Category Archives: Cloud Storage
New study finds AEC firms using 50% more cloud storage than before – Planning, Building & Construction Today
The 2024 AEC Data Insights Report from Egnyte shows that the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry is embracing the shift to cloud storage and other digital construction tools.
The data storage requirements of the companies surveyed grew at an average compounded annual growth rate of 50.3%.
Egynte observes that this rapid growth trend began during the pandemic, but as companies started to see the benefits of the cloud, growth has maintained that pace.
Cloud storage and collaboration solutions have become an increasingly normalised part of the AEC industry workings- and can help meet new regulatory requirements, such as those of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Compliance (CMMC) in the United States and the Building Safety Act in the UK.
The findings are based on data from more than 4,000 companies in Egnytes customer base, which includes firms representing every stage of the AEC project lifecycle.
The insights we gleaned from this years report reflect the conversations we have with AEC firms on a daily basis. Companies are relying more heavily on digital collaboration to get the job done a trend that shows no signs of slowing down, said Ronen Vengosh, senior vice president of Industry Solutions at Egnyte.
Their increased reliance on cloud collaboration and file storage coupled with the high frequency of cybersecurity threats these firms encounter highlights the need for secure, reliable cloud collaboration solutions.
Storage and backup investment plans for 2024 show a significant bias towards averting risk and building resilience. At the same time, storage spending plans lean towards the cloud, but with very robust on-premise storage spending plans also present.
Those are the findings of the Technology spending intentions survey from TechTarget and ESG, which questioned 1,432 technology decision-makers worldwide over three key areas:
When asked about storage and data protection technologies that organisations plan to invest in over the next 12 months, the overwhelming majority of responses indicate plans of arguably a defensive nature. Therefore, at number one, we find data governance, risk and compliance, with disaster recovery, cyber resilience and business continuity next. Joint-fourth is ransomware protection. Only in sixth place do we see something thats not explicitly about protection of data or risk, namely public cloud file storage as a key investment.
Next up, we were back on defence, with data management of cloud and unstructured data, backup for cloud data, and backup hardware and software.
Public cloud object storage comes last in the list of 10 investment priorities.
When these responses were broken down between enterprise and mid-market decision-makers, storage-as-a-service also creeps into the top 10 priorities.
Public cloud storage (file and object) continues to be the most likely storage investment. But on-premise investments are still significant, especially in the context of organisations reevaluating whether the cloud is the right place to store data and applications.
As mentioned above, when it comes to investment in storage capacity, cloud storage is a prominent priority, with file (31% of those questioned) and object (24%) the most significant storage investments planned worldwide.
Storage as a service came in third in the list of investment priorities, with planned spend in 2024 by 23% of respondents.
Cloud block storage was also cited by 16% of those asked, but the other seven in a list of 11 storage technology areas are unambiguously on-premise.
Internal server storage tops the list of investment priorities here (19%), followed by hyper-converged infrastructure (16%), software-defined storage (15%) and on-premise SAN capacity Ethernet (15%) and Fibre Channel (12%). Behind those are flash storage (12%) and on-premise direct attached storage (10%).
The survey also broke down responses between North America, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Where these vary significantly includes public cloud file and object storage in North America, which lags behind the worldwide average (26% and 19%), while it leads in cloud block storage plans by a long way (29% versus 16%).
Meanwhile, flash storage plans are significantly more prevalent in North America (16%) and APAC (14%) than in EMEA (9%).
In data protection generally, theres a big bias towards building resilience and averting risk. Meanwhile, the nuts and bolts of that resilience, in the shape of backup including of cloud data such as containers takes up a significant portion of planned spend in 2024.
Priorities around data protection are topped by disaster recovery (37%), with the closely allied business continuity in third place (32%).
All of the top five priorities centre on resilience and include data governance, risk and compliance in joint top (37%), and cyber resilience services (33%).
Backup figures heavily as a spending priority, with backup for cloud data such as VMs and containers the most prominent (25%), backup hardware and software generally (24%), and backup-as-a-service (18%), endpoint backup (17%), and SaaS application data backup also on 17%.
In the middle of all of the above is data management for example, for cloud and unstructured data of which 27% said it would be an investment priority in 2024.
Archiving is among investment plans for 17% of those questioned.
Meanwhile, tapes not dead, but its not a huge priority for many (3%), and is down on last years 6%.
Originally posted here:
Storage and backup spend in 2024 targets risk and resilience - ComputerWeekly.com
The increasing cost of cloud computing, particularly when it comes to storing data to feed AI algorithms, is a growing concern among companies, particularly larger ones, according to a new report by the FinOps Foundation.
The FinOps Foundations fourth annual State of FinOps Survey, released last week, detected some significant changes in cloud spending patterns compared to previous years. The survey found that spending on compute capacity is no longer the big issue that it once was, and that compute is now the most optimized among the different categories of cloud spending.
Now, spending on cloud storage, databases, and containers are the main points of concern, according to the survey by FinOps Foundation, which touched more than 1,200 IT practitioners across more than 1,000 companies, with an average cloud bill of $44 million per year and total combined spending of $55 billion annually.
Reducing waste is the key FinOps priority for 2024 (Courtesy: FinOps Foundation under the CC BY 4.0)
The biggest FinOps spending is targeting compute instances, the survey shows, with more than 50% having already spent heavily to optimize compute. That leaves plenty of room for optimizing other aspects of cloud computing, the FinOps Foundation says, including data and storage, database, containers, backup and retention, data transfer and networking, and more.
