The Cloud Storage Marketplace

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The Cloud Storage

by Michael Gariffo

Docid: 00021012

Publication Date: 2101

Report Type: MARKET


One of the simplest but most important steps that anyone – from private consumers
to multinational enterprises – can take to insure their digital well-being is to back
up their data. For the first few decades of personal computing, this meant using
a physical storage drive to duplicate and retain valuable information, a process that
was usually costly and always tedious. In more recent years, a new
option – cloud-based storage – has emerged. These solutions provide off-site
backup of any and all user data, offering a level of uptime assurance
and redundancy that would be otherwise unattainable for many businesses, let alone most
private consumers. This report examines the most popular of the currently
available offerings, with special attention paid to the inherent benefits,
drawbacks, and the cost of each.

Report Contents:

Why Cloud Storage?

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The first question often asked about using cloud storage services is
something along the lines of "Why should I pay a monthly fee
to store my data when I could just buy a portable hard drive once and store it
forever?" On-site personal backups may very well be the best
option for some individuals. However, in the case of most private consumers and
businesses, the benefits of cloud storage are myriad and undeniable enough that
the advantages should far outweigh the costs involved. Below is a list of the most important
positives cloud-based storage
solutions have over personal, on-site backups. 

  • Accessibility – When data is stored on a physical drive, that drive
    must always be present for its data to be accessed. However, when data is
    stored in the cloud, a user can access it from anywhere in the world where
    there is an
    active Internet connection. Not only does this ensure that needed data will
    always be present, but it provides constant access on a scale that would simply be impractical
    compared to physical storage
    drives. Yes, hard drives are becoming larger and cheaper than ever, but it
    would still be quite impossible to carry enough of them around on a daily
    basis to match the hundreds of gigabytes or even terabytes of space a
    cloud-based service can offer. 
  • Redundancy – Drives fail. This is a sad and often catastrophic fact
    of life. When a drive fails, it usually takes at least a portion of the data
    stored with it when it goes. Although it is often possible to recover
    some or even all of the lost data, the process is extremely costly and
    well out of the reach of most private consumers and smaller businesses. This
    makes it of the utmost importance to guarantee that multiple copies of
    important data always exist. As even a single duplicate could also suffer a
    simultaneous failure, it is recommended to keep a backup of the backup, so
    to speak. This renders an already costly proposition completely impossible
    for many consumers and businesses. However, for cloud storage service
    providers, redundancy is a basic component. Data stored with one of these
    services will be duplicated across many more drives than a single user could
    ever afford and will exist at multiple locations should any one or even
    two copies somehow be destroyed. 
  • Scalability – Determining how much digital storage space is needed
    can be a tricky thing. Every user knows the headache of buying a new drive
    that they believe will have more than enough room, only to quickly fill the
    available storage space and wish for something larger. Cloud storage
    eliminates this issue by providing potentially unlimited amounts of storage.
    Although each service provider has their own storage and pricing structures,
    many offer literally "unlimited" storage tiers. These may be unnecessary
    for most customers, but tiered options always exist and can be selected and
    upgraded to after the user has already made their initial purchase. This
    also provides the added benefit of never having to migrate large amounts of
    user data simply because the customer’s needs have grown beyond what’s
    currently available. 
  • Security – One of the early complaints about cloud-based storage as
    a concept was the fact that the user would need to relinquish direct
    physical control of their data to a third party. This did not sit well with
    many businesses, particularly those with strict regulatory or compliance
    requirements. However, cloud storage has proven to be just as safe as
    on-site storage in nearly all cases, often safer. A
    private user or business can spend all their time encrypting their data for
    security, only to have a single incident wipe out everything they own. Not
    only is this not a concern with cloud-based storage, but even the digital
    security aspect is often superior thanks to measures like two-factor
    authentication, authorized user accounts, and other built-in protections offered by
    many service providers. 

Service Descriptions and Analysis

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This section will examine the available
cloud-based storage services with special attention paid to the inherent benefits,
drawbacks, and cost of each. 

Figure 1. Dropbox


Arguably the most recognizable cloud-based storage service currently on the
market, Dropbox is also one of the longest standing. The company owes its
popularity and fame to the fact that it was one of the first in the world to
offer a free tier to its customers. Although the amount of storage this tier
provides is small by today’s standards, it is often more than enough for
personal users wishing to store a few documents or images. These casual users
also benefit greatly from Dropbox’s simple approach to file syncing and its
set-it-and-forget-it installation process. 


