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What is cloud storage?

In this fast-moving world it become necessary to store data on the cloud storage. The biggest advantage of cloud storage is that we can store any type of data in digital form on the cloud. Another advantage of cloud storage is that we can access data from anywhere, anytime on any device. There are many cloud storage providers such as, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, etc. They provide free service for limited storage but if you want to store beyond the limit, you have to pay. In this section, we will discuss what is cloud storage, uses of cloud storage, and its architecture in detail.

Cloud Storage

The cloud storage is a computer data storage model in which the data that is digital in format is stored, and hence it is said to be on the cloud, in logical pools. This physical storage consists of multiple servers which can be located in the different parts of the country or may be in different parts of the world depends on many factors. The maintenance of these servers is owned by some private companies.

The cloud storage services are also responsible for keeping the data available and accessible 24x7, and it also safeguard the data and run the physical environment. In order to store user, entity, or application information, individuals and organisations purchase or lease storage capacity from providers.

The Cloud storage resources, for example a cloud desktop storage, a cloud storage portal or a Network-based content management system in the cloud. These all can be easily accessed with the help of a co-located cloud computing service or it can be a web service application programming interface which in general is known by the name of API or applications that use the API.

Architecture of Cloud Storage

In terms of interfaces the cloud storage is basically based on highly virtualized technology which is more like broader cloud computing. It is possible to use cloud storage services from an off-site provider (Amazon S3) or from an on-site provider (ViON Capacity Services).

Usually, cloud storage refers to a hosted object storage service, although the concept has extended to include other forms of data storage, such as block storage, that are also available as a service.

Some of the examples of cloud storage which can easily be hosted and deployed with cloud storage characteristics are as follows -, Oracle Cloud Storage, Microsoft Azure Storage and Amazon S3.

Cloud storage is:

  • It consists of several distributed resources, but still functions as one, either in a cloud architecture of federated or cooperative storage.
  • Highly fault-tolerant via redundancy and data distribution.
  • Extremely durable through the manufacture of copies of versions.
  • Ultimately, it is usually compatible with data replication advantages.
  • Companies just need to pay for the storage they actually use, normally an average of a month's consumption. This does not indicate that cloud storage is less costly, rather that operating costs are incurred rather than capital expenses.
  • Cloud storage companies can cut their energy usage by up to 70 percent, making them a greener company.
  • The provision of storage and data security is inherent in the architecture of object storage, so the additional infrastructure, effort and expense to incorporate accessibility and security can be removed depending on the application.
  • Tasks for storage management, such as the procurement of additional storage space, are offloaded to the service provider 's obligation.
  • It provides users with immediate access of wide variety of tools and software housed in another organisation's infrastructure through a web service interface.
  • As there are usually 2 or 3 separate backup servers located in different locations across the globe, cloud storage may be used as a natural disaster proof backup.
  • With the WebDAV protocol, cloud storage can be mapped as a local drive. For organisations with several office locations, it may act as a central file server.

Data security

Data storage outsourcing increases the surface area of attack.

  1. It is processed at more locations after information has been dispersed, raising the likelihood of unauthorised physical access to the data. For example , in the case of the disposal of old computers, the reuse of drives, the reallocation of storage space. The way data is replicated depends on the quality of service a customer prefers and the service delivered. It will maintain confidentiality when encryption is in effect. When disposing of data (on a disc), crypto-shredding can be used.
  2. The number of persons who may be compromised (e.g., bribed, or coerced) with access to the data increases significantly. As for the sharing of multiple cloud data with multiple users, a large number of keys must be distributed to users for decryption through secure channels, and users must also store and manage it securely on their devices. It takes very costly safe storage to store these keys.
  3. It increases the number of networks the data travels over.
  4. It is possible for other customers to access the data by sharing storage and networks with many other users or customers. Sometimes due to wrongdoing, defective equipment, a malfunction, and sometimes due to criminal purpose. With encryption technology, the possibility of making data read during transmission can be mitigated. It is the role of the transit encryption in order to safeguard the data as it is transferred to and from the cloud service. In-rest encryption protects the data stored by the service provider. Both forms of encryption security can be offered by encrypting data in an on-site cloud service on-ramp scheme.

Longevity

Companies are not permanent and they may modify the services and goods they offer. Data storage outsourcing to another business requires careful investigation and nothing is ever assured. When a business ceases to exist or its circumstances change, contracts set in stone can be worthless. Companies are willing to:

  1. Just go bankrupt.
  2. Expand their concentration and modify it.
  3. Be absorbed by other bigger firms.
  4. To be bought by a company based in or moved to a country that refuses compliance with export restrictions and thus needs a transfer.
  5. Suffering from an unrecoverable tragedy.

Accessibility

  • Depending on how much a client is willing to invest on WAN bandwidth, outsourced storage efficiency is likely to be lower than local storage.
  • Reliability and accessibility depend on the availability of the wide-area network and the extent of precautions taken by the service provider. Hardware as well as different algorithms used should be focused on reliability.
  • A multiplicity of data storage is a given.
  • Users with unique record-keeping requirements, such as public entities that must maintain electronic records in compliance with the law, can face cloud computing and storage complications.

Suggested Solution to Cloud Problems

To prevent such problems, there are many choices available. One choice is to use a private cloud (there are also services that provide private cloud storage) instead of a public cloud. Another choice is to ingest data inside our on-site infrastructure in an encrypted format where the key is kept.

Access is also achieved using on-premise cloud storage gateways. These gateways not only have options for encrypting and compressing data prior to transfer, but also for mirroring storage through various cloud storage providers and removing the possibility of shutdown by a single provider. Gateways also provide the option of caching data on a recently used on-premise algorithm. Data is cached and fetched in the most useful form along with data analytics instead of just recently used form.


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