One area where lots of improvement can be made is in regards to forecasting of cloud spending. While the biggest companies have already made substantial investments in forecasting cloud spending, there are many ways they can enhance their forecasts through automation, optimization, and adapting to user behavior.
AI represents both a threat to FinOps, as well as a potential savior. On the one hand, AI can consume enormous demand for storage and compute in the cloud. But on the other, AI can potentially help companies to optimize their cloud spending. Currently, AI is mostly hurting, the FinOps Foundation says.
Reining in AI and machine learning spending was a bigger concern for larger companies, or those spending $100 million or more per year in the cloud, the FinOps Foundation says. Just 31% of all survey respondents said AI and ML spending was impacting their FinOps practice, whereas that percentage jumps to 45% for companies spending $100 million or more annually in the cloud.
AI, rather than initially helping, is actually starting to negatively impact cloud bills for large spenders and is directly impacting margins due to increased spending in the cloud, J.R. Storment, the FinOps Foundations executive director, stated in a press release.
What FinOps practitioners are optimizing (Image courtesy FinOps Foundation under the CC BY 4.0)
One trend to look out for in the coming years is the intersection between the FinOps and sustainability teams, the FinOps Foundation says. Today, only 20% of FinOps teams are working with sustainability teams, but 50% foresee that taking place in the future, according to the survey.
The survey shows that the field of FinOps is alive and well, writes Mike Fuller, CTO of the FinOps Foundation, which is associated with the Linux Foundation.
This years data illustrate that FinOps is not a one-and-done cost-cutting activity, Fuller writes in a blog. FinOps is about aligning spending to business goals, and since business goals must shift from time to time (as they did this year), FinOps is never done. Businesses continue to need FinOps practitioners to help shift behavior as cloud adoption hits material levels, and to maintain it when business priorities change.
You can access the State of FinOps 2024 report here.
Overcoming the Financial Breaking Point: How Businesses Can Overcome Data Cost Anxiety
How to Manage Cloud Costs in a Dynamic Economy With FinOps
Waste Not, Want Not
Like most parents, the amount of digital photos I took exploded when my daughter was born. By the time her umbilical cord was cut Id already had emails from Google not to congratulate me (thanks Google), but to let me know my Google Drive was filling up fast.
As my daughter turned from a grey and slimy newborn into an adorable baby, and started actually doing interesting and cute things, rather than just being a screaming potato, my Google Drive capacity came under even greater strain thanks to the deluge of photos I was taking. Googles emails became more alarming as I reached my storage quota.
As a filthy Android user, Google Photos and Google Drive were my default services for cloud storage, and I hadnt felt the need to look elsewhere. As an owner of an original Google Pixel smartphone, it actually made sense to stick with Google Photos, as the company was once offering unlimited storage for your snaps. Sadly, not only had Google since stopped offering that incentive to get people to buy its smartphones, but by the time my daughter was born, Id switched to a Samsung smartphone.
Having the photos I take on my smartphone get automatically backed up in full quality was extremely important for me these were photos I would be devastated to lose if my phone got lost or broken. So, with the threat that my photos would no longer get backed up, I needed to act fast.
The most obvious step was to increase my Google Drive storage amount. However, I was already paying $2.99 per month for 200GB. The only larger option was for 2TB for $9.99 a huge increase in the monthly price and even with my trigger-happy snapping, I didnt think I would need that much. As a new parent, I needed to watch my outgoings. So, I decided to shop about and it didnt end well for Google.
When looking for a replacement cloud storage solution for my rapidly growing photo collection, there was one service I had already made up my mind about not using OneDrive.
This was Microsofts cloud storage solution, and in classic Microsoft style, it had been pushing it hard in Windows 11. To an almost obnoxious extent. Every time I tested out a new laptop or PC which due to my job, is very often I was being begged to turn on OneDrive to sync all my devices.
I wasnt a fan, and most of the time, I had been happy with Google Drive, so I didnt want another cloud storage service and I resented constantly being asked about it.
But as I was no longer content with Google Drive, I thought Id look into what Microsoft was offering. While, like Google, Microsoft offers a free tier for OneDrive, its just 5GB, which isnt enough for my photos.
However, the Microsoft 365 Personal tier offers 1TB of storage a lot more than the 200GB I was using, but without being more than I would need for $6.99 a month (and its cheaper if you pay yearly). Along with 1TB of storage, it also includes licenses for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. This was another big selling point for me, as even in the age of Google Docs, Im one of those weirdos who still prefers to use office apps, especially word processors, that have been installed locally.
For longer-form articles, they give me a sense of security and control I just dont feel with Google Docs, so I was thinking of investing in Microsoft Office anyway (or using the free alternative LibreOffice). Having physical files on my PC also meant I could back them up to a NAS device, while also using cloud storage (paranoid? Perhaps).
One thing I do like about Google Docs is that its constantly saving in the background, so if your PC crashes, youre unlikely to lose much work, and you can log in and access the documents from other machines as well.
Even if your PC completely breaks, your documents will be accessible via the internet from another machine. So, I was quite happy to see that Word (and the other Office applications) offer similar functionality. If you save a document to your OneDrive folder on your PC, you can select it to auto save constantly (rather than saving every five minutes or so), and then access those files via the web. It also has version history as well, and you can edit documents within a web browser, so you dont even need Word or Excel installed.