  • Simplicity – Dropbox works by creating a folder on the PC, tablet,
    smartphone, or other device on which it is installed. This folder exists on
    the local storage of all of the user’s connected devices as well as in the
    cloud. What makes Dropbox so easy to use is the fact that all changes made
    to any version of the folder are then propagated to all other copies of that
    folder. This means that a customer can save a document to their Dropbox
    folder on their PC and effortlessly find and open that document later on
    their smartphone or tablet. Similarly, files deleted in one location will be
    removed from all instances of that user’s Dropbox folder. 
  • Compatibility – Dropbox’s status as one of the most popular cloud
    providers, and also its decision to produce a widely available API, has
    resulted in many third-party application developers integrating the service
    into their own offerings. This is less common on desktop-based applications
    but has proven a boon to many mobile apps and services. Rather than having
    to deal with the built-in file systems of their given mobile devices, users
    can simply allow an app to connect to their Dropbox account. For example,
    an e-reading application could be set to scan the user’s Dropbox for books
    and upload them automatically whenever a new one is added to the Dropbox


  • Small storage space – When Dropbox launched, 2GB of cloud-based
    storage was an unheard of amount to provide for free. However, since that
    time online storage has become cheaper and much more widely available.
    Competing companies now offer 10 or even 20 times Dropbox’s default storage
    tier for free, while Dropbox itself has continued to maintain its 2GB free tier.
    Yes, this can be expanded somewhat, but not without extra effort. If 2GB is
    not enough for a given user, he or she may want to simply look elsewhere
    rather than having to pay Dropbox for additional space. 
  • Inconsistent scalability – Dropbox is essentially two
    separate cloud storage services: one for individuals and one for businesses.
    The individual plans consist of three tiers:
    Basic, Plus, and Professional. Basic is the aforementioned 2GB free
    offering, while Plus and Professional, as well as all tiers of Dropbox for Business, raise that storage space to
    a minimum of 2TB. This massive difference may
    make some users feel like they are stuck in the middle with the only options
    being a 2GB tier or one that offers 1,000 times
    that much storage. For a lot of people, this can lead them to believe their specific needs are not being met.
  • Security – Dropbox’s prominence among cloud storage providers has,
    unfortunately, also led to it being the target of several malicious parties.
    Thankfully, these incidents have been few and far between, but the company’s
    vulnerability is a valid concern. Issues that Dropbox has been called out
    for in the past include storing its user’s personal data in plain text
    format; allowing employee access to customers’ data when it explicitly
    claimed it could not be accessed by them; and using a form of encryption
    that can be breached by governmental surveillance. It should be noted that
    the plain text storage complaint has since been mitigated and Dropbox
    maintains to this day that its employees cannot access user data unless
    ordered to do so by the courts.

Pricing and Storage Sizes

  • Individual Plans
    • Basic – Free (2GB).
    • Plus – $9.99 per month or $99.98 per year for 2TB of
    • Family – $16.99 per month, or $169.99 per year for 2TB
      of storage and up to 6 users.
    • Professional – $19.99 per month or $199.00 per year for
      3TB of storage
      as well as premium features such as smart syncing to save local storage
      space, advanced sharing controls, and more.
  • Dropbox for Business
    • Standard – $12.50 per user, per month for 5TB of
    • Advanced – $20 per user, per month for unlimited
    • Enterprise – Contact for pricing.

Figure 2. Google One

Google One

Formerly known as Google Drive, Google One comprises all paid tiers of
cloud-based storage available from the search giant. Its plans are designed to
expand upon the free tier, mentioned in more detail below, that is
available to anyone signing up for a Google account.


