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21
May 2014

Cloud Storage vs. Local Office Server

Many small and medium businesses seem to think that they need a central office file server, which is a pain to maintain and can be costly. However simple the server solution, for example a QNAP NAS is pretty simple, it still requires some administration and assumes you have a decent understanding of networking and the internet in general. You can get someone in to set it up, and come round to maintain it, or start an in-house IT department by hiring an IT guy full time, but usually you could do without the hassle.

Use cloud based storage instead.

Even for large artwork and photograph files, frequently 100-200mb or more in size (that can take an hour or more to synchronise), it is still a solid solution that average internet speeds in Cambodia can cope with – assuming they are pretty much always connected. Dropbox for example, when used like a normal folder, responds to changes almost as quickly as a local server (and in some cases more reliably, for example power outages) in normal everyday use.

More and more people are using cloud based storage for business use, both on an individual and enterprise level, but it fits really well for small-medium businesses as a physical server replacement due to the ease of setup and no maintenance.

I have tried a fair few of the cloud storage services out there both on a free and paid for level, and set up and maintained them for others. I’ve tried Dropbox, Dropbox Teams (Business version), Google Drive, Copy.com, Box.com, and looked into many others. Out of the lot.. Dropbox and Copy get used every day, with an emphasis on Dropbox. Copy.com is good to get a lot of space but I have found the synchronisation and reliability isn’t as good as Dropbox and that is a pretty key feature.

If you have a clunky server sitting in the corner it is easy to migrate to a cloud service, or get the best of both worlds and set up the server to also synchronise to the cloud.

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Joe Ogden
Website Design & Development
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
[email protected]