That made my mind up and I subscribed. So far Ive been very happy with OneDrive, and feel a bit bad about ignoring it for so long. Theres an Android app available that automatically uploads the photos I take on my phone, and also helps me save space on my handset by safely deleting uploaded images once they are backed up. Its not as seamless as using the Photos app and Google Drive on an Android phone, but its also not the nightmare I had feared.
So far, the 1TB of storage space has been more than enough for all my photos. I haven't felt the need (nor been bugged) to upgrade my storage. In fact, I now use OneDrive for storing music projects Ive created in Ableton Live. These can be quite large files, but I still have plenty of space, and it means I can open up those projects on my desktop PC as well as my MacBook. Yep, theres a OneDrive app for Macs, and it integrates quite nicely into macOS.
Of course, Windows 11 integration is where it shines even if I still get annoyed by Windows 11 trying to make everything default to my OneDrive storage, and having to scroll past all my OneDrive folders in File Explorer just to get to my local storage (you know, sometimes Microsoft I may want to go into my Downloads folder).
Its also helped when reviewing new Windows 11 devices. Instead of getting angry about the suggestion of signing up for OneDrive, now when I set up a new Windows 11 laptop or PC, I use my Microsoft Account and enable OneDrive and all of my files and folders appear without me having to install any third party applications.
So I am happy to admit that I was wrong about OneDrive its a genuinely useful and good value service. Perhaps if Microsoft hadnt been so pushy about me trying it, Id have given it a go sooner.
Here is the original post:
Ditching Google Drive for Microsoft OneDrive was one of the best choices I've ever made - TechRadar
Sony’s Creator Cloud now allows photos & videos to be directly uploaded to cloud storage from the FX3 & FX30 – Newsshooter
Sonys Creator Cloud now allows photos and videos taken with cameras such as the FX3 and FX30to be directly uploaded to cloud storage.
After setting it up in Creators App or on Creators Cloud Web, you can connect your camera to the cloud storage and upload photos and videos directly without needing to do it via your smartphone. You can quickly check your captured images/videos from various devices, and get started on editing.
Huge image data such as high image quality photos and videos are able to be transferred to a smartphone both via Wi-Fi and USB cable. A wired connection provides more stable transfer.
From March 2024 onwards, the 1, 9 III, 7S III, and 7 IV will also be compatible with this function. Please note that to be able to use this feature you will need to perform a software update for the camera you are using.
Sony has four different plans you can choose from. If you own an eligible Sony camera, you can start with a free 25 GB plan. A 500 GB plan is also available for heavy users.
By linking your smartphone to cameras, you can control them remotely from the smartphone. This enables remote shooting, which may be useful for group shots or keeping cameras still in night scenes. You can also check camera battery and media information, set the date, time, or camera name, and more from a smartphone.
LUT files stored in the cloud storage (Creators Cloud) can also be imported to the camera via smartphone without using any PC and SD card.
Matthew Allard is a multi-award-winning, ACS accredited freelance Director of Photography with over 30 years' of experience working in more than 50 countries around the world.
He is the Editor of Newsshooter.com and has been writing on the site since 2010.
Matthew has won 49 ACS Awards, including five prestigious Golden Tripods. In 2016 he won the Award for Best Cinematography at the 21st Asian Television Awards.
Matthew is available to hire as a DP in Japan or for work anywhere else in the world.
Its been literally a decade since Microsoft raised the cap on its paid Microsoft 365 storage plans to 1 terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage. Its time for an upgrade, dont you think?
Last week, Google changed its name of its Bard AI assistant to Gemini, launched Gemini Advanced, and in the most important change of all made 2TB of cloud storage the foundation for its new premium pricing tier. Okay, that last point is a lie. Because Google offered a free upgrade to its Google One plan six years ago, granting 2TB of cloud storage for $9.99 per month the same price as Microsoft charges for 1TB of storage.
Okay, even thats not totally accurate, since the same 2TB Google One deal is available to new users for $2.49 per month for three months, before returning to $9.99 per month.
The reason Microsoft loves subscriptions is that theyre sticky: You sign up, set it to autopay on your credit card, and forget about it. But as consumers start re-evaluating their streaming plans (do I really want to pay for Netflix if they cancel everything after two seasons?), its worth asking the same hard questions about Microsoft 365.
Microsoft 365 both the $69.99 annual plan for Microsoft 365 Personal and the $99.99 annual plan for Microsoft 365 Family give you Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, the main reason that most people sign up. But from there, it gets iffy. Outlook? Id much rather have Mail, thanks. Microsoft Defender? That comes with Windows, or there are other free antivirus solutions available. Clipchamp? I love it, true, but Microsoft tried to make that a $19 monthly subscription, too.
Mark Hachman / IDG
A consumer version of Teams, Access, Publisher, Forms, and Skype? Im going to argue that the value there is next to nil for many people, especially in a world with Zoom, Canva, Microsoft Designer, and other solutions. Yes, there are hidden reasons to subscribe to Microsoft 365, but they dont seem as potent as they once were.
Storage, though, matters, and its a travesty that Microsoft hasnt kept up with the times. In 2014, phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 offered 16Mpixel cameras, even back then. Today, a camera like the Samsung Galaxy S23 or S24 allows you to shoot 200Mpixel still shots, plus 4K videos and even more. As long as you set your phone to automatically upload your photos and movies to OneDrive, the available storage space can be sucked up quickly. And, of course, a Microsoft 365 subscription includes all of the other files that you use daily, from Word to PowerPoint. In all, what you might call storage inflation is increasing, and it will only continue.
