TechDogs-"A Brief Guide To Cloud Storage"

Cloud

A Brief Guide To Cloud Storage

By TechDogs

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Overview

Every business generates data and to store that data, it needs space. No arguments there, right? Whether it is to store project files or contracts, developing and deploying applications for business storage is a diverse and dynamic challenge. Local storage can often fail to rise to the challenge. Not just can it be difficult to scale, on-premises storage can also be expensive while being vulnerable to risks of loss and destruction.

Cloud Storage is an advanced and reliable solution to such drawbacks. With data stored on scalable remote servers, businesses can eliminate storage bottlenecks and make their data more secure. Plus, they are much lighter on your pocket since no on-premises storage setup needs to be maintained. Yes, the vendor does the backend stuff! #NoHeadacheForTheITFolk

The big question - what really is this Cloud Storage? What are you getting exactly? Let's find out in this entertaining read about the present, past and future of Cloud Storage!
TechDogs-"A Brief Guide To Cloud Storage"-I am on cloud nine with Cloud Storage
The one thing we can never have enough of is storage space. Leaving a few orderly beings aside, most people consider their homes to be infinite black holes that can swallow up everything from hairpins to books to DVD setups. (Yes, we’ve misplaced the entire DVD player once!) Now, for people dealing with spaces the size of small cities, the clutter can be almost impossible to track – and by that we mean businesses!

Moving the same logic to a business’ digital setting, terabytes of information keep stockpiling in every organization. Project data, compliance documents, timesheets and whatnot! Unless a dedicated team is assigned to sift through, classify and manage information that's no longer needed, the storage requirements of a business can quite easily cross the petabyte mark (perchance you haven't noticed, petabytes or a million gigabytes is slightly cumbersome when talking about local storage options!).

The solution? (Drum-roll…) Cloud Storage!

If you've ever used a Gmail account, you've already used Cloud Storage. Just scroll down to the end of your Inbox and you'll see metrics pointing out how much space you've used from the default storage provided to every user. Now that you've seen it and realized you have free storage on the cloud, we bet you feel an instant urge to delete old, useless emails with heavy attachments to clear up some more It's just human nature, don't fight it!

Jokes aside, Cloud Storage can actually solve many issues for businesses and that too in a cost-effective way. So, what say we take a little peek into its basics and understand how it can benefit you and your business?


What Does "Cloud Storage" Mean?


Cloud Storage allows organizations and home users to save their local files (from documents to multimedia) at a remote, off-site storage location. This storage location is typically a cloud server that becomes the new home for that data and can be accessed through the public Internet or a dedicated private network connection. A Cloud Storage provider (a third-party company that makes cloud servers available for use) hosts, manages, maintains and secures the cloud server and the associated infrastructure so that enterprises can access their data remotely, whenever needed. 

Cloud Storage enables handing over all the responsibility to someone else while you sit back and keep stuffing more data into the storage. Ah! If only everything in life was so simple…

Back to the point, Cloud Storage provides you elasticity, meaning that you can scale up or down the storage space as per business requirements. Simply put, more data = more space, fewer data = less space. (As a business, there might be times when you disintegrate old information leading to extra storage hanging around and when that happens, well, why not save a few bucks by reducing the storage requirements!).

However, cost-effectiveness isn't the only benefit the cloud offers (no sir!). It also allows you to maintain high availability and accessibility to the data stored in the cloud. Geographically diverse teams can easily access standard project files stored on the cloud, eliminating collaboration hassles. Plus, since the storage providers offer robust SLAs to stay competitive, you can be assured that your data is always secure (even more than a local hard drive kept inside a dusty, old cupboard. We mean, what if it’s stolen?).

Hmm, the entire concept has already started to grow on you, hasn't it? Allow us to spike your interest even further by exploring the fascinating history of Cloud Storage.


History And Evolution Of Cloud Storage


This is how the idea for Cloud Storage took birth and how it evolved into the service provided by Cloud Storage providers:
 
  • Project MAC:

    The roots of Cloud Storage can be traced back to the 1960s when the idea of an intergalactic network was proposed for the first time. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded the contract to MIT and allocated $2 million to make the idea feasible. That's how Project MAC was born, the first project to create technologies that would allow one PC (Personal Computer) to be utilized by at least two individuals.

  • ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network):

    Then in 1969, the idea of ARPANET was proposed by J.C.R Licklider, who went ahead and built the most basic version of the Internet that we use today. J.C.R was a therapist and a PC researcher who dreamt of connecting all PCs of the world with one network where everyone could communicate and share data. #AheadOfHisTime

  • Virtualization Technologies:

    The 1970s are known for the beginning of the Virtualization movement in the IT sector. Scientists and technology leaders dreamt of making a virtual machine that operated like a PC with a practical and working framework. With the advent of the Internet, the movement became stronger and organizations started offering virtual machines to end-users.


As they say, the rest is history. With data storage and security needs expanding beyond the scope of local machines, the birth of cloud tech was only a matter of time. Today, it's solving multiple purposes for dynamic businesses, a few of which have been detailed in the next section.
 

The Importance Of Cloud Storage


TechDogs-"The Importance Of Cloud Storage"-- A GIF Of SpongeBob Saying "The Cloud"
Though the primary use of Cloud Storage is to store data, it's not the only purpose for which the technology is used. If used appropriately, Cloud Storage solutions can be critical to these operations as well:
 
  • Backup And Recovery

    Data loss and corruption are common risks associated with on-premises data storage. To achieve business continuity, organizations need to have backups and recovery plans. Cloud Storage not only protects data but also enhances its accessibility by allowing anywhere, anytime access. Plus, since Cloud Storage typically comes with a minimum uptime SLA, you can be assured that your data is adequately backed up against disasters and can be recovered if needed.

  • Software Testing And Development

    Software development teams need independent and duplicate environments with ample storage for testing purposes. Moreover, after the completion of the development cycle, the testing environments need to be appropriately decommissioned. Cloud Storage provides a combination of high performance, low cost and flexibility to overcome all these issues. They offer pay-as-you-go storage options and easy management, enabling application development companies to complete projects quickly.

  • Data Compliance

    When storing data in the cloud, businesses are often faced with compliance and legal regulations that govern their industry. However, most Cloud Storage providers are aware of such concerns and offer pre-compliant storage solutions.

  • Big Data Project Support

    Though on-premises storage solutions are ideally suited to small-scale organizations, they can be inconsistent with scalability, performance and cost for large-scale corporations. With Cloud Storage solutions tailored to handle massive data volumes (also known as data lakes), Big Data projects can benefit from high availability, increased security, affordability and selective data extraction for targeted analysis.


Now that you know about the array of uses for Cloud Storage, aren't you already considering moving your local storage to the cloud? If you are, well, you might have to choose from one of the different kinds of Cloud Storage options offered by vendors that we’ve mentioned in the next section.


What Are The Different Types Of Cloud Storage?


TechDogs-"What Are The Different Types Of Cloud Storage?"-A GIF Of Michael Cera Asking "There's More Than One Kind?"
There are three different types of Cloud Storage classified according to the way the files are stored on the servers:
 
  • Object Storage:

    Refers to a model in which the storage is managed as distinct units called objects. This kind of storage doesn't follow the traditional tiered file structure. Instead, it places every team into a flat address space, also known as a storage pool. 

  • File Storage:

    Refers to a model where each piece of data is stored in folders, which helps in the organization of data concerning other pieces of information. It follows the traditional way of hierarchical storage, which is similar to paper file stores. Network-attached storage (NAS) and the elastic file system of Amazon are ideal examples of file storage.

  • Block Storage:

    Refers to a model where each file is stored as different data blocks and each one is referred to as a separate piece of data.  Since each block of data has a unique address, there's no need for a file structure to access the data.


The type of Cloud Storage used will depend on your needs, the type and size of data, etc. However, rest assured, no matter the style, there are plenty of benefits to be enjoyed!
 

