What is Cloud Storage?

Cloud Storage in Dallas, TX

Cloud Storage Explained Simply

Most often, cloud storage refers to storing data on remote servers accessed through the internet.  Typically, cloud storage service providers store data on servers hosted in cloud data centers for a monthly fee based on the storage volume.  This means the service provider is responsible to manage the access (and security restrictions) to the data being stored in a shared environment.  However, some companies adopt a cloud strategy that implements private on-premise storage using cloud provider data management software and service to replicate the data to the cloud.  Companies deploy private storage solutions most commonly as part of a hybrid storage arrangement, characterized by a combination of private on-premises data storage and offsite public storage.

Public Storage

Description – Data storage offsite on cloud provider-owned infrastructure shared among multiple clients.  With public storage, data is stored in any combination of cloud data centers and managed with virtualization techniques.

Benefits – No need to maintain local infrastructure or IT personnel to maintain the data storage system.  This reduces the initial capital outlay.

 

Private Cloud

According to The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing, “Private cloud. The cloud infrastructure is operated solely for an organization. It may be managed by the organization or a third party and may exist on-premise or off-premise.”

Private Off-Premise Storage

Description – Data storage offsite on cloud provider-owned infrastructure, with specific resources dedicated to the client.

Private On-Premise Storage

Description – Data storage onsite to client-owned infrastructure, using cloud-based data management software and service.

Common Uses – Data storage and management solution for mission critical and sensitive or proprietary data.

Benefits – Private, on-premise, data storage solutions offer the benefits of hosted data management services coupled with enhanced security and flexibility of storage architecture.

 

Hybrid Solutions

Description – Data storage on a combination of onsite client-owned and offsite cloud provider-owned infrastructure, using cloud-based data management software and service.  Hybrid solutions enable companies to protect their most sensitive data with private data storage and management solutions while utilizing lower-cost public solutions for less confidential data.

Cold Storage vs Hot Storage

The term cold storage refers to storing infrequently used data, which is not rapidly accessible.  Cold storage functions as a cloud-based data archival service.  Conversely, hot storage applies to cloud data storage and management solutions that accommodate frequent and rapid data storage and retrieval.  Hot storage solutions commonly apply to cloud services that package cloud-based applications with cloud-based data storage.

Ancillary Services

Storage service providers commonly provide certain ancillary services covered by the monthly fee.  For example, most cloud providers include hardware maintenance and cybersecurity solutions to protect data from unwanted intrusion during transmission and storage.

Cost Considerations

Public storage costs less than private storage.  Whether public solutions bear a higher total cost than local storage depends on multiple factors.  For example, when a company maintains suitably trained IT staff that they cannot otherwise eliminate, local storage solutions may be less costly than cloud-based storage solutions.  Similarly, some IT MSPs provide onsite data storage and management services, at cost-competitive with public cloud storage options.  However, for SMBs that choose to entirely outsource IT services and whose data storage needs fluctuate, the public may prove cost-effective, as they eliminate capital expenditure for infrastructure and pay only for the data storage they consume.

What is the Best Solution for Your Company?

The decision on the best data storage and management system is unique to each company’s operating environment and its cybersecurity and business risk profile.  CIS can help you assess your data storage and management needs in the context of these factors.

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