  • Large free tier – Google’s One’s free tier offers 15GB of online
    storage. This is more than seven times what Dropbox offers by default and
    will be more than enough room for a very large portion of private users and
    even smaller businesses. The only caveat to this benefit is the fact that
    the 15GB allowance is shared with several of Google’s other services. This
    could potentially lead to a significant portion of the user’s free storage
    space being taken up by other products.
  • The Google ecosystem – As stated above, Google One is tightly
    integrated with Google’s other offerings, including its Android mobile
    operating system and Google Apps suite. This means that files can be saved
    to and opened from Google One, even if the storage service’s client is not
    installed on the current system. The integration also makes it easier for teams to
    collaboratively edit files thanks to the fact that they can be updated in
    real time as changes are made via any one of Google’s Web-based
    applications. As an added bonus, this service makes it possible to send email
    attachments between Gmail accounts that are much larger than what is
    traditionally supported by most Webmail clients. 
  • Vast storage scaling – Google One offers one of the
    largest limited storage tiers of any provider on this list with its 30TB
    subscription. Although
    smaller tiers from other services can typically be combined to provide a
    larger storage pool, this can lead to complications, and still cannot match
    the size of Google One. The service’s users can
    avoid all of that by selecting its 30TB storage option. Although storage
    tiers of this size may be cost-prohibitive for many, the availability of
    such massive options is important for larger business and enterprise


  • Combined storage consumption – As stated above, Google’s free 15GB
    tier is shared among several services. This means that a single Google
    account will use that same 15GB pool of data storage for most files stored
    on Gmail, Google+, and Google Photos. Although this may not be a
    concern for light e-mail users or those that do not partake of Google’s
    social networking site, it does mean that multiple services will have to be
    managed and monitored to insure that the limited available storage space is
    not being consumed by any one offering. 
  • The Google ecosystem – As is true in many cases, one of the
    service’s greatest strengths can also be a troubling weakness. Where most
    cloud-based services are completely isolated from a customers other online
    activities, Google One is irrevocably tied to them. Should a malicious party gain access to a user’s e-mail address and password,
    they will also have instant access to that user’s Google One files.
    Although this can be avoided by carefully protecting the aforementioned user
    info and activating Google’s two-factor authentication, the simple fact
    that Google One and Gmail share a set of login info means it will always
    be just a bit easier for hackers to access than a cloud storage service that
    is in no way connected to a user’s e-mail account. 
  • Security Concerns – Like most services on this list, Google
    has been the target of hackers on several occasions. Thankfully, it has held
    up very well to the attempted intrusions and has never suffered any major
    breaches as of the time of writing. However, Google has become known among
    certain circles for its cooperation with government agencies to
    provide user data. Although this should not be a concern for most legal,
    mainstream businesses, it may be worrisome for those working in the legal
    field, corporations with sensitive international data, and others that believe
    they may be targeted by undue government attention. While there is no
    evidence that Google has ever gone out of its way to expose users’
    cloud-stored data, there is also no sign that it has a particularly strong
    interest in protecting against the kind of surveillance that has become
    so controversial in recent years. 

Pricing and Storage Sizes

  • 15GB – free
  • 100GB – $1.99 per month ($19.99 per year)
  • 200GB – $2.99 per month (29.99 per year)
  • 2TB – $9.99 per month ($99.99 per year)
  • 10TB – $99.99 per month
  • 20TB – $199.99 per month
  • 30TB – $299.99 per month

Figure 3. Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive

Formerly known as Microsoft SkyDrive, OneDrive is the Windows maker’s answer
to the flourishing cloud storage marketplace. As one would expect, the service
is designed to work closely with the Windows and Office ecosystems and is integrated into
Windows 8 and Windows 10 out of the box. Users of mobile platforms, including Android and iOS,
as well as competing desktop operating systems, can also use the service via
applications and its Web-based interface. 


  • The Recycle Bin – Although some other cloud-based storage services
    do offer file recovery components to business customers or as a premium
    feature, Microsoft’s OneDrive provides it to all users. This so-called
    Recycle Bin allows subscribers to view and "un-delete" files that
    they have recently trashed. This free extra layer of protection against
    accidental deletion is relatively unique to OneDrive, providing users with
    at least some additional peace of mind that important data will not be lost
    to simple mistakes. 
  • Office integration – OneDrive is integrated into Microsoft’s latest
    locally installed edition of the Office productivity suite, as well as being
    tightly tied with the company’s Office 365 cloud-based software. This means
    that, similar to Google Drive and Google Apps, OneDrive and Office can be
    used in concert to collaboratively edit files, store documents on the cloud,
    upload files for use on other systems, and more. 
  • Plain text editing – OneDrive is also somewhat unique in its
    inclusion of a built-in plain text editor. This function allows users to
    edit any plain text formatted file stored on the service. It includes
    support for coding features such as syntax highlighting of C#,
    JavaScript, Visual Basic, Windows PowerShell, and CSS, as well as support for


