What is Cloud Storage
Updated on 09th Jan, 24 9.2K Views

In this article, we will learn about cloud storage in detail and how the data backup solution is changing the way data can be stored safely and securely. This concept is not very new in the market but today almost every business has adopted cloud services for running their work more efficiently.

Table of contents:

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What is Cloud Storage?

What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud storage in simple terms, is defined as storing digital data on servers instead of local storage devices. All of the user data is securely stored in these cloud-based servers which are hosted by third-party providers.

A third-party provider manages the servers and is in charge of hosting, managing, and securing the data stored on its infrastructure. The service provider also ensures that data stored on its servers are always available via public or private internet connections.

Physical storage devices can turn out to be pretty expensive for organizations as data volume grows at a very high rate, and they can store only a finite amount of data. It offers elasticity, meaning you can easily scale capacity depending on your requirement.

How does Cloud Storage work?

How does Cloud storage work?

While in the case of on-premise storage, you store all the data in hard storage devices like flash drives or any external hard disks. In the case of cloud storage, the data gets backed up over the internet and is stored in remote servers/computers that are specifically designed to hold the data.

These cloud servers are connected remotely and you can access your stored data from any part of the world, all you need is an internet access.

These servers might be holding data for multiple users at a single time but you can only access what’s yours. Also, the files you uploaded to the cloud might be copied and stored in multiple other servers too in order to prevent the loss of data in case any one server goes down.

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Cloud Storage Pricing

Cloud Storage pricing

AWS by Amazon, Azure by Microsoft, and GCP (Google Cloud Platform) by Google are the leading cloud storage providers in the market.

The below table compares the approximate cost of using these cloud storage, exact price varies based on many factors like the region where you store data, amount of storage, level of redundancy, etc.

 AWSAZUREGCP
Smallest plan (2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB RAM)~USD $69/month~USD $70/month~USD $52/month
Largest Plan3.84 TB RAM and 128 vCPUs ~USD $3.97/hour3.89 TB RAM and 128 vCPUs ~USD $6.79/hour3.75 TB RAM and 160 vCPUs ~USD $5.32/hour

Types of Cloud Storage

Types of Cloud Storage

There are four different types of cloud storage. Let’s try to know more about each one of them in detail below:

Public Cloud Storage

In this, the data center hosted by the provider is shared among multiple companies at a time for storing data.

Data stored in public cloud storage is easily scalable depending on the needs of the company.

Another advantage is that, the data stored can be accessed through any device and anywhere in the world.

Private Cloud Storage

The Private cloud storage model is used by organizations that require a high level of security for the data stored. The data is stored in the company’s own private network and data centers.

It is used mostly by government bodies, financial institutes, and large MNCs that have to follow tight data standards, and having a private cloud storage center gives them complete access to sensitive data.

Hybrid Cloud Storage

A hybrid cloud storage solution combines private and public clouds. Organizations have the option to select which data they want to store in which cloud using a this model.

While less sensitive data is stored in the public cloud, sensitive data and data that must adhere to strict compliance standards may be kept in a private cloud.

Community Cloud

When businesses come together to invest in cloud solutions, they use community cloud storage. The expense of maintenance and administration is shared by businesses and a community cloud server.

For example, several government agencies in the same nation may use a shared cloud storage facility to store, handle, manage, and access data.

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Cloud Storage Service Provider

Choosing the right Cloud Storage Service Provider is like picking a reliable protector for your virtual belongings. When it comes to selecting a Cloud Storage Service Provider, popular names like Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, and Microsoft Azure Blob Storage often come to the forefront.

  • Amazon S3: Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is a widely used cloud storage solution known for its scalability, durability, and versatility. It’s like having a virtual warehouse where you can store and retrieve any amount of data, be it for a website, mobile application, or backup.
  • Google Cloud Storage: Google Cloud Storage provides a reliable and globally accessible platform for storing and retrieving data. It’s similar to a virtual repository where you can neatly organize and manage your digital possessions, all while benefiting from Google’s infrastructure for speed and efficiency.
  • Microsoft Azure Blob Storage: Microsoft Azure Blob Storage is like a secure digital vault, offering scalable storage for your applications. It provides a variety of storage tiers to accommodate different data access patterns, ensuring that you only pay for what you use.

Advantages of Cloud Storage

Advantages of Cloud Storage

There are many benefits that come with using cloud storage as a storage option for your business, let’s talk about a few of those.

  • Cost of ownership – Customers who use a cloud storage service only pay for the storage they use, eradicating the need for large capital investments. Even though it costs are recurring each day, they are still less when compared to the cost of maintaining an on-premises system.
  • Remotely manage your files – You will need to manually copy the updated file to another computer if you make changes to one of your files and want to update it there. On the other hand, updating a cloud file means, it now appears the same to everyone who accesses it from any device.
  • Access from anywhere – You can easily access all of your files stored in the cloud from anywhere. The data can be accessed from any device irrespective of the operating system making remote work possible.
  • Security – Cloud storage distributes your data across redundant servers, so that even if one of the data centers fails, your data will be managed by the remaining data centers, keeping your data safe and supervised.

Only your data will be lost if all of the storage provider’s data centers fail or are destroyed, which is an improbable scenario given that a cloud storage service is made up of thousands of data centers.

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Disadvantages of Cloud Storage

Disadvantages of Cloud Storage

With many advantages to offer cloud storage also comes with some disadvantages such as:

  • Internet dependency – You cannot access your files if there is no internet connection. The files you were downloading could be corrupted if the internet goes down.
  • Costs – Due to the fact that cloud storage is created specifically for corporate needs, most of the top cloud storage services are expensive. You might have to give up some features if you choose a less costly plan.
  • Privacy – In the cloud, your data is not entirely secure. You don’t keep it on-site, and you have no idea how many people are using the infrastructure or the servers. This is a significant issue that must be addressed before proceeding with business-critical data.

 AWSAZUREGCP
Smallest plan (2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB RAM)~USD $69/month~USD $70/month~USD $52/month
Largest Plan3.84 TB RAM and 128 vCPUs ~USD $3.97/hour3.89 TB RAM and 128 vCPUs ~USD $6.79/hour3.75 TB RAM and 160 vCPUs ~USD $5.32/hour

Conclusion

Cloud storage services have become so popular in the software industry over the last few years that they are now used by all major tech companies. Because data is the new power weapon, every business, large or small, requires a cloud storage service to store their data. Big tech is investing heavily in the cloud business because it has the potential to completely change how data is stored and used.

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