Simply put, cloud storage is a data deposit model that allows you to save all of your sensitive information, including files, images, and documents, on a secured cloud server. This storage is managed and maintained by your cloud service provider.
Choosing the type of cloud storage is one of the most crucial decisions you will have to make while selecting your cloud storage software. After all, this will determine the kind of cloud computing services and features you will receive, including all the tools, additional software applications, and features you choose in your cloud backup strategy and the security measures taken by your provider.
Generally, cloud storage is of three types:
Each of these storage options offers different tools, features and benefits. For example, one focuses on providing greater flexibility while the other offers quick data retrieval. Thus, to make the right choice, you need to understand these storage options in the first place. And that’s what we are here for.
This post will walk you through the three types of cloud storage options and explain what each of them means for you. Read on to learn more.
What Exactly is Object Storage?
Object storage is also known as object-based storage. It is a type of cloud storage that divides your files into smaller self-contained units that are stored in a flat structure. The files are broken down into small units called objects, and all these objects are placed at the same level. There is no hierarchy, and no files or sub-directories.
The object storage architecture is meant explicitly for large chunks of unstructured data. Instead of storing all the data together in one file, objects are bundled together with metadata and a unique identifier.
Each object can be stored on a private cloud server, locally on a computer, and on hard drives. You will need to use an Application Programming Interface (API) to access any of the objects.
Pros and Cons of Object Storage
The best thing about this type of cloud storage is that it is highly cost-efficient. You only have to pay for the amount of storage you actually use and nothing else, giving you greater control over your plan.
Its flat structure and agility make it highly scalable and suitable for storing large quantities of data.
Since metadata is stored together with each object, users can quickly find and retrieve the object they need. It saves a lot of time and effort.
Object storage comes with advanced search capabilities that make it easier to locate object contents, features, and more.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of object storage is that it doesn’t come with a file-locking feature. This means anyone with access to the cloud storage or hardware device can access the objects.
Secondly, objects, once stored, cannot be modified. This means that you will have to completely write the object once again. So, a decreased level of personal control.
It is comparatively slower than other types of cloud storage.
Uses of Object Storage
Due to its affordability and capability to store large amounts of unstructured data, organizations use an object storage solution in the following cases:
Backup and disaster recovery following natural disasters or damage
For storing large volumes of emails
IoT data management
For storing a large number of videos, images, and other large media files in an economical way
What Exactly is File Storage?
As the name suggests, file storage is a type of cloud storage offered by your cloud platform, where all the data is stored in a single file. It is also known as file-based or file-level cloud storage.
Now, these files have different extensions depending on the application used to create them. For example, some files may have a .docx extension (suggesting that it is a document), while others may have a .jpg extension (indicating that it is an image).
These files can be stored on network drives, cloud servers, flash drives, and computer hard drives. Each of these files is arranged in some type of logical hierarchy that makes it easier for your computer to locate and retrieve it. To search the file, you will have to enter the file path on your computer. The file path contains the file name along with sub-directories.
File storage is one of the oldest and most widely-used data storage systems. It has been in existence for decades and we all have been using it for as long as we could remember.
Pros and Cons of File Storage
The file storage system comes with extensive capabilities and can store almost everything.
Since all the files are saved in a logical and hierarchical order and have a unique path, locating them becomes easier and quicker.
File storage is one of the simplest types of cloud storage; thus, it can be managed and maintained by users, offering near complete control when you’re managing a small number of folders.
Most of us are already familiar with file storage and have been using it for years. Whenever you use your computer to locate and access a document, you do nothing but use file storage. So, these types of cloud computing functions should be second nature to us.
While you can easily manage a small number of folders, managing hundreds of folders, sub-folders, and files isn’t easy. In addition, as the volume of your data grows, you or your employees will have to spend a long time sorting and finding the right files.
