Cloud computing is the hot thing in IT and your clients might be hearing it’s inevitable. Marketers will try to convince your clients that their data should be in the cloud, sooner or later. Maybe. Maybe not. IT solutions are not one-size-fits-all — which is why companies turn to VARs and MSPs for guidance in the first place. Are these services good for your clients? Maybe your clients are okay with sharing their personal goings-on with Facebook and their personal mail on Yahoo!, but their business records and customer’s data? Not everyone is comfortable entrusting some other company to store and keep that data safe. All kinds of things can and do go wrong with customer data managed by cloud services.
And the fact is that if you don’t want to trust an outside service with your data (or your clients’ data) — you don't have to. Just as cloud services have improved, so have software and hardware to manage data in-house.
First, you don’t have to worry about running out of room anymore. Storage is cheap. You can buy NAS (network attached storage) and a simple file server on your network. And since storage is cheap, you can use it for backup. A second NAS can back up the first, as well as client systems. Such storage systems are often small and portable, so you can buy several and keep some off-site for disaster recovery. (Make sure to encrypt all storage if you do this.) Alternatively, for disaster recovery, you can keep such backup drives in a fire/flood-proof safe on-site.
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