To deploy a Personal Cloud or leverage a Public Cloud?

Why Should You Create Your Own Personal Cloud?

From floppy to CD's, hard disk to cloud, storage technologies have come a long way, transforming our memories and experiences from physical devices to virtual spaces. When done effectively, a cloud-based infrastructure can offer advantages over traditional storage technologies in the areas of performance, scalability, and even security. As cloud storage technologies advance and become available to the masses, today's users are offered numerous options of storage technologies, facing a dilemma: to deploy a Personal Cloud or leverage a Public Cloud.

A Public Cloud consists of a set of services purchased by a separate organization and delivered via the Internet by a third-party provider. Consumers may leverage the extended benefits of the public cloud, which offers a greater economy of scale. On the other hand, the Personal Cloud is a more private type of cloud, known as a network-attached storage (NAS) device-based cloud. Owned and controlled by its users, NAS acts as a central secure location where files can be easily accessed, backed up and transferred to a variety of devices such as media players, gaming consoles and smart phone, and TVs. More user-friendly than ever, NAS have evolved as network appliances that simply "plug in" to existing network infrastructures.

Though both Public Cloud and Personal Cloud deliver similar functionality, they come with different advantages and drawbacks.

When Affordability Meets Scalability

One of the greatest advantages of Public Cloud services is that they are relatively cheap and often free at the lowest tiers of storage. For instance, some Public Cloud services offer 15GB of storage for free. Users who occasionally back up files of smaller sizes, 15GB is usually more than sufficient. Users who wish to store videos or back up hard drive, monthly subscriptions starting from EUR$7.99 (USD$8.9) for 1TB would be ideal.

Unlike Public Cloud services, Personal Cloud storage does not charge users monthly subscriptions. Only a one-time payment is required upfront. Users are free to select their preferred NAS, establish the amount of storage needed and purchase the hard disk to go into the NAS.

Furthermore, Personal Cloud is easy to scale up. Today's digital devices make it extremely easy for users to capture images or obtain files. If you buy a new SLR (Single-Lens Reflex) camera, each photo you take can be up to 30MB. It wouldn't take long before you need to scale your storage up to accommodate all your photos. A Personal Cloud Storage makes it easy to scale your storage up as the amount of your data grows by adding another or a bigger hard drive. Most Personal Cloud NAS devices support hard drive up to 6TB, so if you buy a Personal Cloud NAS with 2 hard drive bays, you can have as much as 12TB of storage.

Single Point of Failure: Once is Never Enough

Anyone with experience in networking building or working as an IT staff would know the importance of delivering as few single points of failure as possible. In other words, when it comes to backing up data, once is never enough.

In the case of a Personal Cloud device with 2 hard drive bays, half of the capacity is used to store data, while the other half is used to duplicate copy. In the unlikely event that one drive fails, the data remains intact thanks to the duplication on the other drive.

Besides, there is still chance that users cannot access their files on Public Cloud due to system or internet connection failure.

Securely Yours

Whether it's a report from the government or a story from a Hollywood blockbuster, data breach is a cautionary tale that has been told a thousand times. With Public Storage services, there would always be risks. When data is hosted on servers located in different countries, the data is subject to another nation's privacy laws, which vary from country to country. Even if data owners do not agree with the privacy law, the host is still entitled to ownership of the stored information and collect it.

As a consumer, you are entitled to 100% of the ownership of your Personal Cloud, given far greater control over your data. Personal Cloud offers users the sole authority to decide who has the access to the data stored and who does not. It is also the habit of a hacker to cast wide nets by targeting large data centers rather than individual storage, rendering personal cloud safer and less likely to be vulnerable to external threats.

Speed Matters

The rapid progression over the years from GSM to 3G and now LTE demonstrates that high speed is paramount. The ability to access data whenever wherever at the absolute soonest is now a given rather than a plus. Personal Cloud NAS brings the speed up to 20 times faster than Public Cloud services when accessed in the local network.

Many Public Cloud providers also impose maximum bandwidth for data upload, slowing down data transfer from devices to the cloud. For example, when a Public Cloud provider restricts a maximum upload bandwidth to 100KB/second, uploading a 500GB file would take 60 days. With a Personal Cloud, the time needed for the upload to complete is about 1.5 hours with write speed of up to 100MB/second.

Personal Cloud or Public Cloud, the benefit of any type is the potential for the data it stores to be securely accessed and migrated at all times. With lower total costs over several years, better security, more control of your data and scalability, deploying a Personal Cloud Storage at home is a better choice to create your own data and media center.