Cloud Storage or Online Storage is a model of data storage in which the virtual data is stored in logical pools, said to be on “the cloud“.
Hosting companies managed the physical environment which may be on multiple servers.These service providers are responsible for protecting and provide accessibility to user. They provide storage on lease or sell it out to user for storing their personal, organizational data.
Some Advantages of Online Storage
- Companies need only pay for the storage they actually use, typically an average of consumption during a month.
- Businesses using cloud storage can cut their energy consumption by up to 70% making them a more green business
- Cloud storage provides users with immediate access to a broad range of resources and applications hosted in the infrastructure of another organization via a web service interface.
- Cloud storage can be used for copying virtual machine images from the cloud to on-premises locations or to import a virtual machine image from an on-premises location to the cloud image library.
- Cloud storage can be used as natural disaster proof backup, as normally there are 2 or 3 different backup servers located in different places around the globe.
Major Potential concerns for Online Storage
- Data security
- Resource for both hackers and others
- Piracy and copyright issues
When your data is stored online it is distributed at more locations increasing the risk of unauthorized physical access to the data. By sharing storage and networks with many other users/customers it is possible for other customers to access your data.
Outsourcing data storage to another company needs careful investigation and nothing is ever certain as the companies are not permanent and the services and products they provide can change.
Reliability and availability depends on wide area network availability and on the level of precautions taken by the service provider. Reliability should be based on hardware as well as various algorithms used.
Security of stored data and data in transit may be a concern when storing sensitive data at a cloud storage provider. The cloud holds data from many different users and organizations, hackers see it as a very valuable target.
How to Overcome the above concerns?
There are several options available to avoid such issues. One option is to use a private cloud instead of a public cloud (there are as well providers that offer private cloud storage). Another option is to ingest data in encrypted format where the key is hold within your on premise infrastructure.