While object storage works pretty smoothly with unstructured data, the same can not be said for file storage. While you can save data like social media activity, IoT sensor data, etc., in file storage, managing them isn’t easy.
File storage is more expensive than object storage. Moreover, as the volume of data grows, you will have to purchase more hardware devices to store your data, causing you to spend more money.
Uses of File Storage
Companies mainly use file storage in the following cases:
Media processing and application migration
Facilitating the collaboration of documents
Backup and recovery
What Exactly is Block Storage?
Block storage is a pretty straightforward storage system. It is a type of storage where data is divided into fixed blocks and stored separately, along with unique identifiers.
These blocks of data are stored in different environments to provide them with better safety and functionality. For example, some blocks of data can be stored in Windows, while others can be stored in Linux.
The main goal of block storage is to decouple the data from the user’s environment and save it across multiple environments. When a customer requests their data, the storage software reassembles these blocks into a single unit and then presents them to the user.
These data blocks can be stored in a public cloud or private cloud storage environments as well as in Storage Area Networks (SANs).
Pros and Cons of Block Storage
Since block storage divides the data into separate blocks and stores them in self-contained units, the chances of them failing are minimal, which gives you a greater level of security and safety. Therefore, this type of storage is more reliable than object or file storage.
These blocks can be easily modified. So, you don’t have to create new blocks every time you want to update or change something.
Block storage offers fast performance and low latency.
It is one of the most expensive types of cloud storage. You will have to spend significant financial resources to purchase additional data blocks. This can add up quickly with business operations when you need to maintain business continuity.
It comes with limited search capabilities.
Due to the lack of metadata, managing unstructured data isn’t possible with block storage, which may impact some of your business goals.
Uses of Block Storage
Most companies use block data in the following cases:
Managing and storing transactional databases
Block storage can also be used for storing Virtual machine file systems (VMFS)
Because of its superior performance and low latency, block storage is perfect for storing large volumes of emails.
So there you go! These were the three cloud storage options and their pros and cons. We hope you found this piece helpful. You can learn more about cloud storage by connecting with Tech Masters today.
All of these storage choices have their own unique benefits and work best in some instances. Thus, it is recommended that you carefully analyze your requirements and see which type of data meets them in the best way.
Tech Masters helps business owners achieve greater productivity and success by solving all their cloud backup, data security and IT service needs. Contact us today to learn more and to sign up for our 3 Month Free Trial!
To learn more about cloud backup, check out our frequently asked questions below.
What are the different types of clouds available?
There are mainly four types of cloud computing models available out there. They include the following:
Public Cloud: It is the type of cloud created from IT infrastructure and not owned by any single user. (public cloud providers)
Private Cloud: Private cloud services are the opposite of public clouds. They are dedicated to a single user or group of users.
Hybrid Cloud: It is the type of cloud that combines the infrastructure of both public cloud and private cloud.
Multi-Cloud: As the name suggests, multi-clouds comprise more than one cloud service.
What are the three most common uses for the cloud?
The three most common cloud uses involve:
Data backup and archiving
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
What are the advantages of cloud storage?
Cloud infrastructure and services offer a large number of benefits to all kinds of users, including individuals, small businesses, NGOs, and large corporations. Some of the significant advantages of cloud storage are as follows:
It helps you store your files in highly secure and encrypted data servers
It facilities smooth file sharing and collaboration in real-time
Cloud storage is much more affordable than traditional storage devices
It allows you to access your data anytime, anywhere
With cloud software like Backblaze, you can even access unlimited storage capacity at an incredibly affordable price.
As you can see, cloud vendors and cloud storage providers offer incredible asset archiving and security. This equals cost savings, the use of excellent mobile apps, advanced computing resources, additional business applications, encryption, data integration, data safety during transfer over the internet, a certain level of artificial intelligence aiding your data storage efforts, a content repository, and additional cloud storage solutions that aid business practices and development tools.
Cloud based services are an absolute must for any growing business.
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