Mark Hachman / IDG
One of the reasons that Googles own storage policy change received such attention was that it felt unfair. Google used to offer unlimited photo storage, even compressed which, to be fair, it didnt have to do. But doing away with all that was just the first step in making all of the photos you uploaded count against your free 15GB storage cap, prompting you to pay for a Google One subscription, or at least additional storage. It was anxiety-inducing, especially during a pandemic when people didnt need extra anxiety.
Now both Microsoft and Google are asking consumers and businesses to pay an additional fee to access the top tier of their respective AI LLMs: $20 per month for a new Google One AI Premium subscription (Google Workspace, 2TB of storage, and Gemini Pro, among other benefits) versus $26.99 ($6.99 per user per month for Microsoft 365 Personal with 1TB of storage, plus an additional $20/mo for Copilot Pro). Google simply offers a substantially better deal.
Microsoft has historically jerked consumers around when it comes to cloud storage, enough that I had to consult OneDrives Wikipedia page to get it all straight. Remember, in 2014, Microsoft upgraded Office 365 subscribers to 1TB of OneDrive storage, giddily pushed it to unlimited OneDrive storage, then reneged on the deal and settled on the 1TB limit a year later. Its remained 1TB ever since. Even the Microsoft 365 Family plan (which offers up to 6TB of storage) doesnt pool the storage; its 1TB per user, with up to six users.
Its also worth pointing out, incidentally, that Dropboxs low-end Plus plan is, yep, $9.99 per month for 2TB.
If Microsoft executives want to make consumers pay through the nose to satisfy their shareholders, there are plenty of AI-related services to justify the cost. Enterprises can afford those premium services, too. But jerking around consumers with Microsoft Rewards points and failing to upgrade the OneDrive tier with additional storage feels a little slimy. Its time to get with the times, Microsoft, and offer more for our money.
Cloud DVR levels up with video expertise and operational agility from Ateme and AWS | Amazon Web Services – AWS Blog
This blog is co-authored by Francois Guilleautot, Director of cloud solutions, Ateme.
Since its introduction at the 1999 CES show in Las Vegas, Digital Video Recording (DVR) has existed in various forms. While the technology is not new (Ateme has offered DVR solutions since 2016), the transition to over-the-top (OTT) streaming has accelerated adoption, with the DVR market expected to grow from $6.4B USD in 2023 to $16.4B USD by 2030. Consumers now record more content than ever, and expect recordings to be available on any device, from anywhere. In fact, recording capability is now the most desired functionality for a streaming service.
Although demand for recording capabilities has increased with streaming, the concept itself is not new. Technology to record television for later viewing has been available for more than 50 years. In the age of analog TV, VHS and Betamax tape recorders were available to save copies of your favorite programs. Prior to that, television viewers may remember G-Code, VideoPlus+, or ShowView codes in the TV Guide to ease the pain of setting a recording time.
In the era of digital television, hard drives were integrated into set-top-boxes (STBs) to allow for recording capabilities. A large number of legacy STBs are still in use today. However, TV operators ultimately realized that STB DVR capabilities were inefficient and expensive. Video requires substantial storage capacity and high performance. Providing millions of users with hundreds of hours of storage means managing fleets of STBs with pricey, failure-prone, and rapidly aging hard drives.
To reduce management and services costs, Network Digital Video Recording (nDVR) platforms, such as Atemes NEA DVR, emerged. The concept is simple: rather than dispersed recordings over countless hard drives, providers merge their storage on a single unified platform. This improves efficiency and reduces overhead, leading to improved total cost of ownership for the operator. With nDVR, drives are part of an owned infrastructure with better protection and improved durability, while allowing customer access via the operators closed network or via the internet.
As operators improved operations, the viewers experience improved with recordings available from any device connected to the nDVR. Consumer began to record more content, in increasingly higher resolution, including 4K. One of Atemes customers scaled up to 300 racks of video storage for its nDVR system, accommodating content over 15 years of age.
Expanding video recording systems comes with a distinct set of difficulties. The first challenge is managing massive scalability. Modern streaming services generate anywhere from a few hundred gigabytes to tens of terabytes of recordings each day, depending on the legal status of the country hosting the platform. With Shared-copy permitted by most nations, if multiple users record the same content (e.g., a football match or a movie), a single copy is stored and accessed by all who record it. This shrinks the amount of raw storage space required by a factor of 10 or even 100. Even with shared copy techniques, network DVR platforms can expand to enormous scale, reaching hundreds of petabytes. Managing storage volumes of this magnitude requires substantial compute, network, and storage resourcesup to tens of thousands of HDDs or SSDs.
DVR places an incredible amount of pressure on storage. To ensure an optimal viewing experience (start time, resolution, re-buffering), high Inputs/Outputs Operations per Second (IOPS) are required to support throughput traffic on the storage. Commodity, high-capacity hard drives do not have the IOPS required to deliver content to thousands or tens of thousands concurrent viewers requesting high-resolution content simultaneously. Using more drives in parallel improves storage performance, but requires additional CPU capacity to fully use extra storage, which increases cost.
Beyond the sheer size and performance requirements for storage, availability (and therefore redundancy) is an important consideration. Subscribers expect their content to be available instantly, even months or years after the recording. To allow such a high level of availability, nDVR vendors use high-performance Network-Attached Storage (NAS) with large redundant arrays of independent disks (RAID), or a distributed storage system with a dedicated erasure coding mechanism for better performance and density. However, these systems have limited scalability. The additional storage requires matching compute power and networking to ensure smooth operation, compounding already difficult storage capacity requirements.
