Cloud hosting plays a significant role in modern computing as technology becomes more mobile. A cloud facilitates mobile data access while also providing automation, greater flexibility, reduced costs and increased storage potential. Of course, cloud services are not without risks, including security and privacy. With that in mind, let’s explore how to find a safe and reliable cloud storage provider.
Turnkey vs. Simple Storage
Most cloud services provide storage assets that you can connect to directly or through third-party software or hardware. Other clouds are complete turnkey platforms, including an application that moves data to and from the cloud. Most users will only need simple storage, but know the environment and plan for growth. If necessary, at least choose a provider that has a turnkey upgrade option.
Security is a crucial factor for individuals and corporations alike. At the least, you want a service that stores the data in an encrypted form. The best security measures will also involve encrypting on the wire. In other words, as you receive, and potentially send, data to the cloud’s virtual private servers, the system encrypts the transmission. Furthermore, ensure that the cloud uses encrypted caches; unencrypted caches undermine the other security efforts.
Availability is a critical factor, but one that many clients take for granted; they simply expect the cloud to be there. This is a particularly important consideration for users employing the cloud as a primary storage. If the cloud service is interrupted, the user has no access. Those who use the cloud as primary storage may want to consider using multiple clouds or using a cloud that has multiple redundant datacenters.
In the cloud, privacy often walks hand in hand with the security concerns mentioned earlier. If the data is stored encrypted and transferred encrypted, then you have reasonable privacy, including scenarios in which the courts subpoena the cloud provider’s equipment. Beyond that, the client has legal rights to confidentiality, but integrity comes into play here since these laws can be difficult to enforce.
Factors like integrity and longevity should be at the top of the list, and cost should take a back seat to them. It’s understandable to want to save as much money as possible, but you should be willing to pay a premium when it comes to safeguarding your data. Each month, new companies spring up with incredibly priced specials, but you have very little guarantee about where that company will be in a year’s time.
Service Level Agreement
The SLA is the aspect of the contract that formally defines the cloud service. Ensure that the cloud guarantees greater than 99.9 percent availability for the VPS and all data and 99.99 percent durability for data objects. Furthermore, ensure that the company has a history of living up to that promise. Avoid companies that do not, and opt for a service that refunds the client in the event that it fails to live up to its promise.
Data Durability & Availability
Data durability indicates the amount of data loss that a client should expect due to data corruption and other factors. A service that guaranteed 99.9999 percent durability would theoretically lose one file for every one million stored. Data availability indicates the reliability of the service. If a cloud guarantees 99.99 percent availability, then it will be unavailable no more than five minutes each month.
Location and Speed
Choose a cloud that has a datacenter reasonably close to your home and place of employment. The further away you are, the greater the latency and slower the response time. In addition, don’t take published speeds for granted. Test the speed of the connection. Optimally, you should choose a cloud service that can take full advantage of the Internet connection at your home and business.
Guest Post by: Natasha
Natasha is a blogger and a writer researching and writing on the subject of cloud hosting and virtual private servers.
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