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.
Cloud storage can mean different things depending on the implementation, but the most common flavor of cloud storage is the Public Cloud implementation. This method of storage can involve free capacity that is accessible from any computer (e.g. Dropbox), or storage capacity that is purchased on-demand and accessed via wide area network (WAN) or the internet. This storage will function normally even if the vendor has geographically dispersed data centers. Usually, a public cloud storage solution like Amazon’s S3 will allow you to contact the vendor and increase your storage capacity with almost no limit.
An internal or private storage cloud would take the same capabilities of a public cloud and bring them into one organization, or a group of organizations, for private use. This could either be used as a storage service that can be accessed anywhere by organization members, or it could be used an easily usable and easily manageable NAS (Network-Attached Storage).
Some potential concerns of cloud storage and public cloud computing in general include security, performance, and reliability. The large amount of interconnected resources in a cloud means that an attacker could potentially access all of these resources if they break into the cloud. Public clouds are perceived as highly vulnerable. Cloud performance over long distances may also be lower than a local data center.
About the Cloud
The Cloud uses internet connections to link computing resources together into one big pool of computing resources that the customers don’t need to manage. Cloud computing infrastructure is made up of both remote and local server arrays that share and balance storage or processing power much like an electricity grid shares energy. This allows organizations to provide a much more usable, efficient software deployment architecture or infrastructure service. Organizations can pass on the savings to their customers through the avoidance of overhead costs (i.e. buying servers) and the as-needed payment model for services. By using cloud storage, companies offload maintenance and management tasks such as data backup, disaster recovery, and adding (and purchasing) more machines when more capacity is needed. This allows many organizations to focus more closely on their core business.
answered Sep 22 '10 at 12:46 PM
A method of backing up data online, sending a copy of the data over a public network to an off site server. It is usually hosted by a third party provider, who charges the customer a fee based on content or number of users.
Advantages of cloud storage:
• Companies only have to pay for the storage that they actually use. • Companies do not have to physically install any storage devices in their offices, reducing IT costs. • Routine storage tasks can be diverted to the service provider, allowing companies to focus on the root of their business.
• Performance can be much lower than local storage. • Concerns of security of stored data and data being sent. • Availability and reliability is based on network availability.
answered Aug 26 '10 at 04:33 PM