I am pretty sure we all have some kind of storage devices where we keep our digital data such as images, videos, documents, audiobooks, etc. but what if at some point of time the storage device gets full? Then, we are forced to buy another storage device with a higher storage capacity but they all come with higher prices.
You must then have heard people saying about storing their data in ‘The Cloud’. So, what exactly is ‘The Cloud’? Is it the same as above us? Actually, it’s not. So, let us learn about cloud and how cloud storage actually works.
What is Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage is essentially a virtual locker where we can remotely stash any of our data. When we upload a file to cloud base server like Google Drive, OneDrive or iCloud that file gets copied over the Internet into a data server-that are actual physical spaces where companies store files on multiple hard drives. Most companies have hundreds of these servers known as ‘server farms’ spanning across multiple locations. So, if our data gets somehow lost we will not lose our data because it will be backed up by another location. This is known as redundancy which keeps our data safe from being lost.
Where does our Cloud Storage reside?
Despite being stored in the cloud, our data still needs to be physically stored somewhere. Big companies providing this service need to have huge servers dedicated to storing our data though the place where this data is stored isn’t specified by these providers. For example, the provider may be based in the US but their servers might be in China or the UK or anywhere else in the world. Some companies even outsource their server farms to satellite locations in order to reduce costs. So, it’s very difficult to know where our data actually resides.
Is Cloud Storage Secure?
Even if we feel free to store our data in the cloud but how do we know that our data is truly safe in the hands of a cloud provider?
Reliability and Security are two biggest concerns that these companies address the most.
Data centres that store our confidential data are employed with some standard features such as detecting smoke, suppressing fires and providing emergency power and these secret locations are heavily reinforced, guarded and internally protected to prevent intruders from physically harming or stealing the storage hardware.
To secure our data, cloud providers use authentication processes like usernames and passwords to limit access and data encryption to protect our data.
Wait! Do not mix it with cloud computing that’s totally a different thing. You may find all about cloud computing here.
Let me help you to distinguish between the two 🙂
Cloud Storage Vs. Cloud Computing
- Cloud storage is simply storing the data via Internet to cloud-based servers. Once the data is stored in the cloud we can access it anywhere through Internet on multiple devices. On the other hand, Cloud computing is linked with cloud storage in that we have to move data to the cloud before we can make use of cloud computing systems. Once the data is moved to the cloud, we can process it into useful material and send it back to us. An example of Cloud Computing is Software as a Service (SaaS), where we input data on software and the data is transformed remotely through a software interface without our computer being involved.
- Cloud storage needs more storage space. However, Cloud computing needs robust processors to keep applications running smoothly.
- Cloud storage is simply a data storage and sharing medium while cloud computing gives us the ability to remotely work on and transform data. For example, coding an application remotely.
- Rolling out upgrades, updates and patches is fast, simple and easy with cloud computing since it only needs to be performed on the virtual server not on every single device.