In 2019, cloud technology is offering much more than just simple remote storage, with a great range of services and solutions that can be tailored to every possible need, whether for personal or business use. Those unsure about how to find the best cloud solutions for their business can turn to assistance from an external provider, such as Mustard IT support.
The cloud has become all-important in data management, from analytics to big data deployment, and shows no signs of slowing. Currently,almost 60% of North American organisations use public cloud platforms, which is five times the proportion of just five years ago, and Gartner predicts that the cloud services market will be worth more than $200 billion before the end of the year.
Source: Right Scale cloud study
The biggest hyperscale players in the cloud industry are Alibaba, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, IBM, Microsoft Azure and Oracle, and these will continue to grow without allowing for new competition to emerge, yet further developments are taking place in the market.
The Software as a Service (SaaS) industry is growing and improving, and as well as this cloud companies that provide SaaS will increase investment in applications.
Serverless cloud computing, which began with AWS Lambda and is a user-friendly way of minimising application management, will also continue to expand, as Microsoft and Google have both launched their own serverless platforms. To small companies and startups, serverless technology can mean going without the trouble of installing infrastructure, establishing a market, setting up security, and other maintenance issues.
Other cloud products which have more recently been developed and provide more specialised services to enterprises, are expected to become more popular in the near future. These include Data Platform as a Service (DPaaS), for those working with big data, Integrating Platform as a Service (IPaaS), which is a platform service that employs tools to enable the easy integration of applications and data, Blockchain as a Service (BaaS), which provides blockchain services for applications, and Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS), which links mobile and web applications to backend storage. With these and a number of other cloud services underway, it seems there are a few more acronyms to take on board before the decade is over.
We are continuing to see growth in the use of containers, which are used to run applications, and are becoming an integral part of using cloud. These are used in conjunction with dockers and microservices, and make development quicker and easier. There is also great interest in Kubernetes (K8) from Google, an open-source container management system used for deployment and scaling.
Depending on the exact cloud requirements of your enterprise, the various considerations you may wish to take into account when deciding on a storage plan may be price, security, reliability, speed and support. As per the advice of Dave Bartoletti, Vice President of Forester, “Don’t pick a cloud before you pick a strategy”.
These are cloud storage services for businesses that start from 200 GB in capacity, with services including online collaboration, remote file transfer and round-the-clock technical support. Security is high and file history recovery is available, as well as personal plans.
For affordable prices, Amazon offers cloud storage with web-scale capabilities. The same speed, security and reliability is offered to companies of all sizes, and all types of files and media can be stored. Accounts are free with 5 GB of storage, and different pricing plans for additional storage and bandwidth.
This is a popular option with the ability to access across any desktop or mobile device, and security features such as SSL encryption, 2-step authentication and mobile pass codes. Free accounts are allowed 2 GB of storage, file sharing and syncing, while $12.50 per month will stretch to 2 TB. Unlimited storage is available for $20 per month, which also includes extra security, team management tools and priority phone and email support.
A Google Drive account will offer users 15 GB of storage for free and access to a web-based productivity suite. The upgraded business version, G-Suite comes with unlimited storage as well as business features for Gmail, Calendars and Hangouts, for $10 per month. Both Google cloud accounts offer the possibility to share and edit between users.
Files of any size can be sent or shared from any device or global location, and users can control access to each file. ‘Spaces’, or special project files can also be shared through individual links with editing or updating permissions, though these are limited to 250 MB per space. Free plans come with 2 GB of storage space, while $8.25 per month will buy you unlimited space.
From Microsoft, OneDrive offers integration between devices for Windows users and remote file access. Access is available through the web, through Microsoft Office programs, and through Windows devices. The free account offers 5 GB of storage, while the business accounts have unlimited storage with 15 GB uploads. There are also tiered plans at different prices.
OpenDrive provides remote cloud storage services and an office suite including word processing and project management applications, and is aimed at businesses for storing, sharing and syncing files. The free plan comes with 5 GB storage, while paid plans start from $8.95 per month.
With an increasing number of businesses and individuals migrating to the cloud, the need to familiarise ourselves with the different services and technologies offered is becoming a pressing issue. Enterprises often find that choosing or installing a cloud infrastructure unwisely can be a costly error, so finding advice and support from a professional can be a smart move to make. Every cloud has a silver lining, but it sometimes takes an expert to let it shine through.