Thanks to its numerous advantages, cloud storage has become increasingly popular for individuals and businesses alike in the past decade. This increase in popularity and its widespread use for sensitive documents has also caught the eye of hackers, which in turn only led to increased cloud security against theft, leakage and deletion.
What is cloud storage?
Often confused for storage virtualization, cloud storage is more than just storing your data in a simulated environment. One of the key differences is that cloud-stored files can be accessed via the internet, whereas plain virtual storage is usually accessed locally or via an intranet.
Another frequent confusion is with cloud computing, which means running software over the internet. You can have cloud storage without cloud computing but not the other way around. In brief, cloud storage allows data to be saved securely online, shared with everyone who has the necessary permissions and accessed anytime from any location.
Cloud storage advantages
By opting for a cloud storage solution, you can backup your data to the cloud and keep it there encrypted indefinitely, without the need for external hard drives. You are able to remotely update and synchronize your files and easily share them with anyone who needs access to them, thus enabling a more efficient and secure remote work environment.
While major providers offer free cloud storage for individual needs, additional space that businesses need comes at a cost. However, that cost is considerably lower than if you were to store your data locally, as you need to factor in hardware management and maintenance costs as well as high-end security systems to keep your data safe.
Cloud storage is reliable, unlimited, easy to access, quick to deploy and keeps your data centralized at all times, giving you the extra advantage of mobility and a high degree of collaboration.
Types of cloud storage
If you are researching the best cloud computing services for your needs, you must also get an idea of the types of cloud storage available, instead of just looking for provider names.
For instance, you could store your data in an uncompressed and unencrypted object format, which also makes it rapidly accessible. This type of storage is suitable for backup, archiving, big data analytics, rich media storage and delivery, building and migrating cloud-native applications, as well as the ever-growing Internet of Things.
Another format to consider is block storage. While requiring a greater degree of administrative overhead than object storage, it is a better choice for companies that need high-performance databases stored long-term. Block-level storage is highly flexible, which makes it ideal for containers and developers that tend to favor it when they need efficient, fast and reliable data transportation.
Unlike object and block storage, file storage is similar to a traditional network file system with a typical directory tree structure. This makes file storage easy to configure, more likely to work with standard operating systems and your current applications and allows you to assign granular permissions.
Find the right cloud storage for your needs
In addition to the three format types mentioned above, cloud storage can further be classified by deployment, as public (rented partitioned storage), private (dedicated cloud) or hybrid.
To make an informed decision, tap into expert cloud storage knowledge to fully understand what cloud storage is, what type best suits your individual and business needs and what the most recent developments in cloud storage and cloud computing are in 2022.