What is Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage is a cloud computing model that stores data on the Internet through a cloud computing provider who manages and operates data storage as a service. It’s delivered on demand with just-in-time capacity and costs, and eliminates buying and managing your own data storage infrastructure. This gives you agility, global scale and durability, with “anytime, anywhere” data access.
How Does Cloud Storage Work?
Cloud storage is purchased from a third party cloud vendor who owns and operates data storage capacity and delivers it over the Internet in a pay-as-you-go model. These cloud storage vendors manage capacity, security and durability to make data accessible to your applications all around the world.
Applications access cloud storage through traditional storage protocols or directly via an API. Many vendors offer complementary services designed to help collect, manage, secure and analyze data at massive scale.
storage as a service
Storage as a service (STaaS) is a managed service in which the provider supplies the customer with access to a data storage platform.
STaaS customers access individual storage services through standard system interface protocols or application program interfaces (APIs). Typical offerings include bare-metal storage capacity; raw storage volumes; network file systems; storage objects; and storage applications that support file sharing and backup life cycle management.
Storage as a service in cloud computing
Instead of storing data on-premises, organizations that use STaaS will typically utilize a public cloud for storage and backup needs. Public cloud storage may also use different storage methods for STaaS. These storage methods include backup and restore, disaster recovery, block storage, SSD storage, object storage and bulk data transfer. Backup and restore refers to the backing up of data to the cloud, which provides protection in case of data loss. Disaster recovery may refer to protecting and replicating data from virtual machines (VMs).
Block storage enables customers to provision block storage volumes for lower-latency I/O. SSD storage is another storage type that is typically used for intensive read/write and I/O operations. Object storage systems are used in data analytics, disaster recovery and cloud applications and tend to have high latency. Cold storage is used to create and configure stored data quickly. Bulk data transfers will use disks and other hardware to transfer data.
Benefits of cloud computing
Reduced IT costs
Moving to cloud computing may reduce the cost of managing and maintaining your IT systems. Rather than purchasing expensive systems and equipment for your business, you can reduce your costs by using the resources of your cloud computing service provider. You may be able to reduce your operating costs because:
- the cost of system upgrades, new hardware and software may be included in your contract
- you no longer need to pay wages for expert staff
- there are fewer time delays.
Your business can scale up or scale down your operation and storage needs quickly to suit your situation, allowing flexibility as your needs change. Rather than purchasing and installing expensive upgrades yourself, your cloud computer service provider can handle this for you. Using the cloud frees up your time so you can get on with running your business.
Access to automatic updates
Depending on your cloud computing service provider, your system will regularly be updated with the latest technology. This could include up-to-date versions of software, as well as upgrades to servers and computer processing power.
Collaboration in a cloud environment gives your business the ability to communicate and share more easily outside of the traditional methods. If you are working on a project across different locations, you could use cloud computing to give employees, contractors and third parties access to the same files. You could also choose a cloud computing model that makes it easy for you to share your records with your advisers (e.g. a quick and secure way to share accounting records with your accountant or financial adviser).
Flexibility of work practices
Cloud computing allows employees to be more flexible in their work practices. For example, you have the ability to access data from home, on holiday, or via the commute to and from work (providing you have an internet connection). If you need access to your data while you are off-site, you can connect to your virtual office, quickly and easily.
Read also: Top 10 Cloud Computing Companies in 2021