Why should I use cloud technology and which cloud storage service should I choose? Surely you have asked yourself these questions at least once in your life. If not, it’s time to find out what cloud storage is, which one is better, and why it is indispensable in today’s world.
What is cloud storage
To exchange files or save a large amount of data, you don’t need to use flash drives, hard drives, or cables anymore – they are gradually becoming a thing of the past. You don’t need to download or upload files to an external storage device anymore if you can use a reliable cloud storage service.
For anyone, cloud storage is simply an online service. You go on the Internet, open the service site, and can manage files – upload, delete, download. But in fact, all materials and documents are stored on a server – a remote powerful computer that is permanently connected to the Internet. Thus, cloud storage is online storage on a remote server, through which you can store, send and receive data (files, digital objects, documents).
Of course, on this side of the monitor the whole structure of the network is not visible. If we enter the storage, we get access to the “cloud” – one large virtual server. Physically, this server can consist of hundreds of computers located in different parts of the world. This feature allows you to store files on more than one device.
Cloud storage capabilities
Why use cloud storage when you can store materials and files on your personal computer or on a removable drive?
Cloud storage allows you to:
- Upload and transfer large files. A prime example is videos. They weigh a lot, and more often than not, you can’t send them by mail or through social networks. Sometimes video files do not even fit on flash drives with gigabytes of memory.
- Access files from any device (computer, tablet, phone) and anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.
- Work with one file for several people at the same time. This greatly reduces working time and simplifies collaboration. Indispensable for large organizations in which communication between departments is important, as well as for organizations that have branches.
- Make backups for all data uploaded to the cloud service. This reduces the likelihood of data loss in the event of a server hard drive crash or failure.
- However, like any technology, cloud storage has some drawbacks.
Minuses of using cloud storage:
- The confidentiality of files remains in question. Service employees can gain access to stored files if they want to. In addition, in the case of a hacker attack, all the files can go into the public domain.
Data storage can be organized in different ways because there are different types of cloud storage. Storages have certain characteristics: what is good for one task, such as collaboration, will not be quite good for another, say, the backup of valuable information. Each type of storage supports a specific unit of storage. Let’s take a look at what cloud storage is.
Types of cloud storage
Cloud disks (blocks)
Cloud drives are very often confused with services. Calling these online services disks is incorrect because they cannot be formatted into a file system. Cloud drives can be set up on your cloud server. Storage disk space can indeed be made available to your computer via the Internet as a local drive. There are even special Internet protocols for this purpose.
Cloud folders (files)
For many users the difference between a network drive and a folder is insignificant. But at a system level they are quite different. A cloud folder is a sought-after and useful resource both in setting up work and business processes and in private use.
DBMS, data warehouses (data sets)
DBMS – database management system. The most widespread are management systems based on special SQL-queries to relational databases. Unstructured or little structured databases are less common. DBMS accepts queries and returns datasets, i.e. selections, arranged in lists and tables.
Object storages (objects)
Object stores allow you to store files together with additional information (metadata). This information allows you to process files as application objects-videos, products, projects, accounting documents. A software interface is used to interact with the cloud object storage, which allows you to write an object to the storage using special commands, rather than “drag and drop”. The choice of cloud storage depends on your goals and preferences. The most “understandable” and frequently used type of cloud storage is cloud folders. Folders allow you to share files and documents.