  • Heavy monitoring – Microsoft has some of the strictest data
    monitoring policies of any company on the list. The OneNote provider warns
    users upon signing up that repercussions could result from the attempted
    storage of any data that violates its Code of Conduct. This, of course,
    leads people to wonder if Microsoft allows its employees to peruse their
    data. However, the company claims that the bulk of such monitoring is
    handled by programmatic tools such as its PhotoDNA analysis software.
    Nonetheless, such scrutiny of a user’s personal data may not sit well with
    many users. 
  • Storage Restriction – Building upon the above drawback, Microsoft’s
    guidelines for what can be stored on its service are also much less liberal
    than many other service providers. While illegal and copyright restricted
    content are, of course, banned, other materials that do not violate any laws
    whatsoever are also prohibited by the company’s Code of Conduct. The
    strangest of this prohibitions include any materials with even partial nudity,
    even if it is in the form of a drawing; duplicate content; any materials
    promoting the purchase of firearms; and mischaracterized content. 
  • Maximum Storage Size on Individual Plans- Although it is unlikely to affect a
    majority of users, Microsoft’s OneDrive plans top out at 6TB of storage
    space per user. While this limit is lifted when subscribing to a business plan with 5 or more
    users, it is unavoidable for individuals. This is likely ample room for most,
    but could cause some issues with small business owners that do not wish to
    maintain multiple accounts.

Pricing and Storage Sizes

  • Private User
    • 5GB – free
    • 100GB – $1.99 per month
  • OneDrive + Office 365
    • 1TB for 1 user — $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year
    • 6TB for 1 user – $9.99 per month or
      $99.99 per year
  • OneDrive for Business
    • 1TB per user, per year – $5 per month (requires
      yearly commitment)
    • Unlimited (Minimum of 5 users), added "advanced security and
      compliance" capabilities-
      $10 per month
      (requires yearly commitment)
    • 1TB per user, year with Office 365 Business Premium –
      $12.50 per month (requires yearly commitment)

Figure 4. Amazon Drive

Amazon Drive

Amazon’s Drive, formerly Amazon Cloud Drive, is a somewhat lesser known competitor, having been
launched later than most of its counterparts. Although many users appear to
perceive the service as purely being a storage depot for the digital media
acquired from, it is actually a full featured cloud storage service,
although with some unusual caveats.


  • Media storage – Although Amazon Drive is not in any way limited to
    storing photos, video, or audio, it is among the best service for the
    purpose. This is due to the tight integration of Amazon’s Cloud Player
    platform, which allows playback of digital content purchased from Amazon on
    a range of devices, including connected televisions and the company’s own
    Fire line of tablets, smartphones, and TV peripherals. 
  • Annual pricing – Unlike the vast majority of cloud storage service
    providers, Amazon offers Drive subscriptions solely on a yearly basis, rather
    than the more traditional monthly billing cycle. Although this does result
    in a larger initial outlay, it could prove a boon for businesses wishing to
    simplify their budgeting by only needing to account for cloud storage
    service costs once per year, rather than 12 times per year. 


  • Small Free Tier – Amazon Drive has the second smallest free
    tier on the list at 5GB. Once again, this may prove to be more than enough
    for some users, particularly with the extra benefits of an Amazon Prime
    subscription. However, it is still only one third of the storage offered by
    Google and Microsoft. 
  • Device limits – Drive restricts the number of devices
    authorized to access a single account to eight. Although few users are
    likely to own more than eight devices with which they regularly attempt to
    use the service, this could prove more of an issues for users on shared PCs
    or public computers. Such customers could quickly exceed the eight device
    restriction with little or no way to subsequently clear the cookies that
    Amazon uses to track the number of unique access devices. 

Pricing and Storage Sizes

  • 5GB of any files – Free with Amazon Prime Membership
  • 100GB – $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year
  • 1TB – $6.99 per month or $59.99 per year
  • 2TB – $11.99 per month or $119.99 per year

Figure 5. Box


Often confused with Dropbox, Box is one of the older entrants on this list,
and one of the few other independent cloud storage providers not tied to a
major, multi-platform technology company. It specializes in providing the
maximum amount of control and privacy for users with sensitive data they wish to
keep secure.


