Organizations are rapidly embracing the notion of cloud storage, as it offers multi-tenant, scalable, flexible and metered resources. Often, IT departments find it difficult to manage and store an increasing amount of organizational data at their data centres. That’s when cloud storage plays a vital role.
Cloud storage is a remote solution with multi-tenant architecture, used to back up and manage a vast amount of data. This data can be accessed over one network by multiple users. Not just that, users can access this data from anywhere across the globe and share it with other authorized network users as well. Cloud storage provides more capacity than hard drives, is scalable and an extremely cost-effective solution.
Here’s everything you need to know about cloud storage, how it works and how to use it effectively:
Why opt for Cloud storage?
Cloud storage resources are provisioned via a web-based interface. In today’s data-intensive industry, cloud-based storage has become a necessity, all credits to its distributed and replicated resources. Such nature of resources is what allows for dynamic flexibility, better disaster recovery and easy availability of data.
Cloud storage is hosted remotely by third-party cloud-hosting website providers that offer maximum benefit to the organizations.
How does cloud storage work?
You might wonder, how exactly does cloud storage work?
How is such a growing amount of data stored in a place that is so secure, capacious, convenient yet cost-effective?
In technical terms, cloud storage is where your data is stored at a centralized point, ready to be accessed by multiple users via multiple servers.
Let’s take an example. Previously, people in an office used to store files on a shared drive, so all the members can access them by logging in with respective credentials. These credentials were stored on a server so as to provide access to authorized users.
Same way, cloud storage also acts as a remote data centre where an extensive amount of files are housed. Such type of storage is much more convenient, accessible and cutting-edge than a shared drive. All the internal management functions of files, folders, and accounts in cloud storage are managed by hi-tech security protocols, APIs, software applications and encryption.
When users create a cloud storage account, they are provided with a precise set of credentials. These are to be used to securely connect with the provider’s website and its applications. As you upload your data on the cloud, it is transported via a secure VPN tunnel, undergoes encryption and then stored on a server bank’s drive at a data centre.
All the records related to the uploaded files or folders are instantly created in the database. This way, you can view the list of files and folders uploaded, without downloading anything. Such a convenient approach saves time and use of bandwidth. Not just that, unwanted intruders won’t be able to access the data without the credentials that contain encryption keys. Even if the drive is stolen, they still won’t be able to view the encrypted data.
In order to retrieve data from cloud storage, one needs to connect to the server again via an application or website.
Then choose the files that one wants to download and command the server to start the download of files to the current device.
This way, the actual file is not downloaded, rather an unencrypted copy of the original file is downloaded.
The original file remains safe and secure on the cloud storage server, as long as the user does not delete or move it.
From the user’s perspective, the cloud storage is extremely easy to manage and it provides an exceptional user experience. Internal management regarding the resources and efforts are all underneath Cloud Hosting The website providers take care of everything.
Most importantly, in cloud storage, there are multiple data servers involved. Even if one server fails or is under maintenance, the user can still access the data via replicated resources.
Types of Cloud Storage
Mainly, there are four types of cloud storages:
Public cloud storage
Third-party service providers generally host public cloud storage. Google Cloud Storage and Amazon AWs cloud storage are excellent examples of the same. These public clouds are offered as a service. All the management regarding ownership, design, management, and maintenance is carried out by the providers themselves.
In a public cloud, the data is mainly replicated in different points for better disaster recovery, if any. But for quicker access, its primary location is physically nearer to the user.
Cloud Hosting and Public cloud service providers offer various services such as servers, networking, storage as well as data centre operations.
Personal cloud storage
The network-attached device itself acts as personal cloud storage, which can be used to store personal data such as music, video, text, etc. The users have complete control, ownership, and access to the data from anywhere.
Private cloud storage
Private cloud storage will back up your data to the on-premises storage servers. It makes use of cloud computing to control and manage the data, whilst taking full benefit of the scalability and flexibility of the cloud.
Private cloud storage is kind of similar to public cloud storage, as it offers flexible, scalable and accessible storage infrastructure.
The only difference is that private cloud storage is owned and managed by a single organization (or by its authorized partners) and the data is not publicly accessible.
It has a multitenant architecture, where one storage array provides storage space to multiple departments, applications, and partners.
Private cloud storage is also referred to as internal cloud storage.
Hybrid cloud storage
As the name suggests, hybrid cloud storage is the combination of private, public and data centre, tailored as per the requirements of the user. The main objective of hybrid cloud storage is to reap the maximum benefits of public cloud storage providers such as their flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and scalability, whilst balancing it with the security of private clouds.
What is the difference between Cloud Computing and Cloud Storage?
As for cloud storage, organizations can store their files, folders and other data on a remote location. The objective behind cloud storage is to back up your data, just in case, if the original file or data gets destroyed or corrupted. Users can easily retrieve their files from the cloud. These systems generally feature multiple data servers integrated together through a master cloud server. But, simple cloud storage systems might encompass just one server.
Cloud Hosting is all about computation work and use of the application. It allows you to use cloud memory and computing power to your benefit, by offering them as a service.
With Cloud Hosting, users can connect to a remote computing infrastructure through a network. Such infrastructure generally consists of shared processing assets, software and many resources. Cloud computing does not demand any up-gradation or maintenance from users, rather they get to take advantage of the processing power of a large network. Online banking apps, Gmail and Facebook are great examples of cloud computing.
Cloud computing concept can be differentiated into 3 types:
SaaS (Software as a Service)- where users utilize the software via the Internet
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)- where big companies like Google rent their hi-tech infrastructure to other enterprises
Paas (Platform as a Service) – where developers create goal-oriented online applications for specific users on online platforms.
Where is all the data stored in Cloud Storage?
The answer to this question is- data centres. All the files, folders, data that you upload to the cloud, will be automatically backed up on dedicated servers and virtual machines housed in large warehouses.
Cloud service providers own these data centres and keep the servers up and running.
These data centres make use of vast cooling systems to avoid the machines from getting overheated. Additionally, there are backup generators in place to handle power failures.
Is Cloud Storage secure?
Certainly, cloud storage is an extremely cost-effective and convenient solution. But, is it secure?
Can the user completely trust cloud providers with their data?
As mentioned above, cloud providers back up your data at multiple locations. These locations are greatly protected and reinforced to prevent unwanted intruders and employees from damaging, corrupting or stealing the hardware.
We all know that cloud providers use data encryption and other authentication procedures to control the accessibility of data. Since every Cloud Hosting cloud providers’ reputation is at stake, they make sure to leverage cutting-edge technologies and systems to protect users’ data to the core. Cloud Hosting
Can cloud storage data be recovered?
Users can restore or retrieve their data by linking their cloud account with authorized devices viz. Tablets, smartphones or laptops.
Such a feature makes it easier to recover files, especially when you may have accidentally deleted them. Best cloud providers offer excellent customer service by simply mailing a USB hard drive or flash drive to your home, so you can upload it all into your PC.
Cloud storage has set a new benchmark for when it comes to managing our data with innovative methods. Seeing the features of cloud storage, we can assume that the future holds great assets for cloud users, as it will open the doors of innovation and opportunities for cloud providers.