The cloud storage model is similar to “data storage car sharing.” However, instead of investing time in organizing a data center and later in regular maintenance, we are turning to companies that already have it – cloud storage providers.
In the data center of supplier companies, there are endless server racks with equipment monitored by security systems and professional administrators. Thus, the supplier removes the concerns about the security of information from the client.
What is cloud storage used for?
Typically, cloud storage is used in this way:
- For storing massive data, such as video recordings from CCTV cameras.
- As content repositories, such as public databases, distance education schools or multimedia resources.
- For storing Big Data, Internet of Things, and machine learning data arrays.
- Large media outlets are integrating clouds into content supply chains, for example, for archiving or storage for later analytics.
- For storing data from gaming platforms like Google Stadia.
- Video hosting or photo stocks use storage for streaming content.
- Hosting online stores, portals, blogs, and other static sites.
- For microservices: cloud storage supports containerization, process isolation, and sharing.
But four scenarios are more common.
Backup and restore
Most cloud file systems are compatible with databases, so storage is often used for redundancy, such as upgrades. In addition, cloud backup is easier to set up, and data storage reliability is better because the service provider distributes copies across data centers.
Software development and testing
Often, development requires duplication of environments, which then need to be removed, and collaboration. Using cloud resources for this is a standard practice among software developers. Also, clouds are integrated with different applications without additional “crutches.”
For example, for development and testing teams from different offices or cities. If the data is stored on a server inside the enterprise network, a VPN is often needed. But you can do without it and transfer some of the common files that you usually need access to in the cloud storage.
Migrating data to the cloud makes it easier to maintain your infrastructure, but it’s a major undertaking that requires years of experience from a system administrator. However, some services make this process easier.
Big Data and IoT
For example, for Big Data, a data array of 100 Terabytes is not so much, but keeping such a volume on local servers is expensive, so clouds are often used for this. Furthermore, storing arrays in the “cloud” is convenient: cloud services usually have high throughput, low latency, and the ability to set up queries without extracting data.
The main advantage of cloud storage
This is a reduction in operating costs. “Homemade” solutions (both cheap and expensive) must be administered, backed up, and updated when vulnerabilities emerge. This is a different job, which a separate person should do. In the long run, keeping this system administrator is sometimes more expensive than buying all the equipment (capital cost) for storage at a time. The cloud is an alternative to own data warehouses for storage in a corporate system, which removes many problems and operational costs.