What is Cloud Storage? How is the Data stored on the Cloud?
One of the great things that technology has bestowed us with is cloud technology. With the rapid increase in data volume and scarcity of space, this was indeed a much-needed tech development. This is the reason cloud technology has seen immense growth since its inception. From internet banking to the large IT infrastructures, everyone employs cloud storage services to increase the security as well as data integrity prospects of their digital stakes.
In addition to this, there are a lot of applications where we do not notice the presence of online storage. But in reality, it is cloud technology which is ensuring the sustainability of such applications. One such application is the music and video streaming sites such as Soundcloud and Netflix. We do not need to download the movie or music on our device. Instead, we just need to login to our account and all available media files will readily be available to us. Other eminent applications are Google Drive, iCloud Drive, Dropbox Business, Microsoft Office 365, email servers, and many other cloud based platforms. These platforms have their dedicated mobile apps to give users an easy access to their data. All of these compact solutions are possible today just because of the cloud storage technology.
What is Cloud Storage?
As it is said that to understand anything, one should first know about its roots or foundations. The same applies here, so in order to know about cloud storage, it is mandatory to first establish the understanding of cloud computing. Cloud computing is basically a synonym to far-flung data centers that can be accessed through the internet. Generally, cloud computing works on the concept of virtualization. This concept further provides the basis for virtual machines. Virtual machines are created with the help of software which segregates the memory, power, and storage of the subjected machine into various smaller units. Each of these smaller units will be running its own operating system. This concept allows the computing resources to be shared and accessed efficiently by every connected device or third-party apps on the cloud network.
Being a subset of cloud technology, cloud storage is also a sort of real time remote storage. Such storages bare users from the formalities and hassle of managing on-site storage mediums. The clients or business users will just need to send the photos and videos or any other data to the server of the cloud service provider. This data will then be stored over the remotely located storage mediums.
Generally, cloud storage systems encompass hundreds of data servers which are closely linked with each other via the master control server. However, such scenarios can only be found in large and complex cloud data centers. Simpler one usually employs just one data server. Cloud storage systems ensure data security as well as integrity. It is so because the user’s data will remain safe on the remote location and if anything happens to the local storage device or locality, data will remain protected. Thus, enabling the user to enact secure and hassle-free data backups. Furthermore, cloud storage is an excellent way of optimizing storage and making them reliable. Users will be paying only for what they have been consuming. Another exciting feature is the contagious security measures of cloud storage. It employs data encryption to save data from being hacked and uses two and three-factor authentication to abandon unauthorized access to the data.
Cloud Data Storage Process
There are multiple stages and procedures involved to let data be stored on the cloud platform. For cloud storage to be enacted, there is a compulsion of having at least one data server. This data server should then be equipped with internet connectivity. The user will send the subjected file to that data server through the internet. This file transfer activity can either be done manually or automatically. After being stored in the data server, this file or data is then forwarded to multiple servers so as to increase the redundancy. After this, data gets successfully stored on the cloud network and can then be accessed online. This is the simplest working mechanism of any cloud storage. But generally, cloud storage employs multiple data servers to increase file sharing capabilities and to let you access your files. This is done to provide alternate access to the data if one of the data servers is down or under maintenance. For example, AWS Cloud has about fifty-five availability zones, spanning over eighteen regions. It is done just to ensure that their clients should always be able to access their data and no work gets hindered just because of any technical issue. So, in short, cloud storage provides a completely reliable, user-friendly, secure and technological advanced data storage environment.
There are various ways to access and use cloud storage resources. Generally, they can be accessed by the end-user using the web interface of the cloud service provider. Cloud resources can be provisioned to the users who specify their storage capacity and that capacity is prepared in advance of the service. On the basis of this mutual settlement pertaining to storage capacity, the user will either pay on a monthly or annual basis. These resources can also be provisioned if the service provider allocates resources on the basis of “as needed”. In such situations, payment is made on a per-usage basis.
It must be noted that there are other factors too on which payment depends. These factors include the required storage space whether unlimited storage or the limited one, service quality, scheduling mode, and other allied factors.