What is the purpose of using the Cloud or a server?
First, let’s talk about why you’d want to use the Cloud or servers. The reason is because you want to share information in a secure way across your company or across your employees. E-mail works for this when you have few people and few documents, but the more documents you have and the more employees you have, the more you’ll find out its limitations. Another reason is cloud services or a server give you a place to store your backups.
Why a server?
Servers serve multiple functions in IT. If you already have one, it’s not difficult to store information on it. If you need to work off-location and access information stored there, you’ll need a VPN in order to do so.
If you don’t already have a server however and don’t need it for other IT reasons, I would only use a server for company data storage for security reasons. A server is much more secure than the Cloud. It’s a lot harder to get into a server than it is a Cloud account. If you intend to store a huge amount of data or have many users, you may also find that it’s cheaper to do so on a server. You can also customize a server much more than you can the Cloud.
Why the Cloud?
If you have a Microsoft account (e.g., an Office 365 subscription) or a Gmail account, you have access to Cloud storage. It’s called Microsoft OneDrive in Microsoft, and Google Drive in Google. It’s more secure to use team paid accounts – that is, business Office 365 accounts and GSuite accounts – than it is to use unrelated accounts, but you can use either. However, the amount of storage you get with your account is typically limited. Many businesses also don’t have accounts for every one of their employees, which limits its usability.
The Cloud tends to be more reliable than an on-site server. If you don’t have a dedicated IT staff and you need to be up as much as you can, you will find that the Cloud better meets your needs. If you are not doing off-site backups and a natural disaster happens to your location, having your files in the Cloud will be better. The Cloud also allows for real-time file collaboration.
Could I use both the Cloud and a server?
Absolutely! Often Tech Lab prefers a hybrid approach where both Cloud solutions and onsite solutions are used.
No matter which option you prefer, Tech Lab can work with you to assess your needs and set you up so you can work on documents seamlessly with your team and so you have adequate backups. Call us at 414-208-4682 to schedule your consultation.