For the anachronism, we’re back to having everything centralized on a server and nightly backups to tape or (if you were very cool) to an external drive or backup server. The usual, throw all your eggs in one basket then pay a typically unreliable fox a lot of money to look after it. We’ll look at all the downsides to tapes and external hard drives in the next section.
So, you want to have cloud-based document storage and security. We’ve beaten Google Apps to death, but lets kick that horse one more time: Google Docs provides 7 GB of storage for their base-free edition. While not much, I have clients that don’t need more. If you do need more, you can buy it at $5/year for an additional 20 GB. Which works out to be not much. Buying a 1,000 GB hard drive is around $120 and that’s just the hard drive. It’s not being backed up, it’s not available anywhere. For the same space in Google Docs, it’d cost you $256/year. Quite a good deal. And you can store ANYTHING up there.
Dropbox is a wildly popular application. It is cloud-based, so data’s available where ever you are from anything. It even installs its application on your PC, Mac, Droid, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows phone and more. If you’re enterprising enough, it’s possible to put it on the software that runs your smart fridge. So your data’s anywhere, it’s also on your computer with you when you’re offline. The pricing structure ranges from free to quite a lot, most small businesses would never need more than the $20/month level.
Other applications, like SkyDrive, SugarSync and the like offer similar, web-based functionality, but not the added advantage of being synchronized to your local computer. Amazon’s S3 storage has that same web-based functionality and the ability to be sync’d to your local computer, but it’s not in real-time and it does require third party software.
Stop back on Wednesday for the next part!
If you can’t wait to find out more or for a free technology consultation, contact me!