What is Cloud Storage?

A brief overview of cloud storage and what it is.
Laetitia Waliry · June 5th 2020

“It’s all in the cloud.”

What exactly does that mean?

When someone refers to the cloud, they’re referring to the software and databases that run on servers accessed through the Internet. This forms the cloud. These servers operate as a single ecosystem designed to store and manage data, run apps, or deliver content and/or services (i.e. web mail or office productivity software).

Cloud storage platforms, like Amazon S3 or Google Cloud, are an alternative to more traditional forms of storing and backing up your data, like purchasing and transferring your data from a local hard drive to an external one. In the case your hard drive is damaged or fails, the risk of data loss is unavoidable. Cloud storage solutions help solve that problem.

So, how does it work?

Cloud storage gives you the ability to save all your files and data on off-site storage systems which are housed in facilities called data centers. A cloud provider hosts, maintains, and secures these servers to make sure you have access to your data. These servers are usually virtual machines stored on physical servers. Virtualization makes it possible to create virtual computer systems that allow providers to run multiple systems on one single server.

When you upload your files and data through the internet, the data is sent to a single data server, which forwards that information to multiple servers. This means that the same data is being stored in multiple machines. So, if one server is under maintenance or goes down, users still have the ability to access what they need. By storing your data on the cloud, you’re accessing your files over the internet, rather than locally from within your laptop or desktop.

Benefits of Cloud Storage

  • Scalability: Tiered data storage plans allow you to easily scale up or scale down the amount of storage you pay for depending on how much storage you need.
  • Cost Reduction: For businesses, the scalability of cloud storage allows you to treat your increasing or decreasing storage capacity as an operating expense. It can also reduce overhead costs by freeing you from the indirect and direct costs associated with on-premise data storage.
  • Accessibility: You can access your data and files anywhere there’s an internet connection. You are not bound by geographic location or time zones.
  • Data Recovery: In the event that data loss occurs, cloud storage can be used as a tool to create copies of your important files and data to prevent that from happening.

Cons of Cloud Storage

  • Internet reliance: As a platform that is accessed through the internet, your own access is confined by the speed and connectivity of your internet and bandwidth. Without any internet or without a reliable connection, you would be unable to access your data.
  • Delays: The speed of data transfers and data backups is limited by your bandwidth and internet connectivity.
  • Security: The security and privacy of your data is a serious concern. The internet can be hacked and the cloud can be vulnerable to attacks. There are risks to storing information with a third-party platform, so make sure to choose a reliable provider that ensures protective measures are in place.

You can read more about how Rethink protects your data’s security here.

As a provider, Rethink secures and maintains the servers, with the help of our partner Amazon Web Services, so you can safely and easily access your data. With us, you can work with your files in the cloud exactly like your desktop files and integrate your applications so you don’t have to constantly switch between them. You can access, move, store and view your files all in one place.

Here are a few helpful articles on cloud storage and cloud computing:

Check out our post on the top cloud storage options here!

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