Cloud computing, file storage in the cloud — what the heck is the cloud, anyway? And where are your files?
The cloud is actually a cluster of servers connected via the internet that form a datacenter. The servers share resources and allocate data storage across the grid, using servers located anywhere in the world. Here's how cloud storage works.
Cloud computing and data storage
The "cloud" everyone's talking about has a number of benefits for data storage:
- Data is accessible from virtually anywhere.
- Storage space is off the network or hard drive.
- It provides a secure backup in case of system failure.
- It offers shared and controlled access to information.
Most companies use cloud storage providers to secure and protect business intelligence, save money and improve efficiency.
How does cloud computing work?
The cloud isn't a place — it's a structure. A grid of servers is created to act as a storage system. This cluster of servers is used to store your files anywhere within the grid. Because the internet is global, one server might be located in New York and another in Denmark.
The server cluster can shift files between servers, depending on the need or conditions. The cloud also helps ensure business continuity.
Is cloud storage secure?
Cloud storage providers should be committed to securing and protecting your data — that's the number one priority. Some security measures to look for include:
- High-grade encryption
- 24/7 support and monitoring
- SSH/TLS transfer protocols
- Customized permissions for file sharing
It's important to remember the human factor in securing your files. Set policies to ensure strong passwords and make sure files can be wiped from any remote device.
Choosing a cloud storage provider
Consider these tips for when you shop for a cloud storage solution:
- Choose a reputable provider with a proven history.
- Though price is always a factor, be wary of rates that seem too low compared to other vendors.
- Look for other business tools, like digital signature and workflow.
- Ask the provider if they provide reporting that tracks file interactions. You need to know who accesses your files and when.
Another key ingredient of a quality file storage provider is access to customer support. Don't settle for anything less than 24/7/365, with real people who can answer your questions.
A cloud storage solution works if it makes it easier to conduct business. ShareFile does. Find out for yourself why it's the cloud storage choice of 99 percent of the Fortune 500.
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