Cloud storage means that your data is remotely stored and preserved on some remote physical storage servers provided by some organization. The benefit is that this organization as storage provider is responsible for keeping the data continously save and accessible to you. When storing big data a proper backup plan often includes multiple storage locations. In other words the data is distributed across multiple storage servers within one storage center and then even often replicated across different geographically dispersed storage centers.
Another benefit for cloud storage is that users typically pay only for the storage they actually use or rent. This is in contrast to the deployment setup where a user or a whole organization needs to operate a set of servers in their own building where lots of storage is maybe not used yet. Directly related is therefore also the advantage of cloud storage called elasticity and scalability. Especially during peak times of storage usage for only a month or two a cloud storage makes sense since the storage space is added and reduced once the peak period is over. It is thus often also considered as a cost-effective solution for companies alongside the advantage of not having any running operations costs for own in-house servers.
Cloud Storage Examples
The access to concrete cloud storage providers is typically offered via dedicated services. Dropbox is one of the most known services, but there are also others like Smugmug, Synaptop, Powerfolder, or Pinterest. The added value of these services is that they offer online file sharing capabilities and synchronization with several mobile phones, laptops, and desktops. Many of these services take advantage of the Amazon cloud storage service called Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3. The AWS S3 storage service can also be directly used and there are other storage provides like IBM Cloud Softlayer or Tegile.
More information about Cloud Storage
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