Cloud storage is defined as “cloud-based online data storage”, in which business data is stored and accessed from multiple distributed and connected resources that form a cloud.
Cloud storage can offer the benefits of greater accessibility and higher reliability, fast deployment, durable protection for backup, archive and disaster recovery purposes; and reduced storage costs because it is not necessary to buy, manage and maintain expensive hardware. The use of cloud storage offers many benefits. However, cloud storage can cause security and compliance issues that are not associated with traditional storage systems.
Types of storage in the cloud
There are four types of storage in the cloud: personal, public, private and hybrid:
- Personal storage in the cloud
Personal cloud storage, also known as mobile cloud storage, is a subset of public cloud storage that is used to store data in the cloud and access it from anywhere. It also provides synchronisation and data exchange functions on multiple devices. iCloud from Apple is an example of personal cloud storage.
- Public cloud storage.
Public cloud storage is the domain in which companies and storage service providers are disconnected, and no resources are stored in the cloud in the company’s data centre. The cloud storage provider fully manages the company’s public cloud storage.
- Private cloud storage
A form of cloud storage in which the company and the cloud storage provider are integrated into the company’s data centre. In private cloud storage, the storage provider has an infrastructure in the business data centre that is typically managed by the storage provider. Companies may restrict access to this data to employees depending on the work they are doing; this article on Saviynt Inc. suggests that only giving employees access to the parts of their network that they need to complete their work for the duration of the task is a good way to lower the risk of any data breaches from happening. Although, while the data is being migrated to the cloud, it should be accessible so as to maintain control of the sensitive information moving from one space to another. That being said, companies looking to accelerate the process of safe migration of data to cloud storage can do so with Apache Ranger or similar programs that can also be provided by the storage provider (you could go now and learn more here). Private cloud storage helps solve potential security and performance issues while providing the benefits of cloud storage.
- Hybrid cloud storage
Hybrid cloud storage is a combination of public and private cloud storage that contains critical data in the company’s private cloud, while a public cloud storage provider stores and accesses other data.
Advantages and disadvantages of cloud storage.
The use of cloud storage offers many benefits. The most notable is access to files. Files stored in the cloud are accessible at any time, anywhere, as long as you have access to the Internet. Another benefit is that cloud storage organizations can provide external backups (remote backups) of data, which in turn could reduce the cost of cloud disaster recovery.
Unfortunately, the main disadvantage of cloud storage is that users are limited by bandwidth. If your Internet connection is slow or unstable, you may have difficulty accessing or sharing your files. Organizations that need a lot of disk space can also find that the cost increases dramatically after the first gigabytes of stored data.