While we have all heard about the benefits and advantages of ‘the cloud’, details of how it works are still confusing to some along with the various terms used to describe the service. For example, what is cloud storage technology and what does it do? Simply put, cloud storage technology is a computing model where data is stored on remote servers and accessed via the internet.
Cloud storage works through data centre virtualization. What this means is that it provides users (and applications) with a completely scalable virtual storage architecture based on their requirements. Cloud storage typically works through a web-based API, remotely implemented through a business’s in-house cloud infrastructure.
When delivered through a public service provider, cloud storage becomes known as utility storage. Businesses can also choose private cloud storage which offers certain types of regulatory compliance and non-public access but still with scalability and flexibility.
There are a number of benefits to using cloud storage over traditional storage. When using the cloud, you can access your documents or applications from anywhere in the world that has internet access. It eliminates the need to carry around a physical storage device or computer with particular applications installed. Cloud technology also makes collaboration with team members easy, even if not in the same office or city.
Some types of cloud storage options are very specific in what they do, such as being for just digital photo storage. Other types can store all types of digital data or host applications. Some cloud storage systems are so massive that the equipment they run off of can fill an entire warehouse. In fact, there is a name for the facilities that house cloud storage systems, they are called data centres.
In order to work, a basic cloud storage system only needs a single data server that is connected to the internet. A user or business can send files to that data server, which stores the information. When the user or business wants to access their information, they can access via a web-based interface. In the majority of cases, however, cloud storage systems use hundreds of data servers. They also copy the data that clients send to multiple physical servers in different physical locations. Why? In case a machine fails, or a disaster strikes at a data centre, such as a fire, clients can still access their data.
The number of cloud storage providers is growing on a daily basis. There are definitely some major storage providers that you are already aware of, although you may have just never realized that they were considered cloud storage.
Some of the most well-known examples include Google Docs, YouTube and Facebook. With Google Docs, users can upload documents, presentations, and spreadsheets and edit files using the Google application. They publish documents, share with other users and give permission for others to edit. YouTube is a host for millions of videos while Facebook allows users to post content and pictures that are stored on their servers.
Businesses have a number of options for cloud storage depending on what best suits their unique requirements. Private and public cloud storage is available as well as hybrid solutions that incorporate a mix of both.
Many businesses are choosing to migrate to cloud storage technology as it can save a significant amount of money versus purchasing and maintaining on-site equipment and support. Furthermore, professional cloud storage has state-of-the-art security, often much more resilient than an organization would have to maintain their own data.
To learn more about how MBC can deliver the best cloud storage solution to suit your business’s needs, get a free assessment today.