A server often provides the central point for users within a business’s IT infrastructure to store files for common access within the network. File storage is one of the most commonly known functions for the cloud, and it’s far more successful at delivering this function than physical formats.
Why should you store your data in the cloud?
Storing your data in the cloud makes it accessible from any web-enabled device that has the permissions to do so. Cloud storage offers users a safe environment, that reduces risks such as data loss, allowing them to share files or sync them with ease.
Cloud storage is also very flexible and can be scaled up or down ‘at the touch of a button’. If you reach capacity on your cloud server subscription, it can be extended quickly and easily – a feature not offered by a physical server.
When a project requires a large amount of storage for a short period of time, the flexibility of the cloud enables you to make a short-term change to your storage and then return to your usual specification when no longer needed.
OneDrive is a great cloud storage service, enabling you to store a variety of files in the cloud and share them with people easily. Rather than having to send a file, you can upload it to your OneDrive account, and provide the person you want with a link to the file so that they can access it.
If it’s a file you may need to send to other people, you only need to upload it that one time – you just send them a link rather than attaching it to an email and having multiple copies to manage or worry about.
This is the kind of cloud storage application that OneDrive is great for.
OneDrive has its uses, in that it’s a great resource for storing and exchanging files – however, it has limitations when it comes to security and is not as good as other platforms when it comes to group collaboration. In business, OneDrive is really something to be used for personal files or sharing the occasional file with internal stakeholders.
In addition to allowing you to move all your files to the cloud, SharePoint provides a more user-friendly interface which you can customise to fit your business.
The security of your files benefit from a considerable upgrade when you migrate them to the cloud and SharePoint Online. This is not just because your files will now be located in a Microsoft data centre and comply with ISO 27001 and many other industry standards, you’ll also have unparalleled control over who has access and what they can do with them.
The flexibility within SharePoint makes it an altogether new experience to the interactions you’ve had with your traditional server. You can use SharePoint Online to improve productivity, with real-time collaboration and co-authoring, SharePoint Workflows and the Countdown Timer. As the name suggests, SharePoint is a much more collaborative tool than OneDrive and is more suited to businesses who want multiple people to securely share and access information.
To read more about these features, read our article on how to make the most of SharePoint.
Azure File Storage
Microsoft Azure Files allows you to replicate your server in the cloud. It makes the data you store highly accessible and secure, and is easily scalable to meet your changing needs.
Features of Azure Files include:
- Secure data at rest and in transit using SMB 3.0 and HTTPS
- Simplified cloud file share management using familiar tools
- Quick access to files over high-latency, low bandwidth links
- Compatibility with Windows, Linux and macOS
- Create high-performance file shares using the Premium Files storage tier
Azure Storage allows you to ‘lift and shift’ the data held on your server and, if it suits, operate in a hybrid environment whereby the data is stored both on the server and in the cloud for ultimate access. However, it does not include the customisation features offered by SharePoint such as the ability to create an intranet or extranet for your business.
Top tip when creating files in the cloud
We advise clients to use a different approach to file creation and saving, in order to get the best results out of your cloud file storage platform. Create your document or spreadsheet within the cloud platform first, rather than opening the program, such as Word or Excel, working on it and then saving to a location as you normally would.
The result is that you have the file you want, with the name you want, in the place you want, before you start creating the content. This helps to ensure your files are in the correct location, saving correctly, and promotes good file structuring across your organisation.
How can Microtrading help?
Firstly, we can help identify the right option for your needs, by assessing your requirement.
The comprehensive range of cloud solutions we offer is designed to deliver an IT infrastructure that is optimised towards your needs and allows you to capitalise on all that cloud computing has to offer.
Microtrading can advise on, specify and implement your migration to the cloud. We’ll help you to build a cloud-based platform and customise it to meet your specific needs. .
Once your cloud migration is complete, we can support it on an ongoing basis with our IT helpdesk and Managed IT Support Services to ensure the smooth running of your IT infrastructure.