Best cloud storage management services
The process of digital transformation means that businesses are increasingly moving to cloud solutions, such as for Infrastruture as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and especially for data storage.
However, managing cloud solutions with legacy on-premises applications can be a challenge at the best of times, and managing the storage, flow, and use of data between these is no different. This can be especially problematic when different apps in different systems need to share data, or if data across multiple clouds needs to be shared.
Luckily, there are a number of cloud storage management services available, to allow you to manage every part of your cloud data. This could be anything from syncing accounts so that all your data is in one place, to migrating data from one cloud platform to another.
Integrations are key to cloud storage management, so whichever solution you use needs to be able to work with the apps that you use. Most of the names listed here should be able to work with major cloud platforms, but do check if not sure before you buy.
- Best cloud storage online: free, paid and business options
- We also compiled the list of best cloud backup services
- It is advisable that you keep a local copy of your files, so check out our best NAS
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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.
The moving process made easy
Mover.io runs along the same lines as cloudHQ in that its main focus is on synchronising files between two accounts. However, it includes other services such as Mover Vault, which entitles paid users to unlimited free storage space.
Mover supports nearly all of the main cloud-based storage providers including Microsoft Azure, Dropbox and OneDrive. Everything is done from your web browser so there is no messing around with downloads. Mover can also save snapshots and save files in ZIP format.
If all you are interested is doing is moving files from one cloud service to another, then the free tier is suitable for your needs. However, if you need to perform larger backups or schedule transfers then you will need to upgrade to the paid tier. This starts off at $20 (£15.68) per user which includes a 20GB transfer quota. If you go over the 20GB allowance you will be charged $1 (£.78) for each 1GB over the threshold. This could make the migration process expensive if you have a lot of data to transfer from different service providers.
Also consider these business cloud storage management solutions
Looking for a cloud storage management solution specifically designed for business and big data? Have no fear - major cloud providers usually include tools for this purpose bundled among their cloud service options. Here's we'll cover the major providers for this for you to consider:
Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer is a key service on the MS platform for handling data storage in your Azure cloud. It can be used to manage files and databases, access virtual machines, and works with Azure's Resource Manager as well as classic storage accounts. If you're already looking to migrate your data into Azura then Storage Explorer is likely to become an essential tool.
Amazon Web Services Storage has a range of different storage management options, depending on how the data needs to be used. 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.
IBM Cloud Object Storage is a scalable cloud storage solution for unstructured data. Flexible storage class tiers with a policy-based archive allow you to manage and archive the data as required, such as creating a data lake for big data processing for insights. It can also be used for storing data from cloud-native applications, as well of course as a general backup archive. Controls allow you to set access permissions.
Google Cloud offers a number of cloud storage products, depending on how you want to manage your data. Their are nearline and coldline options for data backups and archiving, as well as a standard storage option for high frequency access. Storage can be for files, blobs, blocks, for example, as well as options for mobile applications, data transfer, and even collaborative projects. Data can be easily moved between different options dynamically with storage classes.
How to choose a cloud storage/cloud backup provider?
Blue Logic’s Chief Technology Officer, Tim Hall, provided TechRadar Pro with a checklist of three questions to ask when choosing your cloud storage provider:
There is a growing trend within the IT industry and amongst businesses to move towards cloud computing platforms to conduct daily business operations, and to store and backup corporate data. Cloud computing brings with it many benefits including:
- Business efficiency – allowing employees to access the data they need, when they need it, from any location on any device.
- Always up to date – cloud platforms run the latest versions and provide automatic updates to users.
- More economical – with cloud computing you reduce the need for capital expenditure, instead you move towards a consumption based model, this allows you to only pay for the services you need, when you need them and it is scalable with your business.
When choosing a cloud storage/backup provider here are the top three things for you to consider:
1. Where is your data stored?
Firstly, you need to understand where your data is going to be stored. Your thinking it’s going to be stored in the ‘cloud’? Well yes and no. It is not a floating stream of files and data hovering from high above. Your data is still being physically stored on computer servers – just not yours. Instead it’s stored in large, secure data centres, managed by your provider.
It is important to check with your provider where their servers are located and to know where your data actually resides. This is to ensure data sovereignty is maintained, dependent upon the industry you work in this will reduce any compliance issues you could face by holding data in a different region to where your business operates. Best practice would be to have your data stored within the same region as your business.
2. Speed of access to the data
As a business you want to be as efficient and productive as possible. Your employees now expect to access data on a multitude of devices, regardless of time and location. When selecting a cloud storage provider always ask how quickly you can access your data to your devices.
Furthermore should the worst happen and you experience a data loss/outage you want to be able to recover with as minimal disruption and business downtime as possible. When choosing a cloud backup provider it is important to check the speed to restore your data and get your business back up and running.
3. Data security and encryption
Data is one of the most critical assets within any business, so it’s important that you have confidence in the security measures in place where your data backups are stored. It is worth checking with your provider if your data is saved in a private or public cloud to ensure you get the right service for your business requirements. A private cloud is contained within a secure area that holds only one company’s data. If it were on a public cloud, then the data would be in a server with data from multiple sources.
It is also important to understand the security measures your provider has in place to ensure your data is stored as safely as possible to give you that extra peace of mind. Ask if they have the highest security in place with encryption on your data, also do they have physical security in place?
Do they operate 24 hours a day 7 days a week? One other key question to ask is what is their backup plan should the datacentre go down? How do they ensure the security of your data should this happen.