Cloud and Data Storage
Even if you are not a consultant, journalist, vendor, or analyst, but just a person who has to take care of all the solutions pertinent to information technology (IT) in your organization, you will find that there is a need to purchase and deploy a brand new trend that helps you and your organization in resolving certain business related issues or benefitting from an opportunity. In recent years, most business organizations have been found to encounter a common challenge, which is the immense growth of business data, in addition to related management constraints and tasks, such as staffing, budgets, physical infrastructure, time, power and cooling, and floor space. Before we actually discuss about why you and your organization would need to move your data to the cloud, let us first see the reasons behind constant growth in business data and the necessity to manage them more efficiently and effectively.
The Significance of Data and its Storage
All of us live in a world that is information centric. We tend to have increasing dependence on the creation and consumption of data that have to remain accessible wherever and whenever required. Data and its associated information services are usually provided or enabled by way of different IT services integrating facilities, applications, servers, networks, storage software and hardware resources. At present, unlike in the past, more amounts of data can be easily stored in a smaller or the same physical structure, which therefore requires lesser cooling and power per Exabyte (EB), Petabyte (PB), Terabyte (TB), and Gigabyte (GB). Howbeit, the rates in which data grow which are very much essential to improve the delivery of IT services, keep up business activities, and empower new applications are constantly demanding for more data storage capacity, I/O bandwidth, network, and processing. Due to such increase in the dependence on data, both personally and professionally, more and more data are being generated, moved, processed, stored as well as retained in numerous copies for longer time periods.
Functions and Characteristics of the Cloud
The most common cloud based services or functions are inclusive of the following:
- Offsite or remote backup, vaulting, data copy, or replication
- Offsite or remote storage offline, near-line, or online
- Fixed content, archive, or other types of data for lookup or reference
- Messaging and email services, inclusive of Web 2.0 and social media networking
- Hosting of applications
- Hosting of rich media content, such as photos, audio, video, blogs, websites, etc.
- Hosting of virtual machine (VM) or virtual server
- Application specific storage or general storage online
Following are some of the characteristics of the cloud:
- Resilience, flexibility, and scalability
- Self-service or ease of access to service
- Ease of provisioning or deployment of service
- Multitenancy and elasticity
- Security and safety, in addition to data integrity
- Measurability and cost effectiveness
- Ability to change or move the presentation and focus
- Masking or abstraction of fundamental ramifications
- Influence best practices, templates, and repeatable processes
Cloud based storage allows you to store, access as well as protect all your valuable personal and business data with absolute ease. With a cloud storage service, you will be able to store and control access to all your data, without regard to its size, whether you are an individual user or a business organization. If you run a business organization, then you can trust a cloud storage system for the innovative functionality, almost infinite scalability, and reliability if offers, in addition to its sophisticated tools for data analysis and security features that are based on standards.
The process of data storage has always been expensive and time consuming. The process basically includes maintenance of backup copies, firewalls, storage disks, data servers, and also provisions for disaster recovery. A cloud storage system will reduce all these burdens from your shoulders, enabling you to store, share, retrieve, and analyze every single data of yours, every passing day, without having to remain concerned about software and hardware upgrades, scaling up or down, and maintenance.
Tasks of Cloud Storage
If you are an application developer looking for an easy to use cloud based storage system, and access for all your data, then a cloud storage service can be of help to you. A cloud storage system also helps individual users as well as business organizations in performing various other tasks, including the following:
- Back up or archive data: A cloud storage system will provide you with a highly available and highly reliable backup solution for your data, which can be maintained very easily.
- Store data applications: A cloud storage service will also provide you rapid access to data applications, such as photos, videos, etc.
- Share business data with your partners and colleagues: With a cloud based storage solution, you as a data owner will be able to establish and maintain Access Control Lists (ACLs) quickly to all your important data. This process will be especially beneficial if the user base of your business data is dynamic.
- Analyze huge sets of data: There are certain cloud storage systems, like Google Cloud Storage, which contain analytic tools to help you analyze huge sets of your data, regardless of their sizes, to obtain better insights on your business operations.
In addition to all these, a cloud based storage system is a storage model that is highly cost efficient. It will significantly bring down the capital and other operating expenses that would generally be included when you use other types of storage solutions. With a cloud storage solution, you get to pay only for the amount of storage space you actually use. You can access your stored data any number of times, without having to make any hidden charges.