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Local or Cloud storage?

Updated: Feb 17

In the era of big data, with such a critical importance on cybersecurity and the need to access information, finding the optimal storage solution for your business can be a bit of a challenge. Are you better off storing things locally, on a physical drive that you can bring with you, or is sharing and storing your information on the cloud better for your business? Do you want to be able to access your data from anywhere through the internet, or would you rather keep access to local devices only? Whether you’re a high-tech firm on the cutting edge of their field, or a simple shop that needs to record sales, these are the types of questions that come into play when making storage decisions. There are two main types of computer storage, physical and cloud. Physical storage is the type of storage you’re probably most familiar with. When you press ‘save’ on your device, odds are, it is storing that data on a local drive, physically housed within the device you are using. On the other hand, there’s cloud storage. This type of storage uses the internet to store your information off-site and on an online platform, accessible by any device with internet connection and the necessary access permissions. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and there are even cases where a blend of both is the optimal approach! With so much to consider when deciding on your company’s storage system, things can get a tad confusing, especially if technology isn’t your forte. Fortunately, we at Cadence Exchange realized that our expert insights may be the exact help that developing business owners need, and put together some key information to help you wrap your head around computer storage and the options available to you!

Cloud Storage: Cloud Storage is a great solution for businesses who want the ability to access their data from anywhere. By using the cloud, which is a system of offsite data centers that are accessible through the internet, businesses can store their data online and view it any time they are connected to the web. In other words, the cloud is a way to store data online, which does mean that you must have internet access to use information stored there. One of the main benefits of this system is global accessibility, where any device connected to the internet can sign in and view the data. Other benefits include being cost effective, as using cloud storage services are often inexpensive, as well as enabling businesses to create backups of their files in case anything goes wrong. The cloud is also adaptable to the user over time. If you only need to use 20gb for three years, then suddenly need to use 20tb, that can be very easily done, whereas physical storage is limited to the disk size when purchased. One disadvantage of the cloud is that the device must be connected to the internet to be able to access the data, which may be problematic in the case of outages. Some examples of cloud storage services include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft One Drive. Now that we understand that the cloud is an offsite storage service that is accessible through the internet, let’s learn about physical storage.

Physical Storage:

Physical storage, often referred to as local storage, is more than just the hard drive in your device. It can also take the shape of a thumb drive, allowing the user to carry data from one device to another, or even a locally backed up network for connected computers. Speed and reliability are the biggest advantages of local storage. You do not need to connect to another system to retrieve your data, and if your local ISP (internet) goes down, you can still connect to it- no internet access required to use. If having local access to your information at any time with the device in hand is important to your company, physical storage is likely your solution. Local storage is also great for companies that do not need global access to their data. These options tend to be more straightforward, as there are no additional accounts and services needed, just the device itself. Being that these are physical storage options, the size of the drive when purchased remains constant. To store more information, more or larger drives must be added, unlike the cloud which can be virtually expanded. The most cost effective local storage solutions would include large thumb drives and external hard drives, which enable users to store data on removable drives that can be connected to other devices. While data stored locally is not accessible through the internet, meaning one must be physically present with the device storing the information they are looking for, the speed, reliability, security, and simplicity of local storage solutions cement their place in business.


There are situations where the cloud is the best choice, and there are situations where physical storage is the better solution. In some cases, making use of both cloud and local storage may be the best way forward. Developing a storage system that is misaligned with your business needs can be a costly and time consuming mistake, so special attention should be given to ensuring that the optimal storage solution for your company is implemented. All companies’ needs are different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to these questions. To find the right system for you, we must first understand your company’s unique use cases and storage needs, forecast future developments to ensure the system supports your growth, and reach a solution that is aligned with these findings. We hope that the information included above helps you wrap your head around cloud vs physical storage and gets you moving towards finding the right solution for you!

If you’re still unsure whether to go with local or cloud storage, or would like our experts to weigh in to ensure you’re making the right choices for your company, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at or email us at today and find the storage solution that’s right for you!

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