The idea of storing your files in a cloud might sound funny, but cloud storage is actually one of the safest and most convenient means of a data storage and backup available. Individual users, small business owners and enterprises are all embracing cloud storage as a way to keep their information safe, secure, and readily accessible to the people who need it. Most people understand the theory of cloud storage, but they often wonder how it works. This article can shed some light…
When you purchase cloud storage service from a company like Amazon.com or Google, it is the same as renting space on their computers. Instead of the files being stored on your personal computer, you place copies of the files on the company’s servers. There are several advantages to cloud storage. The biggest advantage is that your data is stored in a remote location and it is automatically backed up across several different servers so the possibility of data loss is minimal. Your data is extremely secure and only people with your username and password can access your information. Additionally, you can choose to share your data with others in order to facilitate collaboration and you can access your personal files from any computer you choose via a web browser-based interface.
The Technical Stuff
When you upload your files, they are immediately transferred to a server in one of the company’s server farms. Server farms are a just a large climate-controlled room, or floor, where multiple servers are stored. The files are then copied across multiple servers in order to provide redundancy. In the computer world, redundancy is a good thing because it means that if one server fails, you data still exists on other servers ready for you to retrieve it. All of the servers in a server farm are networked together by their operating systems so that they function as a whole instead of individual pieces. Server farms are housed in large buildings called data centers. A cloud service provider may have one, or dozens, of data centers that are securely networked together across the country via the Internet.
Why It Matters
Thanks to improvements in Internet connection speed and bandwidth usage, customers can easily have an off-site backup system without the hassle of dealing with magnetic tapes, DVDs, or other forms of removable media. Additionally, customers can take advantage of the security that a major hosting company like Amazon has to offer without outlaying any expenses other than the monthly fee. Cloud storage is often what is referred to as scalable, which means that you only pay for as much space as you use. And, if you need more space, you can simply upgrade the amount you purchase. Conversely, if you need less space you can downgrade your monthly plan.
Cloud storage is relatively new, but it has proven to be a safe, effective way to backup data and store it online. It doesn’t matter if you need to store 5gb or 5 terabytes, there are a wide variety of cloud storage solutions to meet your needs. Just like services like Hotmail and Gmail revolutionized email by allowing users to store their emails online, cloud storage makes it easier for customers to backup their photos, music, documents and even copies of their entire hard drive.
About the Author: Lucilla Hadel is a photographer with thousands of files stored on her PC and extra drives. She recently started using zetta.net for her online data backup needs and is confident she’ll never lose access to her images.