Remote and offsite data storage is usually used for data backup – either secondary or tertiary storage. With the advent of higher internet and network bandwidth connections, remote server arrays can also function as primary storage as a hosted service. Amazon’s S3 service is a good example of cloud storage. Remote storage is connected to a network while offsite storage is isolated and almost always a backup. Offsite storage is also commonly the mode for archiving data.
Having data at alternate locations can have several advantages. First, if you pay another company to maintain the remote or offsite, it can cut down on the maintenance costs of IT infrastructure. This is one of the benefits of cloud computing. You don’t have to buy or maintain the servers. Another advantage is having data backups at distant locations so that in the event of a massive network attack or some form of natural disaster (i.e. a fire or a storm), you don’t risk losing all of your company’s data from hardware damage.
Storage clouds store data on multiple, usually virtualized servers. They can be built for internal use or they can be provided by a third party cloud storage vendor. The data center operators will virtualize the resources according to customer requirements and consolidate physical storage with logical storage pools. The cloud storage services are then accessed through web service APIs (application programming interfaces) or a web-based user interface. The most common uses for a storage cloud are data backup, archiving, or collaboration.
Any organization with computing devices that is serious about their business must have some form of data backup. Backing up data means that digital information is being preserved by creating a copy that is separated in some way from the original data source, which is currently in use. This backup can be referenced or used to create another copy of the data when the original data is corrupted or lost. Data mirrors are the most common form of remote data replication for backup purposes because the transfer speed back and forth is relatively high.
Because there are constant risks to data integrity, small business computer systems and even personal computing devices should have at least one iteration of data backup, which is also called “secondary storage”. Medium-to-Large enterprises should have both secondary and tertiary storage so that there are three iterations of data that are separated and safe from the infection of one of the storage systems. The three main types of data backup include tape, disk, and sometimes solid-state memory. Tape is the most common form of archival storage because it is cheap and can be bought in vast quantities for large amounts of rarely-accessed data or backups. Both tape and disk archives can last for a long time without corruption.
answered Oct 06 '10 at 06:01 PM