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Cloud storage: A deep dive

Cloud storage also offers scalability, agility, and durability, with delivery-on-demand and pay-as-you-use facilities

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DQINDIA Online
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Cloud storage

Many of us have been using Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox among other solutions for storing and accessing data.  These drives are many a time available almost free of cost and are flexible and fast.  In today’s new business models and hybrid work culture, organizations are opting for paid cloud services that help in their business processes.  With the cloud, users are able to access their files anytime and from anywhere without having to worry about losing data even when their computers crash.  

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Benefits and growth of cloud storage

Working as a virtual data center, cloud storage has one or more data servers that are connected to end users through the internet.  Web-based interfaces help users to access the stored data.  The organization’s data and media files are stored and managed with cloud storage, which is a cloud computing model that permits users to access third-party services.

It is cost-efficient when compared to in-house networks where the organization saves on capital and operational costs.  Cloud storage also offers scalability, agility, and durability, with delivery-on-demand and pay-as-you-use facilities. It is also convenient to access and use which is beneficial to developers, testers, and other users.  Covid 19 pandemic certainly has accelerated the adoption of cloud storage leading to the rise in collaboration solutions for remote working.  A cloud service provider maintains and operates cloud storage. 

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Due to its host of benefits, the cloud storage market is growing rapidly.  According to the report published by The Brainy Insights, the global cloud storage market is expected to reach USD 353.81 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 24.48% from 2021 to 2028.  All industry verticals from automobiles to pharma and IT are seeing an increase in the use of data and network traffic.  

Cloud storage options

Some organizations want to have complete control over cloud usage and allocation of resources for business users and store data internally with Private Cloud storage.  It is however expensive and suitable for large enterprises and for those businesses that have stringent regulatory and data security requirements.  

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Mid-sized organizations and individual users use public cloud storage hosted by various solution providers.  It has a multi-tenant storage environment and is available on a subscription basis and with zero maintenance for the users.  This storage is affordable, reliable, and scalable too with the benefit of seamless monitoring.  Public cloud service providers also provide backup and security facilities as well.

Some organizations leverage the hybrid cloud model, a combination of private and public cloud storage, and gaining more attention in recent days for the several advantages it offers.  This integrated platform is suitable for SMEs, start-ups, and some larger organizations too, as it is secure, offers more data deployment options, is flexible, and provides greater user control.

Block storage where data is divided into blocks, file storage which organizes data into folders, and files and object storage are different types of storage used.  Object storage stores data as objects with data stored in a file, metadata that is associated with it, and a unique identifier.  In recent times, file system functions and capabilities are added to object storage and hardware for faster adoption.

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Cloud service providers maintain data centers in multiple locations across the globe that are accessed by customer applications.  Despite the presence of several benefits of cloud storage, there are some challenges too. Cloud Security is one among them which can be addressed with enhanced physical security, multi-factor authentication, and data encryption.  Sometimes performance issues and high recurring costs can add to the disadvantages and must be dealt with as a top priority.

An effective cloud-security strategy and best practices have to be developed and implemented.  Businesses should leverage a multi-cloud landscape to avoid vendor lock-in and always adopt a cloud-first cybersecurity solution. Organizations considering migration to the cloud should carefully assess the merits and associated challenges before choosing the type of storage and services that fit their business requirements.   

The article has been written by Rahul S Kurkure, Founder and Director, Cloud.in

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