Such a large, high-performance video storage platform comes with high maintenance costs. Large recording platforms require hundreds to thousands of MWh per year in power and cooling, as well as engineers dedicated to the hardware management who may encounter frequent disk failures and other hardware issues across hundreds of servers. Engineers must regularly roll out operating system and software updates to fix bugs and avoid ransomware attacks. A recent example is the 2021 LOG4J Zero-Day vulnerability.
Migrating DVR platforms to the cloud provides an elegant solution to the problems previously listed, namely scalability, operational complexity, cost, and security. For example, Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) offers virtually unlimited storage capacity with high-speed, built-in data transfers, and data redundancy by writing across multiple Availability Zones within a region. This provides 99.99% availability and 11-9s of durability for recordings. Adding a geo-redundancy dimension, not economically viable with on-premises platforms, improves recording availability. On top of offering better reliability, Amazon Web Services (AWS) also handles the undifferentiated heavy lifting of hardware and OS security. AWS offers additional security features such as encryption at rest and in transit, and integration with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) for fine-grained access control of video content.
The major benefit of migrating to Amazon S3 cloud storage is native storage tiering. Storage tiering is a feature that Ateme offers with its legacy nDVR system and that AWS offers natively. This allows you to choose from different storage classes based on data access patterns, with less frequently accessed video files located to lower-cost storage tiers, optimizing costs without compromising accessibility. This is especially relevant for video recordings as usage patterns change over time, with older recordings requested less often than recent recordings.
Ateme uses four Amazon storage services to optimize cost over the course of an asset lifecycle. In an end-to-end cloud-native OTT platform, an asset starts its lifecycle on premises or on Amazon gp2 Elastic Block Storage (Amazon EBS) as part of a live channel rolling buffer for time-shifted TV (TSTV) for maximum performance (IOPS). The asset then moves to an S3 Standard bucket to enable Catch-up or backwards EPG services. As the asset ages out of the backward EPG, its popularity and number of requests decreases. With a decreasing number of requests, it will be moved to S3 Infrequent Access and then to Glacier Instant Retrieval (GIR). GIR is the lowest tier of storage available to reduce prices while still allowing for instant playback. S3 Intelligent tiering allows assets to be programmatically moved between storage classes based on access patterns.
To best leverage the benefits of cloud storage, Ateme rearchitected its entire recording pipeline. In 2023, it launched a new cloud-native recording platform, NEA Genesis. Ateme designed NEA Genesis using a micro-services architecture to operate natively on AWS. This move away from a monolithic architecture allows Ateme to scale out logical blocks independently such as ingest, storage, and playout.
Ateme NEA Genesis High Level Architecture
Scaling logical blocks independently allows streaming platforms to optimize their non-linear video operations with a flexible and unified solution for VOD and recordings. With NEA Genesis, not only is it possible to grow storage independently of compute, but it is now possible to scale up ingest and playout dynamically. This provides flexibility to add large batches of VOD and event-based channels, or scale up playout capacity when demand surges. On-premises infrastructure scales these resources together, and typically only allows scaling up, which leads to over-provisioning. AWS infrastructure supports Atemes ability to scale ingest, storage, and egress independently, a major advantage over the limitation of on-premises hardware.
NEA Genesis includes additional modules for advanced functionality. For example, it supports encrypted or clear asset storage, with a dedicated packager/re-packager and encryption service to ensure platform compatibility with future standards. This means that assets can be ingested in a single format (e.g., DASH or CMAF) and redistributed in whatever combination of streaming protocol and DRM that is relevant in the future. NEA Genesis customers also benefit from both the advanced features of Atemes in-house built packaging engine and Atemes extensive integration library with CMS and DRM partners for frictionless onboarding.
To learn more about the benefits of cloud DVR solutions from Ateme, visit the companys website.
Cloud storage is a type of service that can supplement your hard drive capacity and increase productivity. It does that by offering you a simple way to store your data in the cloud while providing you quick access. Thats pretty convenient, but the services might not be eco-friendly, so in this article well see which ones are get you some green cloud storage.
First, though, we have to add that cloud storage services can do more than just store your data. Their key features such as file sharing and device synchronization, or sync for short help improve collaboration, making these tools ideal for businesses, especially those that rely on remote work.
Many cloud storage services also let you take notes, recover deleted files, chat, share calendars, assign tasks and edit documents in real time with collaborators.
If youre looking to create an effective online environment for collaboration, you should start by consulting our list of the best EFSS (enterprise file sync and share) services.
Now that weve defined what cloud storage is, were going to see what makes these services environmentally friendly.
Meet the experts
Learn more about our editorial team and our research process.
Cloud storage data centers are designed to store data efficiently. The main difference between them and on-premise servers is their amount of resource utilization.
On-premise servers operate, on average, at 12 to 18 percent capacity, while cloud data center servers can reach a maximum of 40 to 70 percent of utilization, with the average being from 10 to 50, according to a 2014 energy efficiency report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit U.S. organization.
Increased server utilization in cloud storage data centers stems from the fact that these data centers use virtualization technology.
Virtualization enables multiple applications each in its own virtual environment to be run on a single physical server. This greatly reduces the number of servers and the amount of energy required to run a given number of applications.
