of employee-owned smartphones, laptops, and tablets, and this can be easily controlled and managed via the cloud.

  1. Recovery Time:

Offline: All offline data backup devices can be used to recover data and restore files in a quick and easy manner provided they don’t undergo any mechanical or technical flaws. Mechanical errors or technical issues might make a dent on the business continuity objectives and hence score lower as compared to cloud storage.

Cloud: Cloud storage can easily host your enterprise data without impacting business continuity. This, in turn, will keep the employee’s access to data swift and hence reinforce his/ her productivity. Cloud backup is useful in case of emergency disaster situations and helps businesses recover faster than traditional IT storage systems.

  1. Management:

Offline: Offline data storage solution is at a disadvantage as data can be stored across different entities, thus increasing the difficulties in managing them at all times. The biggest problem with offline storage is that a malware or virus can easily cripple a hard drive and all of the data that it contains. In fact, a Google study in 2007 has shown that 8.6 percent of three-year old drives fail.

Cloud: In case of cloud, the entire data is stored in one place, thus making the daily management and monitoring simpler than offline data storage systems. Storage admins get a lot of powerful functions inbuilt into their cloud storage solutions. They can create users, control their permissions and restrictions easily, with the help of a simple yet powerful control management system over the Internet. Different functions in the storage domain (data compression, archiving, retrieval, and encryption) can be configured based on your business’ needs. The best part is that since it is web-based, the admins can execute these from anywhere, and at any time.

These points heavily favor cloud-based storage systems over offline data storage systems like USB sticks and hard drives. The shift in technology landscape and changing preferences have also further strengthened its case as the preferred storage option for enterprise data.

Cloud vs Offline Data Storage Compared - Image 1

This blog is listed under Cloud Computing Community

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