Cloud Storage is a model of networked online storage where data is stored on virtualized pools of storage which are generally hosted by third parties.
Hosting companies operate large data centers; and people who require their data to be hosted buy or lease storage capacity from them and use it for their storage needs.
The Data Center operators virtualizes the resources according to the requirements of the customer and expose them as storage pools, which the customers can themselves use to store files or data objects.
Cloud storage has the same characteristics as cloud computing in terms of agility, scalability, elasticity and multi-tenancy.
It is believed to have been invented by Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider in the 1960s. Since the sixties, cloud computing has developed along a number of lines, with Web 2.0 being the most recent evolution.
Cloud Storage is:
Made up of many distributed resources, but still acts as one
Highly fault tolerant through redundancy and distribution of data
Highly durable through the creation of versioned copies
Typically eventually consistent with regard to data replicas
Cloud Storage advantages :
Companies only pay for the storage they actually use.
Companies do not need to install physical storage devices in their own datacenter or offices, but the fact that storage has to be placed anywhere.
Storage maintenance tasks, such as backup, data replication, and purchasing additional storage devices are offloaded to the responsibility of a service provider.
Cloud storage provides users with immediate access to a broad range of resources and applications hosted in the infrastructure of another organization via a web service interface.
Potential concerns in Cloud Storage :
Performance may be lower than local storage depending on how much a customer is willing to spend for WAN bandwidth
Reliability and availability depends on WAN availability.
Users with specific records-keeping requirements, such as public agencies that must retain electronic records according to statute, may encounter complications with using cloud computing and storage.
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