The amount of power used is a major factor in evaluating efficiency, and the most common metric for that is power usage effectiveness, or PUE. The average PUE in 2019 for the global data center industry, according to the Uptime Institute, was 1.67 (lower is better), which represents an increase from 2018s 1.58.
However, having many servers requires a lot of power, which in turn increases their cost. This motivates some large-scale cloud providers to be more energy efficient than that global average.
Thanks to that, some services, such as Google, report a PUE of just 1.11. Plus, large data centers have more effective cooling, which, again, helps reduce power usage.
To recap, cloud storage data centers are inherently more green than on-premise data centers. Companies can reduce their carbon footprint simply by moving their data to a cloud providers data center, where they will use fewer resources and optimize their efficiency.
In this section, were going to list all the services that fit the factors weve mentioned in the previous section. The first one, in no particular order, is Google Drive.
As we mentioned, Googles data centers are one of the most energy-efficient out there, and that includes its cloud storage service, Google Drive. Specifically, Google achieves great power-usage results thanks to custom, highly efficient servers that waste less power.
On top of that, Google uses inexpensive ways to manage cooling, reuses old hardware and recycles what it cant reuse.
Google Drive is a good choice if you need to work online on office files and share them with co-workers. It also has one of the best customer support services on the market.
Google has many plans, and most of them provide a great value. Its web client and mobile apps are streamlined and easy to use. Plus, Google Drive has a network of servers that spans the globe, which helps it reach fast speeds. You can learn more about what Google Drive offers in our Google Drive review.
Another big name in the tech industry, Amazon, is far from a stranger to green technology. Its PUE is less than 1.2, and Amazon claims more than 50 percent of its energy is derived from renewable sources. Its easy to see how it can accomplish that because it uses six solar farms and three wind farms. Plus, Amazon has announced four new wind farm projects and one solar farm.
Microsoft achieved carbon neutrality in 2012 and has an average PUE of 1.125 for any new data center. Microsoft is also dedicated to sustainability, so it reuses and recycles products and makes its products sustainable. It also reuses waste and responsibly disposes of what it cant use.
Microsoft is also working on project Natick, which would eventually see micro data centers powered by renewable energy dropped on the seafloor.
Microsofts environmentally friendly practices include its Microsoft Azure data centers, which power Microsoft OneDrive, its cloud storage service.
OneDrive gives you access to Office Online, Skype, Outlook, OneNote (see our OneNote review to learn more about the note-taking app) and many other features from the Redmond-based giant. You wont have to empty your wallet to use it, either, because OneDrives plans have fair prices. The 1TB plan will set you back only $6 per month.
Plus, we like how attractive its desktop, web and mobile clients are. Theyre straightforward and wont give you issues. You can also share and collaborate on files while having capable file-sharing security. For more information about OneDrives sharing, read our OneDrive review.
Another cloud storage staple that is making moves toward more environmentally sustainable practices is Dropbox (check out our Dropbox review). Although we couldnt find any current numbers on its PUE, Dropbox announced just last year that they have set new sustainability goals for 2030.
This initiative contains four core goals, and for simplicitys sake well start off by just quoting them here:
As you can see, the goals are mostly pretty vague. Goal number three and four especially could amount to just about anything. The real meat of the commitment here lies in goal number two, as shifting the entirety of Dropboxs user base (estimated at around 600 million users) would be a pretty big deal.
Although Dropbox doesnt publish any PUE numbers like other companies weve discussed here, a study on the differences between distributed and centralized cloud storage estimated that Dropboxs data centers use roughly the same amount of electricity as the country of Luxembourg. We wont get into the precise math check out the actual study for that.
Obviously it remains to be seen whether or not Dropbox can actually succeed at these goals, and some more transparency on its end will be crucial to assess the progress.
Placing your data in the cloud has benefits that not only help you be more productive and take up less space on your computers but also reduce your carbon footprint. You dont have to search hard for a green service because most of the big names in the tech (and cloud) industry have already reduced their carbon footprint.
Weve outlined several services in this article, and most of them are featured on our cloud storage comparison list. If youre still not sure whats the best service for you, though, consult our guide on the best cloud storage services. We also have an article that details the best cloud storage for nonprofits.
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Large-scale data centers are more energy efficient, but according to The Independent, the expanding data center industry will consume three times as much energy in the next decade, so an increased effort to meet the new requirements will be necessary.
What do you think about green cloud storage and its future? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.
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What is Green Cloud Storage & Which Providers Offer It in 2024? - Cloudwards
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif., Feb. 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Storj and Amove today launch their partnership at the HPA (Hollywood Professional Association) Tech Retreat, where global leaders in engineering, technology, creativity and business engage with the most compelling topics around the creation, management, and dissemination of content. Joining forces, Storj and Amove will advance their shared goal of rapidly delivering affordable storage solutions with industry-leading performance to organizations in the ever-growing file management, media and AI markets.
Storj provides cost effective, sustainable cloud object storage through groundbreaking architecture that distributes data to unused storage space in existing drives and data centers around the world, due to the fact that the average rate of server utilization is only 12-18%of capacity. This provides an extremely scalable and environmentally sustainable solution, thanks to eliminating the need to build, maintain and cool new data centers to meet surging demand. Storj's distributed model also is inherently more secure than traditional approaches, with no single point of failure, no geographic vulnerability to regional or local disasters and is designed using zero-trust principals.
