What You Need to Know about Cloud Storage

by Klaus on May 7, 2012

in Articles

For many of those who regularly use a computer nowadays, one of the most common dilemmas they face is how to find enough storage space to hold all the data they have acquired so far.  Some individuals invest in bigger hard drives, while others would rather use external storage devices such as compact discs (CDs), external hard drives, or thumb drives (USBs).  There are even those who are desperate enough to resort to deleting entire folders containing old files just to make extra space for new information they would like to keep.  Fortunately, there is cloud storage, a more modern and an excellent alternative to conventional forms of data storage which is increasingly becoming popular nowadays.

The Reasons Why Cloud Storage is the Rave Nowadays

With the use of cloud storage, you will be able to easily retrieve your data from any location as long as it has Internet access.  You would never have to use the exact same computer or lug around a physical storage device in order to save and retrieve your information.  If you use a computer and then store your data in the cloud, then this means that you are effectively storing your data on a server in a remote location.  This level of remoteness protects your data from human errors and even natural calamities.

For businesses, using cloud storage is more beneficial than traditional hard drives or external storage devices due to the servers being remote.  By means of storing your backed-up data offsite via a third party, there is no longer a need for using intrusive hardware or hiring an IT team to maintain the servers.  This third party (cloud storage provider) is typically responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the servers and the overall protection of all your data.

Some Potential Concerns Related to Using Cloud Storage

While many of us may agree that cloud storage is convenient and can provide more flexibility, there are still those who are greatly concerned about two major factors when it comes to the subject of cloud storage – security and reliability.

Of course, clients are highly likely not to easily entrust their precious data to any company without a certain guarantee that they will be able to access their information whenever they want and nobody else will be able to have access to it.

To make data secure, a lot of systems utilize a combination of techniques which include:

Encryption – the usage of a complex algorithm to encode information.  In order to decode encrypted files, a user will need the encryption key.  Even if it is possible to crack encrypted information, lots of hackers do not have access to a huge amount of computer processing power that they would require to decrypt information.

Authentication – authentication processes are required in order to create a username and password.  Also, there are certain authorization practices that are implemented in many corporations, and the extent of authorization can be limited depending on the status of the people who are allowed to access information that is stored on the cloud storage system.  For instance, a typical frontline employee may be given a very limited access to data stored on a cloud system, whereas the director of human resources may have extensive access to confidential files.

Even if the protective measures stated above are implemented, many people worry that the data saved on a remote storage system is still highly vulnerable.  They believe that there is always the possibility that a hacker will be able to find an electronic backdoor and have access to data.  The hackers can also try to rob the actual machines wherein the data are stored.  The seriousness of the matter in making data absolutely secure has prompted cloud storage companies to invest a lot of money just to limit the possibility of data corruption or theft, to the point that they even hire third party services such as Exar.com to help make their cloud storage services completely secure.

As for reliability issues, people believe that an unstable cloud storage system is a liability.  Surely nobody would want to save data to a system that is prone to failure, nor would they want to trust a company that is not really financially stable.  Even if many cloud storage systems attempt to solve this problem by using redundancy techniques, there is still the possibility that the whole system could crash and render clients with no way to access their saved data.

Closing Thoughts

Cloud storage companies normally continue to thrive by their reputations. It is their neck that is always on the line so they better provide the most secure and reliable service possible.  If a certain cloud storage company is not able to meet these basic client expectations, then it will not have much of a chance to survive as there are lots of other companies nowadays that would be happy to offer cloud storage services with a much competitive edge.

Comments & Leave a Comment

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Anastasia May 7, 2012 at 10:25

I agree with everything written above (especially because yesterday my hard disc broke down xD).

However I feel a bit reluctunt about the safety of the data that are shared through cloud storage. How sure can be someone that noone will have access to their information?
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Minh May 7, 2012 at 11:52

Cloud storage very useful for me, cause it’s security much more better than me. I can lock it with a passwword and send it online and don’t worry anything else.

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Christie May 7, 2012 at 19:30

I love using cloud storage, but I wish I could find one where the local app (such as the one Dropbox uses) on the desktop or laptop could be secured also. I like to work on files locally and have them sync to the cloud and my other devices, but I don’t like the idea that anyone who has access to my computer can also get right into those files. When a cloud storage provider comes out with a local app that can be secured with a password, I’ll be very a very happy user!
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Rashmi Sinha @ TechInitio May 8, 2012 at 00:52

Cloud storage is becoming a necessity. Not because hard disk drives aren’t enough, it is all because of the mobility that we need nowadays. Some years ago people were stuck on a particular computer because they had their videos,images and all personal data in it. Now this is different and it all about Cloud Storage.
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Galyn May 8, 2012 at 07:34

I used to have my backups only in a portable hard disk. However, the disk was subject to physical damage which rendered it useless. I have learned my lesson and I now have online backups.
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Aasma May 8, 2012 at 10:44

Cloud storage provide backup for important data, plus you can easily access it on any other device. It means you’re not dependent to your personal PC all the time, which is certainly a big plus of Cloud Storage.
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Olan May 8, 2012 at 14:57

I just recently used Dropbox (a cloud storage provider which I highly recommend) and I can say it is the most convenient way to share files between devices. Whenever I take a picture, it is automatically sent to the cloud server and a copy is also sent to my PC. Because of it, I don’t need to use Bluetooth or USB to transfer files between my devices.
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sigmaphi May 8, 2012 at 18:54

this was really informative I even had to translate to English just to read this … Danke for the article
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Robert Rogers May 8, 2012 at 23:49

The biggest concern that I see with using the cloud in my profession is managing client confidentiality. As with any service provider, it is always important to evaluate whether or not the service can be tailored to the specific needs of your industry. I have seen some cloud service providers that do an excellent job of managing law firm cloud data.

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Anton Koekemoer May 9, 2012 at 10:49

Awesome post! The cloud is something that most people benefit from. But like any advantages that it offers there is always disadvantages – Like security issues etc.

Overall – Awesome post , Thanks for sharing your views and tips.
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Jack Sander May 9, 2012 at 10:51

Using online backups is a great solution to protect your work from physical damage of the traditional hard-disks. Due to this technology I am not afraid anymore that I could lose essential data for my daily work.
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Scott May 9, 2012 at 17:27

One thing I love about having an online backup is that you could easily retrieve your important data when you accidentally forget your portable hard drive while rushing to a meeting. It happened to me last time and I’m very thankful to the Cloud Storage Technology.

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Steve May 10, 2012 at 08:58

Cloud computing offers lot more than just saving data on cloud. It can also be used for running applications and also for development on cloud servers.

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Athiban Raj May 12, 2012 at 10:25

Even Google has launched its cloud based storage space and it offers the users a free storage space of 5GB and if you need more, we can pay monthly and get upto a space of 1TB… 🙂
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Hafeez Ansari May 20, 2012 at 00:25

Great article about cloud storage. Its become a daily life part of any IT related personels as well as businessmen. Its a flexible and big advantage of mobility we can retrieve our data from anywhere. Thanks for this informative post.
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Adams Thompson October 3, 2016 at 22:03

Thank you for sharing this informative article for the people who are new with Cloud Storage, it will help them a lot.

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