Cloud Storage in basic terms would mean, 'a virtual hard drive'. It is used by different online hosting sites for storing online data in virtual storage pools.
Even though it forces one to imagine that all the data of a single file is stored in a single server, it is not actually so as a single file maybe extended into multiple servers and users can access the file (s) when needed, from where needed.
Cloud Storage itself was developed by Carl Robnett Licklider in the early 1960's. It was a late development in the field of web-hosting as the internet sessions were competent to handle such concepts only at a later stage of industrialization.
There are many cloud storage services available as of date. Examples include Atmos, EMC, Amazon S3, and Microsoft's Skydrive etc. They all have certain commonalities such as:
- They are all a collection from many users but act as one.
- Highly successful in serving multiple users at the same time across a single server.
- Have regular updates to their service.
Advantages of them in the present era are:
- Users need not possess an extended physical hard disk to store large amounts of data. Instead one can pay for virtual space and access the data anywhere.
- Hard disk requirements such as backup, data replication and defragmentation etc are taken care by the service provider itself.
- Data can be shared quickly and effectively between individuals and organizations when required.
- Bi-directional computing is allowed, as user can upload as well as download data of his / her requirement.
- Users these days need to pay only for the data they use, so it is becoming more and more a cheaper alternative to possessing an extended hard drive.
There are potential threats to using Cloud Storage as well: The chances of unauthorized access to your personal data remains at large.
Even though there has been no proven case involving high loss of data, research is on to curb ways wherein data can be accessed unauthorizedly.
Data being stored in multiple servers poses danger as there can be a mix of data and slow progress.In this age of corporate warfare and inter-organizational espionage, we need to keep a eye out on them to avoid being victimized.
There are other cheaper alternatives which by and large provide similar service like the wired and wireless hard drives and also provide a lot more security.
So users tend to shy away from the service. Companies that provide the service of Cloud Storage may suddenly go bankrupt or face a loss and may decide to shut down the service at any time.
Moreover certain statutes of the nation might bar the use of cloud storage at certain times to increase the security etc.
This may lead to loss and corruption of data.
Even though there are potential risks up to date in the service of cloud storage, the service has only started to gain recognition more and more.
Significantly the Launch of Windows 8 has created more awareness to the service that Microsoft offers via 'Skydrive' and has motivated users to go in for Cloud Storage.
So the motto of the day is 'Let's make use of Cloud Storage, but let us do so with utmost care and vigilance'
Source by Alan Tay