Patrick Kennedy, Amove CEO stated, "Amove is storage agnostic, so we support every provider. After years of development and testing over 45 services, we chose Storj as the ideal partner to deliver our users instant capacity from Amove Drives with incredible speed, cost efficiency and performance within an innovative architecture that supports remote streaming and access from anywhere. Their price model is also strongly aligned with Amove's mission to deliver solutions to organizations of every size and industry."
Amove offers instant access to any cloud storage provider as a collaboration drive from the desktop, snapshots, backups and no cost unlimited migrations from AWS, Azure, Wasabi and 30 other providers into Storj. With a focus on simplicity, the Amove Drive allows users to mount their storage buckets directly from the desktop, providing a true multi-cloud management tool that delivers immediate access to the largest files from any cloud or on-premise storage.
Amove also offers up to 3 terabytes of Storj at no cost for each user when purchasing the Amove premium plan, $20/month per user with unlimited access. Other features include syncs between providers, file sharing, cloud to cloud migrations, backups, and AI powered deduplication. Storj is ideally suited for handling the large file sizes that media and AI workflows require.
Ben Golub, CEO of Storj said "Our partnership with Amove extends their commitment to delivering intuitive, flexible, connected and easy to use products to manage and protect the world's data. We are also pleased that Amove appreciates the growing urgency to embrace solutions that provide affordable performance and environmental sustainability in light of the massive growth in data and a critical need to manage and store it while reducing environmental impact."
About AmoveAmoveis the new cloud storage and file management SaaS, delivering a range of powerful features for organizations and remote teams of all sizes. Amove provides an entirely new way of accessing and managing any cloud storage with ease, cost efficiency and flexibility. Our public APIs are available for an ecosystem that looks to democratize data wherever it lives.
About StorjStorj is revolutionizing cloud object storage by securely and efficiently distributing data across underutilized drives. Users experience enterprise-grade durability and globally superior performance at the edge. Customers are realizing an 80% reduction in costs and carbon emissions. Make the world your data center at storj.io
Best Dropbox alternative: Quick menu
The best Dropbox alternatives make it simple and easy to set up and manage cloud storage services, without subscribing to Dropbox.
It's hard to imagine how it was ever possible to run a business properly without cloud storage, and Dropbox is among the most well known and most popular cloud storage providers on the market. Launched in 2008, it has longevity on its side, as well as the fact that it is a versatile service that is available on a variety of platforms.
However, it isn't perfect and it has been the subject of criticism around some of its performance and security issues. And given that the number of cloud storage and file sharing services has grown rapidly in recent years, it's always worth considering the other top options before deciding which cloud storage to go for.
With that in mind, we've looked at alternative cloud storage serivces that wont let you down, taking into consideration key factors like cost, cross-platform compatibility, third party app integrations, and robustness and reliability in our analysis.
Therefore below we'll list the best Dropbox alternatives currently available.
Also check out our roundup of the best business cloud storage.
Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure youre buying the best. Find out more about how we test.
Best for those already using Google Workspace
Store, save and backup files in real time
Third party app integrations
Require Google account for best usage
When you think of cloud storage, this is probably the first service to come to mind- and with good reason.
Google Drive lets you store your files in the cloud, and importantly sync these files and settings across multiple devices. It lets you backup your files, too so they will never get lost. Google Drive allows users to collaborate, sync and share data easily, and everyone can edit files and perform tasks simultaneously, and without any hassle. Google Drives generous storage allotment lets you save as many pertinent documents and important files as you need. It starts with 15 GB for free, and can be expanded to 100 GB for $1.99/month as part of the Google One Basic Plan, with an offering of an annual plan at a discount.
Much like Dropbox, with Google Drive, you can store, share, sync and access your files, photos, videos, songs, etc. from any computer and also other platforms through smartphone apps. Its super easy to use and is highly reliable in making your files safe and accessible. Google Docs and Google Sheets also can do word processing and spreadsheets, respectively to handle Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word files instantly.
Read our full Google Drive review.
Best option for users of Microsoft Office
Integrates with Microsoft Office
OneDrive Personal Vault protection
Scan and store documents
Require Microsoft account for best usage
Microsoft's OneDrive has no shortage of features that are more than likely to draw users in, including collaboration, backing up of data and protection, all in 1TB of cloud storage space.
The service also has a neat feature to let you scan in your document using your phone and store it directly into your OneDrive account, keeping it secure.
Furthermore, the Personal Vault, essentially provides an additional layer of protection, as well as being able to set an expiration date for shared files, giving all collaborators access for a limited time. Additionally, even OneDrives free version allows you to save folders that you can access offline, as well as search your database for files quickly by simply using keywords.
Read our full Microsoft OneDrive review.
The trusted choice for big business
Enterprise-grade security with password-protected files
Can send large files
Lacking some features found in competitors
Box provides you with many of the same convenient features as Dropbox, plus it takes it up a notch. Its designed to be as easy as uploading your files in the secure server and also being able to access it from any device you can log in to. With a Box account, your files are kept secure, with always a backup ready.
Boxs enterprise-grade security remains an important reason why many Fortune 500 companies are using the service to keep their files secure. Real time collaboration, permission control, and access restriction are among Boxs more advanced features that offer the convenience you need from it.
Box also lets you store and share large files. Also its integrated apps let you access your work from any device and use other platforms such as Microsoft Office 365, Google Workspace and Okta.
Similar to working on Google Docs, Box has Autosave for your work, so you can revert anytime in case you need to undo or redo anything.
Read our full Box review.
