The essence of backing up data cannot be underestimated, althoughuntil recently the solution was only limited to local storage, but now we are also benefiting from the popularity of cloud storage.
A local backup is therefore a type of backup where the storage medium is at an arm’s length from the user. The user directly plugs in the storage medium to the source computer that needs to back up its data or the source computer’s data for backup can be accessed through a local area network.
On the other hand, the cloud backup or the online backup involves backing up data to an offsite server via a public or proprietary network where a copy of the originally sourced data is sent for storage. A third-party service provider x usually hosts the server and incurs some charges on the subscribed customers based on the number of users, bandwidth, and/or capacity.
Pros and Cons of a Cloud Backup
Despite the popularity of cloud storage as an ultimate backup storage alternative, its technological drive still comes with pros and cons.
Let us look at the pros.
Your use or relation with a cloud storage service provider does not mandate the ownership or maintenance of any sort of software or hardware tied to the backup storage plan. The only thing to commit to is a monthly payable fee that will guarantee the secure storage of your data. Moreover, you will benefit from substantial savings resulting from power usage that you would have incurred while running your own hardware storage equipment.
Since the accessibility of the cloud storage is globally fast due toan interconnected network, you can make use of any connected device like a tablet, laptop, orPC to have a direct access to your data. All that you will need are the login credentials to your cloud account.
Scalability is high in cloud storage systems. You can easily scale to the storage space that suits your needs, and most providers will even offer an on-demand storage capacity. Therefore, your increased storage needs will not require any rollout period or upgrade.
Due to the remote backup capability of cloud storage, the occurrence of an onsite catastrophe will not damage your data in any way. The process of disaster recovery is much faster due to the lack of any physical equipment involved in data retrieval.
The cons are as follows:
As the amount of data varies, a full backup cloud storage can be time-consuming due to the limitations of the connection speed and the bandwidth in question.
Due to the competitive nature of the cloud computing industry, the remote storage solutions are still exposed to security risks as hackers and malware ensure that data traversing over a network can never be 100% secure.
The drawback is in the inability to fully retain and control the storage process that involves the storage of highly sensitive data for businesses or individuals.
Pros and Cons of Local Backup
Cloud storage might be the new popular kid on the block, but local storage remains the old shopkeeper you can always trust and rely upon, although also this solution isstill not 100% secure.
The pros include:
With local backup, you will have a peace of mind knowing that your data is at an arm length external hard drive or on a protected local network and once disconnected, no malicious attack has a chance to hitthe infrastructure.
Connectivity is not a limiting factor to the speed of local backup. Backup to an external hard drive is mostly a matter of minutes or a fraction of time it would have taken cloud storage.
Knowing exactly where your data is gives you full control over who has access to your files and how to manipulate them.
The cons include:
A local hardware backup system is too costly and will additionally make the owner responsible for the power consumption, upgrades, and maintenance costs.
You only get the storage space you have and moreover, if you need to expand your storage then you will need to purchase more hardware.
Accessibility and Disaster Recovery
You can only locally access your data from the availed physical storage and in the case of a disaster, the onsite backup may be destroyed. However, even implementing a local offsite storage location to counter disaster will require the regular update of the changing data.
Which is the right one for you?
The choice between local storage and cloud storage solely depends on the backup need. The inexpensive and easy-to-setup nature of cloud storage makes it ideal for personal users and small businesses as it supports automatic backups.
On the other hand, the private data center investors and most enterprises prefer the closed local system of local storage as a hybrid solution where cloud storage is combined with local hardware backup on an automated platform as an insurance against data loss disaster.