Cloud Storage: All You Need To Know
Cloud Storage: All You Need To Know
The global cloud computing market size is expected to grow from $445.3 billion in 2021 to $947.3 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 16.3%. Cloud computing services are an integral part of the business’s digital transformation journey. It enables businesses to access data on the go. It also improves collaboration opportunities for companies to enhance application development efficiency.
With so many benefits associated with cloud computing, it has become essential to understand cloud storage in detail and how it impacts business processes.
What is Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage is one of the most popular cloud computing models, where businesses rent a space in the remote servers to store their data. Depending on the cloud computing type you have chosen, you can access this data using public Internet or private network connection.
This storage type functions in a virtual manner, where the infrastructure is designed for easy access, scalability, and multi-tenancy. The data is pooled inside a data center, where physical servers are connected over a well-defined network that communicates over the Internet.
In the case of cloud storage, your service provider is responsible for maintaining, operating, and managing the systems. You will have limited to no control over the infrastructure.
You will pay for the space you rent to store your data and applications in this storage system.
Why is Cloud Storage Important?
Imagine an extensive application stored in a local folder on your server. How would you share it with your remote team, equally responsible for development?
It is impossible to transfer the folder over the Internet unless you use a third-party storage service. That’s where cloud storage is helpful.
This storage service gives you a virtual space to store your applications and data. Anyone with access can retrieve the data and use it.
Cloud storage makes collaboration and sharing easy and user-friendly. It enhances the user’s overall experience who opts for cloud storage services.
You don’t set up an infrastructure or the servers to create the space; you pay for and use the space that has been provided to you by third-party companies.
How Does Cloud Storage Work?
A cloud storage service provider builds a data center with the requisite infrastructure, servers, and networks. Here, they offer a specific space in one of the servers to the end client, which in this case is you.
You would store your data in one of the many virtual servers created for you. It is akin to your disk space, which you would use to store and retrieve data.
When your need for data storage space increases, the provider will add a few more virtual servers for your business.
Instead of scaling the physical server or complicating the network arrangement in your premise, you will rent virtual server space from a reputed cloud provider.
When your need increases, they will provide the necessary space, thus making scalability easy and efficient.
Challenges of Cloud Storage
Moving your data to the cloud is one of the best decisions for a growing organization. However, there are certain things you should know before making a choice. You should be fully aware of the challenges that come with this move.
1. Security Issues
When you opt for multi-tenant cloud infrastructure or the public cloud, you are not the only one sitting in that space. Many people are operating from this cloud space, which results in lowered security.
Your data is vulnerable and can be hacked by people within the cloud system. The only way to overcome this challenge would be by incorporating cloud data protection for your storage space.
2. Vendor Lock-in
Many of you may consider a single cloud computing type to store and access all your files. You may be locked in with a vendor with minimal flexibility. It can hinder your operations. You may not be able to move your data as quickly as you want.
This can even hamper your decision to migrate to another service provider. Ideally, you should have a hybrid or multi-cloud structure to overcome this issue.
3. Risks with Downtime
The vendor may experience downtime, and your application is unavailable during that duration. It can make your critical data vulnerable. At the same time, you may also face attrition and other customer issues.
To overcome this aspect, you should sign a service level agreement that provisions for downtime. It would help if you also provided redundant servers to handle the downtime or outage.
Types of Cloud Storage
The cloud storage types are defined based on the access models.
1. Public Cloud
This is a multi-tenant cloud storage system wherein you get a storage space for a monthly/yearly subscription. The service provider owns a data center, and you will store your data there. The charges are also specified based on the number of transactions and data volume.
2. Private Cloud
This is more like the in-house physical infrastructure that has been designed specifically for your business requirements. The cloud infrastructure is customized and privately managed, giving you more control over your data and storage operations. It is a dedicated cloud environment secured with a firewall that offers accessibility and cost-efficient storage services.
3. Hybrid Cloud
Instead of storing all your data in a single type of cloud, you can opt for a mix. In this case, you will identify the best public cloud storage options and combine them with a private cloud storage option. With the hybrid model, you can manage the scalability and data access issues. At the same time, you can add virtual servers as and when you decide to scale your business.
Cloud Storage Requirements
Security: When choosing cloud storage options, you should consider cloud security as your most important criterion. The data access should be restricted. You should be able to offer role-based access to the storage. There should be ways to authenticate retrievals and storage.
Availability: You should get the requisite space for storing your data. When choosing the cloud provider, make sure you choose someone who will help you scale your data requirements.
Examples of Cloud Storage
Let’s look at using cloud storage for optimal business benefits.
1. Continuous Backup
Instead of saving your files on your physical server and slowing down the processor, you can store your data in the cloud.
This is an everyday example of how you can use cloud storage. You can take a daily backup of your work to store it in a single place.
This will ensure your work is protected and free up disk space on your system.
2. Disaster Recovery
It is again an essential application of cloud storage. In this, you take a backup of an entire server or create a copy of the server in the virtual space.
In case of a disaster that leads to the loss of files and data, you can use this backup to recover your mission-critical data and get your application working immediately.
Best Practices to Implement Cloud Storage for Companies
1. Plan your Migration
Don’t make a hasty move to the cloud or transfer too much data in a single go. It would help if you had a defined blueprint to guide your migration. It is essential to test the new storage space before migrating the mission-critical data.
2. Organize the Cloud
It is essential to ensure your data is accessible in the cloud. There will be multiple customers accessing your cloud storage space. As a result, you should create an identifiable and usable layout.
3. Data Compliance
When you transfer essential and critical data to the cloud, you should check if it adheres to the compliance. This will help you protect the data from data breaches.
4. Backup and DR
Before migrating to the cloud, businesses must think through backup and disaster recovery solutions. Ensure you have identified the best ways to take backup of your regular data and critical servers to protect your systems.
Embracing suitable cloud computing services can help businesses improve efficiency and increase productivity. It allows remote teams to collaborate on a particular project, which ensures a quicker time to launch.
It is essential to choose a suitable cloud storage services vendor who is flexible and can help you with scalability requirements. Make a detailed note of your cloud storage requirements before approaching the vendor.
Sign a service level agreement to avoid cloud storage and backup issues due to outage or downtime.