How Does Cloud Sync Work? [Infographic]

Syncing Multiple Cloud Storage Platforms & Cloud Sync Tips

What is Cloud Sync?

Cloud Sync is a means to keep the same updated files in different locations through cloud storage services; regardless of where they were geographically edited or changed, the file will be the same from where ever it is accessed. This is a great way to keep files up-to-date, consistent, and accessible to users across multiple locations and platforms. When a user edits or updates a file, the changes are automatically synchronized with the corresponding folder(s) on the other platforms. This can save organizations real time and money, as it enables users to spend less time hunting for documents and more time doing their day-to-day business operations. 

Hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments are becoming more common among businesses every day, as the possibility of having a single repository for storage and collaboration becomes less and less likely. No matter the method (one-way file sync, two-way data synchronizationmulti-cloud environments, long-term cloud migration, etc.), syncing multiple cloud storage services requires a thoughtful strategy in order to be effective. We’ll explore some common questions and concerns about cloud sync projects, whether you’re storing primarily in on-premises servers, OneDrive, Google Cloud, AWS, Dropbox, others, or several of them in a complex, multi-cloud environment.

How do I connect cloud storage platforms?

Most cloud storage platforms offer what is commonly known as a “sync folder” in your file system. These sync folders automatically copy files in their most up-to-date version to all devices connected to the corresponding cloud account (for example, a Dropbox sync folder on your device will automatically sync content to your Dropbox cloud storage account). To connect and sync various cloud storage platforms with one another, you will need an application that is able to integrate and synchronize content among your multiple cloud services. 

How does Cloud Sync work?

There is no one right answer to this question, as it will all depend on your personal cloud syncing and cloud migration needs. Do you need a one-way sync? Possibly a bi-directional sync (or two-way sync), or to manage a multi or hybrid-cloud environment? There are several ways to synchronize your content, including using a hosted system, using a third-party tool, or creating your very own sync system. 

How do I transfer files between cloud storage services?

This will also depend on your specific cloud sync needs. For example, if you need to permanently rehome content from one cloud storage to another, like from Dropbox to OneDrive, you could consider a one-time cloud migration. However, if you’re using an application that can synchronize your cloud services, you won’t have to — you can automate the transfer of files between cloud services. Files will be transferred in their most current state between cloud storage services automatically within your cloud sync environment.   

How do I sync cloud storage services with on-premises platforms?

Hybrid content management is not uncommon among businesses today. It is popular with organizations that cannot migrate and/or consolidate files due to compliance or security mandates, or who cannot afford to abandon their legacy storage investments. Bi-directional or a two-way sync ensures your on-premises content mirrors what is in your cloud storage platform. 

Cloud Sync - SkySync's 6 Cloud Sync Tips Infographic

SkySync’s 6 Cloud Sync Tips:

  1. Understand & Organize Your Content: Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc., among other cloud services all create their own folder to sync those files within said folder to and from the cloud storage platform. Files you don’t select will not sync. You may not want to sync old, irrelevant, or redundant files that may use up some of your allotted cloud storage space.
  2. Implement Data Governance: Create a set of rules and security for users who access or contribute to the cloud sync environment.  This provides a multitude of benefits such as tracking what content that goes in and out of the cloud, prevents redundant content from taking up free cloud storage space, and can also help prevent a data breach, which can cost companies hundreds of thousands in fines.
  3. Rule Your Multi-Cloud Environment: Map out where all of your data and files are stored – it is unlikely to be all in one platform or source. Before synchronizing two vastly different storage platforms, it’s important to learn each system’s rules of file management. Anticipate and then accommodate these differences by choosing a tool that can manage them flawlessly when creating your hybrid storage environment. 
  4. Make The Cloud Your Default Destination: Web browsers download files into the Downloads folder by default. Skip a step by changing your browser’s download settings to change that destination to a folder that’s in sync. That way downloaded files will automatically make their way into the cloud sync environment. 
  5. Make Use of “Selective Sync” Features: There is a disadvantage to sync folders, which is that they must store files in both the cloud and on your hard drive to be able to work. The goal for some is to create free storage space on their hard drive by moving files to the cloud. For this, most cloud storage service providers offer a feature called selective sync. Using selective sync, you can disable syncing for specific folders and as a result, those files will be only stored in the cloud. 
  6. Save Costs With a Hybrid-Cloud Sync: Although keeping several systems in place indefinitely can become costly, many cloud storage services’ pricing models enable an organization to scale up or down based on usage. A simple way for an enterprise to save costs on their cloud storage deployment is to sync only their most active content, while keeping old data and archived information on-site.

 

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