  • Granular file control – Box specializes in
    providing users with tight controls over their files. Features in this arena
    that differentiate Box from its competitors include locking of individual
    files, auto-expiration of selected files, individual file permission
    settings, and more. These extra layers of protection and security are
    particularly useful for business customers sharing a Box account among
    multiple team members, another area where Box excels. 
  • Low-cost team plans – Box features one of the lowest cost entry
    points for a team-enabled version of its service. Where most of its
    competition requires full-sized business subscriptions to provide support
    for multiple users on a single account, Box offers this functionality with
    its cheapest paid tier. This means that very small businesses or even
    students can afford to utilize the service for collaboration purposes
    without incurring the types of costs that would be required with a competing
  • Unlimited Tiers – Box offers multiple completely unlimited
    storage plans at some of the lowest prices available for this type of


  • File size limits – Box limits the size of individual files uploaded
    via its free tier to a mere 250MB. This is too small for many most video files, and
    prohibitively small for any sort of high-definition content or larger
    applications. This limit is raised to 2GB for Starter plan customers, 5GB
    for most other paid customers, and 32GB for Digital Business Suite
    subscribers. Box is unusual in that is offers
    no tier in which individual file sizes are completely unrestricted. 
  • No significant ecosystem – Unlike three of the proceeding services,
    Box has no ecosystem with which it is integrated. Although this should, at
    worst, put it on even footing with Dropbox, the much larger number of
    third-party vendors with which Dropbox can interact leaves Box wanting. This
    is not due to any particular flaw with Box as a service, but is simply a
    lack of convenience that users might have otherwise experienced in selecting
    one of the company’s competitors. 

Pricing and Storage Sizes

  • Individual Plans
    • 10GB- Free
    •  Personal Pro (100GB) – $10 per month (paid
  • Business
    • Starter (100GB) – $5 per month, per user
    • Business (Unlimited) – $15 per month, per user
      (minimum of 3 users)
    • Business Plus (Unlimited), including advanced
      administrations controls
      $25 per month, per user (minimum of
      3 users)
    • Enterprise (Unlimited), included all lower-tier features and
      HIPAA/FedRAMP compliance features –
      $35 per month, per user

Figure 6. iCloud


Despite being on the forefront of many technological revolutions, Apple was a
relatively late comer to the cloud storage marketplace. The company did have an
early presence in the genre with its iCloud service, but it was originally a
very limited offering designed primarily to be usable exclusively by owners of
the company’s iPhone and iPad mobile devices, primarily as a place to store the
media captured by those devices. As Apple’s ecosystem continued to grow, the
company realized it needed to expand the versatility of its cloud storage, and
has now turned iCloud into a complete cloud storage solution.


  • Cross-platform integration – Like its Windows-based
    counterpart, Apple’s iCloud service is tightly integrated with its maker’s
    desktop OS, in this case Apple’s MacOS. However, iCloud can also boast
    an identical level of integration with the second most popular mobile OS in
    the world, iOS. While Microsoft’s OneDrive is usable via its Windows Phone
    operating system, the relatively tiny market share of that mobile OS means
    that almost no users would benefit from its multi-platform compatibility.
    iCloud, on the other hand, can be used across both platforms, as well as via
    media-centric devices such as Apple TV. This can be a huge boon to users
    that are deeply invested in Apple’s ecosystem, of which there are
  • Apple TV – As mentioned above, iCloud is compatible with
    the latest generations of Apple’s Apple TV device. This set-top unit acts as
    a streaming and locally stored media playback hub for TV shows, movies, and
    music. It is already able to play files via the user’s local network, as
    well as those streamed from major services and purchased via iTunes. With
    the addition of iCloud support, the device becomes much more versatile,
    playing back literally any video or music file the user throws at it,
    regardless of its location. 


  • Lack of Android support – iCloud only recently gained
    support for a truly native Windows application, after spending several years
    with little or no support on its desktop OS competitor. However, Apple has
    still not launched any support for the corresponding mobile OS competitor,
    Android. The company may believe that there would be little or no interest
    in this type of support, as iCloud provides essentially no advantage over
    Google Drive to an Android user, but the hole in its multi-platform support
    remains a problematic one.
  • Questions of security – Despite its relative youth,
    Apple’s iCloud platform has been the topic of perhaps the most highly
    publicized security breaches of any service listed here. This may simply be
    due to the fact that the media sees fit to trumpet such incidents much more
    loudly than similar happenings at other, lesser known companies, or it may
    have to do with an actual weakness in Apple’s security protocols. While
    there is no specific evidence of the latter being true, the perception is at
    least there, dogging Apple’s reputation with infamous news stories such as
    dozens of female celebrities having nude photos stolen from their iCloud
    accounts, and other similar scandals. 
  • Simplistic service options – iCloud is not meant to be a
    fully-featured cloud storage option for business customers. On the contrary,
    the service is designed to provide a simplistic storage "bucket"
    for personal user. This means that all of the advanced features seen in
    offerings like OneDrive and Box are absent here. While this should be
    relatively unimportant to the personal user, it would essentially render the
    service unusable to all but the smallest business customers.

