Cloud storage is simply a method of web-based computer data storage where the virtual data is stored in large virtual pools, referred to as clouds. The virtual storage spans multiple virtual servers, and the virtual environment is usually owned and operated by a cloud hosting provider. However, there are different types of cloud services and cloud storage providers, all offering different levels of protection and security to their customers. Most cloud providers will offer both paid and free cloud storage services. Here’s a quick overview of the most popular cloud storage services and providers along with some general information about how it works.
A common use for cloud storage services is on the internet. Many individuals store files on the internet and use shared web pages for personal purposes. They do not want to have to back up their entire computer system because they do not use that kind of volume of data. When they use a cloud storage service for cloud server backup, they can put the data stored on a password-protected cloud storage account and access it from anywhere.
Another use for cloud storage is at home. It is often used to back up important documents and pictures that people take with their cell phones or laptops. Many people store photos and videos on external media that they carry around with them all the time. If something happens to the camera, for example, the person needs to get the photos out of the camera and put them on a memory card or hard drive. This backup service would allow them to retrieve the photos from the cloud storage instead of having to make copies of the photos on their computer or external media.
Another very common use for cloud storage services is at work. Companies rely on remote servers to run applications and store data offsite. Some companies have backup systems set up so that the entire company’s data can be backed up at any time. They use remote servers that require the employee to log in to a specific Web site to retrieve his data. Others have special “offsite” storage systems that store data temporarily in an offsite location. The temporary data is then stored on the servers of the cloud service provider, which allows the employee to log in to retrieve it at his convenience.
The advantages to cloud storage services are many. The biggest advantage is that data is automatically available, as long as the user has an Internet connection. Data is also available to employees who aren’t connected to the Internet. These employees can use the data on their personal computers or laptops, or they can store it on remote servers that are still on the company’s network.
Another big advantage is scalability. Cloud-based data services are scalable. They grow and expand according to the needs of the business, which is why companies find them very useful. Companies that buy several hundred gigabytes of cloud storage typically don’t need more than a few hundred gigabytes right away. But when a company needs more space, it generally buys more space until it has all the space it needs.
In general, cloud storage systems generally pay for themselves in a few months. When a company gets more storage capacity, it typically pays for itself within a few months. Once the company uses all of its available space, it generally pays for itself almost immediately.
The cloud storage costs of implementing an in-house storage system are considerably lower than those of cloud storage services. For many companies, the price of implementing an in-house storage system is prohibitive. Plus, most small businesses don’t have a lot of extra money laying around for this kind of expense. Even if the company does have a budget for an in-house storage system, it probably isn’t enough to pay for its cloud storage costs.