Hitting Your Hard Drive Capacity?
Business organizations are usually driven towards more agility, availability, reduced costs, and managed risks, all of which automatically accelerate them towards cloud computing. Cloud is not simply a product, but a method of distributing information technology services that can be accessed on demand, flexible enough to scale up and down whenever necessary, and the one that works on the model of pay-for-usage. Cloud computing services are basically of three most common models, which include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Among these three, IaaS is the service model that delivers computing power, servers, storage capacity, and network bandwidth, to its users.
As the amounts of data or information that has to be dealt with, on a daily basis, by business organizations keep on growing, there is a simultaneous change in the ways in which these resources are managed. This rapid growth in data and the obligation to keep those longer and safer will need business organizations to assimilate the way they use and manage their data, right from the creation of those data up to the end of life. These days, organizations are provided the opportunity to store all their valuable business data on the internet. Such offsite storage spaces are usually offered and maintained by third party providers by way of the internet. Cloud storage providers offer a large pool of data storage to all their customers, and consist of three important attributes: pay for what they use, constant availability even of large quantities of data that are stored, and access by way of web services.
Progression of Cloud Storage
In general terms, cloud storage is a part of cloud computing, the fundamental advantage of which is the easy access to one’s data from anywhere, anytime, and on any internet-connected device. The providers of cloud storage provide storage services that vary typically from small quantities of data to even the complete warehouse of a business organization. The subscriber of a cloud storage service will only have to pay for the amount of storage space used by them and the amount of data they transfer to the cloud storage facility.
Here is how a cloud storage service works: the subscriber will basically copy the data or files he or she wishes to store on the cloud on one of the data servers of the provider. The copy of this data will be distributed among all the other data servers of the provider, giving prominence to redundancy when it comes to the availability of data. This is to make sure that the data stored by the subscriber remains safe and secure even in the event of a disaster.
How is Cloud Storage Different?
The distinctness between purchasing conventional storage equipment and a cloud storage service is definitely not the functionality, but the sole fact that the storage service required by the subscriber is delivered on demand. All that is paid by the subscriber, as mentioned earlier, is only for the amount of storage space they are allocated or for the space which they actually use for storing data.
Cloud Storage Models
The three primary models of cloud storage include the following:
- Public Cloud Storage: A fine example of public cloud storage is the Simple Storage Service (S3) offered by Amazon. These types of storages usually provide a storage environment that consists of multiple tenants, which is most appropriate for the storage of unstructured data.
- Private Cloud Storage: These cloud storage services offer a firm storage environment that is protected by the firewall of an organization. Private cloud storage services are suitable for those users who have needs that are to be customized and require more control over the data they store.
- Hybrid Cloud Storage: This type of cloud storage is basically a combination of the above two cloud storage models, which will comprise of a minimum of one public cloud storage and one private cloud storage infrastructure. By subscribing to a hybrid cloud storage service, an organization will obtain the capability to store its unstructured data on the public cloud and its structured data on the private cloud.
Infrastructure Requirements for Cloud Storage
With the increase in the quantity of unstructured data and associated regulatory requirements, business organizations are now required to keep their data for longer periods for various reasons. This makes it extremely essential to find a storage infrastructure that is suitable and reliable. Without regard to the model of cloud storage, private, public or hybrid, the important aspect that would lead to success is the establishment of an infrastructure which will enable effective sharing and utilization of all resources. In order for a cloud storage service to be valuable, following are some denominators that are to be considered critical:
- Scalability: A cloud storage service must have the ability to scale rapidly and to huge volumes. This includes scalability across clients, users, capacity, performance, and also objects.
- Elasticity: A cloud storage service must be flexible enough or elastic to quickly adjust or adapt to the changing demands of customers when it comes to the fundamental infrastructure, and should also abide by the Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
- Data Security: When it comes to private cloud storage services, data security is usually considered to be of tight control. In case of public cloud storage services, subscriber’s data would be stored on a part of the shared storage unit, or the provider will have to come up with multi-tenancy policies that would allow multiple organizations to use the same storage hardware in a secure manner.
- Automatic: A cloud storage service must have the ability to automate the different features used by subscribers, such as data storage, backup, restoration, updating, versioning, etc. It should not require any type of human intervention during any of its processes, which makes it to be absolutely convenient for its users.