Pricing and Storage Sizes

  • 50GB – $0.99
  • 200GB- $2.99 per month
  • 2TB- $9.99 per month

The Lesser-Known Competitors

The list above represents the top five contenders based on factors such as the
service’s availability on multiple platforms, its long-standing history of
stability, a verifiable security track record, and other characteristics that
make them among the most used service providers. There are, however, a multitude
of other services on offer from smaller providers, those that offers their
product for limited platforms, or those that are simply newer to the market.
Below is a brief description of the "best of the rest." 

  • CloudMe – Formerly known as iCloud (before Apple claimed the
    trademark), CloudMe closely resembles Dropbox in that it creates a
    constantly synced folder on all connected devices. The service offers
    support for all major desktop and mobile platforms, while also providing
    security features such as encrypted SSL user connections with an SSL
    Extended Validation Certificate. Although available globally, CloudMe
    focuses primarily on the European market. 
  • Mediafire – Launched as a file-sharing service, Mediafire now
    offers cloud-based storage beginning with a 10GB free tier and rising up to
    100TB for business accounts. Unfortunately, the service’s continued
    provision anonymous file-sharing makes it prone to the scrutiny of
    government officials, which often target such providers due to their usage
    by the online piracy community. 
  • Mega – Like Mediafire, Mega was launched as an anonymous
    file-sharing service. The service is owned by the controversial figure Kim
    Dotcom, founder of MegaUpload, and frequent target of arrest warrants due to
    the piracy which government officials claim his services facilitate. Despite
    all of these potential dangers, Mega does offer one of the largest free
    tiers on the market, providing 50GB to users at no cost.


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Determining the best cloud-based storage provider for each user
is a very personal and complex task. However, there are some points that
should help shoppers determine the right one for them or their company. Chief among these is the ecosystem with which that user, or user’s company, is
most closely tied. If a customer or business is already using Google Apps, then
Google One will most likely be the best choice for them thanks to its tight
integration with the platform that is already in heavy use. Similarly, users or
companies that rely heavily on the Microsoft Office or Office 365 suites may
want to choose OneDrive thanks to its equally tight integration. If no
particular ecosystem is dominant, then a platform-agnostic choice like Dropbox
or Box may be the best choice thanks to their versatility. 

Of course, a chief concern when choosing a cloud storage service
must also be the issue of cost. If at all possible, users should endeavor to use
a service that provides a free tier that suits their needs. Although this will
likely be impractical for most businesses, it is entirely within the reach of
all but the most data-hungry individual users. In the same vein, shopping around
for the best price for the exact amount of data a user or company needs to store
is an easy matter, and one that could save huge amounts of money in the long
run as subscription costs begin to accrue. 

Finally, the last of the truly important components when
selecting a provider is the level of security offered. Although most, if not
all, of the companies on the list offer two-factor
authentication, other characteristics should also be taken into account: the level of access the company’s employees have to potentially
sensitive data, the redundancy of the company’s systems, the company’s history
of compliance with governmental data requests and more. While many of these
concerns may seem overblown to most cloud storage users, certain industries or
fields need to have a very clear picture of how their data is being handled
before signing up. Not only could legal concerns arise as a result of a hasty
selection, many customers must also be concerned with regulatory compliance issues
based on guidelines such as HIPAA or other similar legislation. 

This guide is meant to serve as an overview of what is currently
available on the marketplace as well as a firm jumping-off point from which the
reader should continue their own research into which of the aforementioned
services provides the right ecosystem, cost, security, and all-around best fit
for their individual needs. 

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About the Author

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Michael Gariffo is an editor for Faulkner Information Services. He
tracks and writes about enterprise software and the IT services sector, as well
as telecommunications and data networking.

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