As businesses increasingly move their IT infrastructure into cloud computing services, the issue of how to best store data inevitably comes up. While there are cloud storage solutions available to consumers, and while businesses can take advantage of cloud databases to store structured data, and even data lakes to store unstructured data, these solutions work work for every business.
This is especially for enterprises with legacy on-premises applications that can create a challenge in managing the storage, flow, and use of data, even with cloud management software in place for hybrid clouds. Additionally, there will be different types of data that needs to be used in different ways, from customer data that simply needs to be recorded to disaster recovery (DR) solutions that need the ability to swap in data from cloud backups in the event of a major IT failure or major malware infection such as from ransomware.
However, there are a number of cloud storage management services available, to allow you to manage every part of your cloud data in the different ways required. This could be anything from syncing accounts so that all your data is in one place, setting up simple backups, to migrating data from one cloud platform to another.
Connectivity is key to cloud storage management, so whichever solution you use needs to be able to work with the cloud services and apps that you use. While the major cloud providers can account for cloud storage management, sometimes it's the third party management companies that can prove the more versatile when it comes to working with multiple services and hybrid cloud needs.
Here therefore we'll list the business services we think offer the best in cloud storage management for all different business sizes, from enterprises looking to manage complex data needs, to small businesses simply looking to consolidate their cloud storage.
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Best cloud storage management services - at a glance
- Azure Storage Explorer
- AWS Storage
Azure's powerful cloud storage management solution
Azure Storage Explorer is a powerful cloud storage management solution that aims to make it easy to mange all types of data for every time of need.
It caters for the upload and download of data, in the form of files, tables, queues, and blobs, and works with both the Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Data Lake features for easier management.
Everything is run through a simple graphical user interface (GUI) to make the process easier, and you can access from that virtual machines and work with the Azure Resource Manager as well as normal storage. There's also the ability to manage multiple account subscriptions together.
Connections are made through HTTPS to make it secure, with access controlled by defined roles. Even then, emulators allow for offline working as well, which is a nifty feature.
As you'd expect from Azure, this is a management solution that aims to work with large and sometimes complex data, multiple cloud features, and provide a comprehensive solution to big business needs.
Takes the hard work out of the migration process
Cloudsfer is a migration solution that makes the transfer and backing up of your files from one system to another seamless. It is integrated with some of the big names in cloud storage such as Amazon Cloud Drive and Google Drive. Cloudsfer have a support team ready to assist 24/7.
With this solution you never have to worry about forgetting to transfer your files as you can schedule this to take place whenever suits you. As this is a cloud-based solution you also don’t have to worry about an installation process and it is quick and easy to use. The UI is user friendly and simple to navigate. Files for export can be sorted by size or type and any permissions you have previously created can be kept during migration.
Cloudsfer offer a free tier which includes 5GB free. It will allow you to run one migration at a time, offers free technical support and can generate a migration report. If you feel that you will need to transfer up to 8GB of data you can pay $6 (£4.70) for the ‘Personal’ Plan. This comes with the option to apply filters to your migration.
However, you can personalize this plan to increase your transfer quota. This costs more depending on how many GB you add. Both these tiers do not offer security migration so if this is what you are looking for, the ‘Business’ plan would be the best fit for your needs. This can also be customized depending on how many GB you need to migrate.
One of the main criticisms of Cloudsfer is that the paid tiers seem to be rather expensive considering what they offer but in general this is a well-liked solution that is perfect for those unfamiliar with migrating data.
Integrating all your apps into one
CloudHQ was founded in 2011 and is based in San Francisco. It can sync across many cloud platforms but works best with any Google apps such a Google Drive and Gmail.
CloudHQ fully integrates all your Google related apps with other cloud-based services such as Salesforce, Dropbox and Evernote. This solution offers full backup protection for all G Suite apps that may be used within your organisation. Even if other organisations you work with use other services such as Dropbox, cloudHQ will sync and integrate all these with your G Suite accounts. This means less hassle for you when working over multiple cloud-based solutions.
CloudHQ offer a free tier that allows users to save emails to the cloud with unlimited backup and sync of Free Cloud Accounts. There are paid options, too, which include a free 15-day trial so you don’t have to commit straight away. CloudHQ offer a 30-day money back guarantee if you do decide to go for it but ultimately find it is not right for you.
Copy and paste your way to a smoother migration process
MultCloud was founded in 2013 by AOMEI Technology. They offer a solution that is designed to bind all your cloud storage providers together in one platform, making everything more accessible for you. It is a cross-platform, web-based solution. In 2016 a Google Chrome extension was released.
Through the use of copy/paste or by synching between two cloud-based servers, MultCloud makes transferring files a very simple and painless process. You don’t need to be online for the whole process as MultCloud will complete any data-to-data transmission for you. This solution also supports scheduling transfers whenever you need, meaning that you do not have to manually start the process yourself. You can schedule it to start migration or to update sync with other cloud services after a certain period of time or you can schedule a transfer process when your system is powered off.
MultCloud is integrated with some of the biggest names in cloud services such as Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive, amongst others. It is very reasonable priced with the paid tier starting off at $9.90 (£7.80) a month (with annual payment discounts). They also offer a free plan that includes up to 50GB of allowance for transfer.
MultCloud has been criticized for only supporting English as many users have businesses in non-English speaking parts of the world.
One stop shop for individual and enterprise migration
CloudFuze was founded in 2012 with the goal of providing businesses and private consumers with a way to transfer and migrate their files easily no matter where they are stored.
On the main dashboard you can sort through all of your files where they can be divided into file type. You can also apply custom filters. This solution also offers file sharing and CloudFuze have a workspace that team members can use to collaborate on projects.
CloudFuze is very simple to use and lets you drag and drop folders to your chosen cloud provider. The platform also offers end-to-end cloud file and user migrations for both businesses and consumers.
For individual users the lower tier starts off at $9.99 (£7.84) per month and includes a 50GB transfer quota. This can be increased to 200GB for $34.99 (£27.44) per month if you decide to upgrade to the next tier. Discounts are available when paid annually.
Business users need to contact CloudFuze for a custom quote.
The main criticism of CloudFuze is that, for individual users at least, you can only go up to 200GB of transfer data. This could be problematic if you have a large amount of data that you need to migrate.
Amazon's powerful cloud storage solution
Rather than an individual service, AWS Storage offers a range of different cloud storage management options depending on file or data type and use, in order to provide a more efficient service.
These options range from persistent storage for high availability, local storage for databases, cloud migration storage, deep archiving, as well as backup storage for disaster recovery.
For example, Amazon S3 is used to store data for backup and recovery or otherwise archived content, boasting the ability to seamless host tens of trillions of data points. Amazon S3 Glacier is a low-cost option for long-term data storage, while Amazon FSx for Windows File Server manages Windows applications and their data.
The overall aim is to both provide storage capacity that is more reliable and scalable than on-premises storage, while being able to provide access to data in the most efficient way required.
The latter point is especially important in the age of the Internet of Things, where data may be required on a constant basis globally, in contrast to the needs of accessing data that is simply being stored as an archive.
As expected with AWS, there are a comprehensive range of cloud service features available when it comes to cloud storage management, and are generally aimed at larger business needs.