Why to use Windows Azure Storage against local portable hard disk?


Since the inception of computers, enterprises had been using hard disks for data storage and transfer purpose. Most popular option is ‘portable hard disk’ being cost effective, easy to use and ability to carry anywhere features. Because of success of portable hard disks enterprises got attracted to it and started leveraging them for business data storage, backup and archival purposes, which is not the purpose these disks are meant for. Portable hard disks were developed for storage of temporary data and primarily for portability purpose.

Companies need to look at more reliable storage solution considering below mentioned criteria’s, because data not available on time or loss of data is as bad as data was never available!

Below is the comparison summary between ‘portable hard disk’ and ‘Windows Azure Storage services’ storage options against different criteria’s.

Sr. No

Criteria Portable Hard Disk Cloud(Windows Azure)

Winner

1

Data Security Low – Easily accessible High- Always Secure Access Azure Storage

2

Ease of data Access Data Access is easy as one has to just plug the HDD in USB Internet based data access HDD

3

Portability High Low – but data is available around the world via Internet

HDD

4 Reach Low – Need to physically carry everywhere High – Data accessible globally

Azure Storage

5

Disaster Recovery Low – Very less chances of data recovery High – Inbuilt disaster recovery. Data gets copied at 3 places and   will be automatically made available in disaster recovery scenarios

Azure Storage

6

Data redundancy Low – Need to implement explicitly which costs your more High – Inbuilt data redundancy. Data gets copied at 3 places

Azure Storage

7 Availability Low- Vulnerable to numerous environmental conditions High – 99.9% promised availability with world class data centers   support

Azure Storage

8

Performance High – Local access Low- Internet based access HDD
9 Maintenance Need more care in periodic verifying of device No maintenance needed

Azure Storage

10

Vulnerable to physical damage, heat, dust, wear and tear Yes- highly vulnerable No

Azure Storage

11

Life of storage device 2-3 years max Virtually unlimited Azure Storage
12 Risk of device theft High Low

Azure Storage

13

Data access concurrency Cannot be accessed concurrently for more than few users Can be accessed by large users concurrently

Azure Storage

14

Governed SLAs  No YES – by Microsoft Azure Storage
15 Device Driver needs YES NO

Azure Storage

16

Data Access time Less because of local data transfer More because of internet based data transfer HDD
17 Price 1 TB for Approx. $100 $0.07 per GB per month

HDD

18

Storage Capacity Fixed – need to decide at the time of buying Virtually unlimited Azure Storage
19 Storage flexibility If data size increases, Data storage cannot grow by itself Cloud storage supports scalability out of the box with ability to   storage unlimited data. Flexibility in terms of Pay as you go model

Azure Storage

20

Pricing Model Capex – Capital investment is needed. Opex – Only monthly usage charges need to pay, no upfront commitment Azure Storage
21 Focus Organization need to spend time and give focus on maintaining HDD in   good way along with redundant copies of it No need to spend additional minute in caring about the storage once   data is uploaded.

Azure Storage

Just to conclude, ‘Windows Azure Storage Services’ wins in most of the cases and proves to be best option for storage purpose. Use this information wisely in your scenario to analyze the benefits scenarios.

Hope this helps !

Laxmikant Patil 🙂

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One Response to “Why to use Windows Azure Storage against local portable hard disk?”

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