What is cloud storage? What advantages does it offer?
Cloud storage is a method of storing data that is placed in a place accessible through the network. This place is referred to by the term Cloud.
Once the data is transferred to the remote location, it becomes the responsibility of the Cloud Storage Service Provider. The main role of the provider is to ensure a functioning infrastructure and guarantee the owner access to data safely and at all times.
The need for external storage
Cloud storage is an inexpensive and scalable alternative to storing files on hard drives.
Normally, when users reach the storage limit of their hard drives, they have to transfer the files to an external drive. Although this is a more than acceptable solution for a private individual, when we talk about companies things get complicated.
Once the corporate storage limit is reached, a remote storage solution, or cloud storage, comes in handy.
Cloud storage services provide several business benefits. First of all, the elasticity of the storage limits that can be changed as needed. A further advantage lies in the delegation of maintenance. A company that requires an archiving service will not have to worry about installing and maintaining a local network or expanding it in anticipation of large quantities of documents to be stored.
But what is cloud actually? Let’s see how it works.
How the Cloud works
As mentioned, archiving service providers offer to store their customers’ data. Many are now using this type of technology, although few are still able to answer the simple question “what is the cloud?”. This is because the concept is often abstracted, for convenience, but once sent remotely, somewhere they have to be.
Most services store data on virtual machines hosted by physical servers. This explains in practice what the cloud is: a physical place where remote user data is stored. Each time the demand increases, new virtual machines are added to the existing ones.
When the customer of the service accesses his data, he does so through a browser or an app that connects to the provider’s servers. The server redirects the user to the correct location of the files.
As part of the service, providers typically store copies of data on different machines for redundancy. To avoid, in this way, the loss of data in the unfortunate event that a server is removed or its service interrupted.
Advantages of cloud storage
What is the cloud we saw it a little while ago, it’s time to understand what the real advantages are and what they include:
– Rapid implementation of the service: The service is activated in no time and requires no hardware intervention.
– Remote management: The responsibility for maintenance and security lies on the provider’s shoulders. All activities related to data storage can be ignored by company staff.
– Pay for what you use: The costs of the service are updated based on actual use. The savings are immediate and allow you to treat the cost as operational and not as capital to be invested.
– Scalability: There are no size constraints on the stored data. In a local network, on the other hand, expanding the space has a considerable cost and requires operations on the entire infrastructure.
– Security against data loss: Storing data on external servers eliminates possible economic damage if local data is no longer reachable.
What to pay attention to
There are also a few things to look out for when choosing a provider:
– Security: Security issues are the most common. Providers try to protect their infrastructure with updated technologies and practices, but they do not always succeed. It is essential to trust a provider who cares about the security of their servers, especially when dealing with sensitive data.
– Data administration: Being able to view, access and move data at will is a common concern with cloud resources. Delegating management to third parties offers its advantages, but may also limit control over data.
– Communication latency: Accessing data depends on the network bandwidth available. It can happen, especially when using public networks, that traffic is limited. Within the company, this problem can be avoided by increasing the bandwidth capacity of the connection.
In choosing the cloud storage service for your needs, many factors must be taken into consideration. Between these:
– Rates available
– Space available for each tariff
– Simplicity of implementation
– Ease of management
– Security and privacy
– Continuity of the service
Compared to other providers, ownCloud offers a wide range of very useful features.
Sharing between colleagues and people outside the company is simple and also allows you to set permissions for the individual user.
Security is guaranteed by an end-to-end encryption system and authentication with the OAuth2 protocol, but not only. A system of classification of documents is available which allows control over the distribution of the same.
All processes are tracked and it is possible to trace who accessed and what did the data.
ownCloud is a secure, complete and flexible system for professionals that also allows excellent collaboration between colleagues.
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