Perfect pick for users prioritising collaboration
Can send files to non-Sync users
Lower storage option
Lack of some key features in competitors
Sync does allow you to store, share and access your files from any device anytime, keeping in mind some differences with other services on this list. For example, Sync only gives you 5GB of free storage (less than some other free cloud storage platforms), but your files are kept secure and private thanks to its end-to-end encryption, which prevents unauthorized access.
A unique feature of Sync is the ability to share files with anyone- as long as they have access to the Internet, with or without a Sync account. Collaboration is facilitated by having you set requests for access, password protection, expiration, and even notifications that your file is being accessed. Sync also has apps for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android, which enables having access from any device when needed.
Sync also offers premium plans for a personal (individual) or company needs. The plans, which start at only $8, can dedicate up to 6TB of storage and unlimited file sharing. Youll also get file recovery, password protection, two-factor authentication, real time backup and sync, advanced share controls, and a lot more.
Read our full Sync review.
Perfect for multi-platform usage
Enterprise level security
Compliant with regulations
3GB data storage for free accounts
Lacking high profile and features of bigger names
Lower storage limit
Tresorit supports the full gamut of platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS devices, adding to the convenience it offers in cloud collaboration. With its enterprise-level security, your sensitive files and data are kept secure from unwanted prying eyes, whether you're working on whitepapers, data sheets or anything in between.
On other platforms, when youre editing a file you may not be aware if someone else is making changes simultaneously. Tresorit aims to avoid this turmoil through an editing badge, to let collaborators know when someone is working on something. Sharing rights can also be set so your organization is safe from those who are not on your team.
Tresorits free starter tier, the basic plan provides 3GB of encrypted cloud storage across up to 2 devices. For those looking for additional storage, you have the option to upgrade to the premium plans starting at $18 per month. All plans can give you 1TB of cloud storage which is most of the time enough storage for small businesses and enterprises. Premium plans also let you access files across 10 devices.
Read our full Tresorit review.
A top pick for video and audio creatives
Strong security options
Unlimited file size
Access latest version of files
Can be cumbersome to find files
pCloud provides secure storage in the cloud for your work files, videos, music, documents, and photos. As soon as your file is transferred from your device to your secure pCloud accounts storage, it goes through TLS/SSL encryption. Files are stored on three (or more) server locations just because security is taken very seriously and thats even for the free version, on top of 10GB free storage space.
If 10GB just doesnt cut it for the size of storage youll be needing, pClouds premium accounts can give you 500GB and 1TB. Of course, youll need these large storage spaces when youre regularly sharing and collaborating large files within your organization. pCloud also offers you the convenience of automatically uploading your photos directly from your camera roll, and even keeping older versions of your file for up to 30 days just in case you need to revert.
pCloud boasts of its built-in video player for easy file access (video sharing seems to be a common problem), and a built-in audio player and playlists when youre on the go and want the company of your favorite tunes. Sharing your links is also made a little more personalized as pCloud allows you to add a headline, a title and even a description so files are easy to find and identify.
Read our full pCloud review.
Best choice for a focus on privacy
Fast transfer ability
Lacking high profile of bigger rivals
Just for signing up, a free 20 GB of storage. Because why not? Mega makes cloud storage convenient and super simple to use without sacrificing security, especially that of sensitive data and files. The files you upload and even your chats are kept safe with user-controlled end-to-end encryption, protected by your very own password.
Security isnt Megas only strength though. Mega files can be accessed using any device thats connected to the Internet, and allows you to password protect your links and even set an expiry date for public and sensitive data. Uploading your files in Megas secure server is done quickly and efficiently, and the same goes with syncing. This is because of Megas user-friendly interface which also makes sharing folders/files as easy as a single click.
Communicating with your team is made easy with Megas awesome MegaChat feature which also encrypts your messages by the way because security is taken very seriously with Mega. Paid plans start at $5.08/month and will give you a massive storage space and no transfer limits. With Mega, you can upload your files, sync them, back them up and access them from just about any device you have on you, all in a series of steps that start with a single click.
Read our full Mega review.
The best cloud storage for iOS and MacOS users
Good mobile and desktop integration
Sharing options are improving
Polished and slick user interfaces
No Android support
Still lacks some advanced features
Lacks options for power users
For those that live only in the Apple ecosystem of iProducts, the Apple iCloud Drive is an easy choice when it comes to online cloud storage. However, taking a step back, this is not the best choice for Windows users as there are some issues, such as no Android support (with the painful workaround of using the mobile browser to log into the iCloud website). Another problem with iCloud Drive is that it is just a little less polished than its competition, such as Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, both of which have undergone multiple cycles of development at this point.
Still, iCloud Drive can back up the full variety of files at this point, everything from PDFs, and even info needed for a users iPhone apps. It also conveniently has its own app for both iPhones and iPads, for mobile access to data. Users get 5 GB of storage to start (less than some other competing services free tiers), and then it can be upgraded to Cloud+, where 50 GB of storage starts at an affordable $0.99/month on up to 2 TB of storage for $9.99/month.
Another obstacle is that iCloud Drive is tightly integrated with macOS to backup data, with no analogous process for Windows users. There are some notable features, such as the encryption of the data for privacy, and the iCloud Private Relay to hide IP addresses to keep users anonymous online. However, Apple iCloud remains a much more viable option for users of Apple devices than others.
Read our full iCloud review.
Forgiving price plans and fantastic security features
Best Dropbox alternative of 2024 - TechRadar