Benefits Of Cloud Storage


TechDogs-"Benefits Of Cloud Storage"-Success Kid Meme About Cloud Storage
There are numerous benefits of storing data in the cloud. We've summarized the top 3 perks that Cloud Storage Providers offer Below:
 
  • Lower Total Cost Of Ownership:

    When you use Cloud Storage, you get freedom from the infrastructural setup and maintenance costs. You get the flexibility to add or reduce capacity on-demand and enjoy pay-as-you-go subscription models where you pay only for the storage you use. Thus, naturally, it's much more cost-effective as compared to local storage solutions.

  • Faster Time To Deployment:

    When a development cycle is in full swing and the team is ready to execute and launch applications, the infrastructure supporting the deployment shouldn't present any bottlenecks. Cloud Storage supports blazing-fast provisioning of resources. It can provide you with the exact amount of storage you need, when it's needed, without any delays so you can develop at scale.

  • Better Information Management:

    Cloud Storage allows applications to access and analyze real-time transactional data so that it's easier to make adjustments to operations and achieve higher efficiencies.


In addition to the above benefits, storing data in the cloud makes it more accessible to distributed teams and automatically takes care of backups and recovery as well as synchronization issues. What else could you ask for?

Well, in case you are asking for more, chances are you’ll get it soon – read on to know what we mean!
 

The Future Of Cloud Storage


TechDogs-"The Future Of Cloud Storage"-An Image Showing Doge Cloud Taking Over A City
The market for Cloud Storage solutions was estimated to be worth $46 billion in 2019, a number expected to grow to over $222 billion by 2027. That shows a straightforward rise of more than 21% over the next few years!

One of the most widely anticipated trends in Cloud Storage is the rise of the Cloud Native Security Platforms (CNSPs), allowing data security teams to tackle their operations across public, private and hybrid clouds seamlessly from a single interface. The use of silo-based security solutions (where a single group in an organization can access a certain set of data) will be eliminated and distributed teams will have access to all the related data sets they need from a single access point.

Moreover, experts predict that pretty soon, single-function cloud security vendors (the ones offering just one service, for instance, data loss prevention or cloud workload protection) will look at joining hands to offer integrated platforms that cater to all different kinds of data security needs that an organization demand.
 

Conclusion


We know it may sound a bit too complicated but the cloud is a necessity in today’s era. The evolution in Cloud Storage will only benefit your business in the coming years. Look for Cloud Storage Providers who have successful clients and can deliver, manage and provision a comprehensive Cloud Storage solution. We’re sure after investing in cloud technology, you’ll be on cloud 9!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does "Cloud Storage" Mean?


Cloud Storage refers to a method of storing digital files, ranging from documents to multimedia, in a remote location rather than on local devices. This remote storage typically resides on cloud servers accessible via the internet or private network connections. Cloud Storage providers manage and maintain these servers, ensuring data security and accessibility for organizations and individual users. With Cloud Storage, users can offload the responsibility of managing storage infrastructure while enjoying scalability and flexibility in storage capacity based on their needs.

What Is The History And Evolution Of Cloud Storage?


The concept of Cloud Storage traces its roots back to initiatives such as Project MAC in the 1960s and the development of ARPANET in 1969, which laid the foundation for the internet as we know it today. In subsequent decades, advancements in virtualization technologies further fueled the evolution of Cloud Storage. With increasing data storage needs and the limitations of local storage solutions, the emergence of cloud technology became inevitable. Today, Cloud Storage plays a vital role in various sectors, offering scalability, accessibility, and security beyond the capabilities of traditional storage methods.

What Are The Different Types Of Cloud Storage?


Cloud Storage can be categorized into three main types based on how files are stored on servers: Object Storage, File Storage, and Block Storage. Object Storage organizes data as distinct units called objects, while File Storage follows a hierarchical structure akin to traditional file systems. Block Storage stores data in separate blocks, each with a unique address. Each type of Cloud Storage has its advantages and is suited for different use cases, providing organizations with options to meet their specific storage needs efficiently.

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Tags:

Cloud Storage Cloud Storage Providers Cloud Services Cloud Technology On-premises Storage Network-attached Storage Block Storage Object Storage Cloud Native Security Platforms

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