Cloud storage is online storage system where the data is stored on virtual servers rather than on dedicated servers. The hosting companies have large data centers and there the data of the people are stored and often people also take some storage in lease too. In cloud storage the resources are also virtualized by the data center operators according to the customer requirements and from the storage pool of resources the customers can use the resources according to their requirements.
Often a cloud storage gateway can be used at the office premises of the customer which makes the cloud storage device work as a normal storage device. These gateways are servers where the standard cloud storage APIs are translated into block based data storage protocol or file based storage protocol.
There are various advantages of cloud storage which have made cloud storage extremely popular nowadays. These are:
As a customer of cloud storage you only have to pay for the resources that you are using.You do not have to install any storage devices in your own datacenter or in your office and thus the IT and hosting costs are reduced.
You do not have to take the hassles of maintenance of the storage such as take the backup, do data replication, purchase additional storage devices, as all of these are taken care of by the service provider and you can only concentrate on your business.
However there are some concerns regarding cloud storage too. These include headaches regarding the security of the stored data while you are storing sensitive data in the storage. The performance of the cloud storage might often be lower than general storage. The reliability and the availability of the storage space depends on the availability of the network and also on the precautions taken by the service provider.
Got some cloud-based servers on Amazon or Rackspace Cloud? CloudKick just showed off a new 3D visualization of your server infrastructure which helps you manage your Cloud servers better. Pretty cool stuff.