Cloud Storage: How Does It Work?
Putting data in the cloud is a somewhat ambiguous term for offsite storage, but what does that entail exactly? Let us explain…
As consumers we are constantly using, sorting and saving large quantities of data. But where does it all go? Cloud storage has become an increasingly popular method for clearing up space on hard drives and mobile phones, but what exactly does it mean to ‘put it in the cloud’? There obviously aren’t actual data centers stashed above our heads in the literal clouds, so how does cloud storage work?
Head In The Clouds
The cloud is fast becoming the most preferred data location, so it may be worth a few minutes of your time to discover how this efficient and inexpensive storage method actually works. The term “cloud” is a cover-all term for any data or processes that are stored on a server owned by a third party. Before web hosting became a major industry information was often stored on an old computer stashed under a desk or in a closet. But since data has become such a sought-after commodity – and we’re now handling so much more of it in our daily lives – many businesses and individuals decided to leave their data’s safety and management to the professionals.
Not everyone who stores information on the cloud has to rent a server from a web host to do so. Many services available online like Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon and Evernote offer small sections of a cloud server to store your notes, images and anything else that may be taking up space on your smartphone or tablet. Odds are that you are using cloud storage at this very moment, whether you know it or not.
Let’s Get Technical
Cloud storage depends on high-speed internet to transfer data to and from the computers requesting information. This information (data) amounts to just about everything you can think of: email, social media, images, text documents and even all of the awesome cat videos we all can’t get enough of. Businesses have also found cloud storage to be an inexpensive and valuable choice for storing sensitive information, as well as everyday information that may need a backup.
Cloud servers are essentially large clusters of computers that are stored in mass quantities in data centers. The data centers are designed to optimize server capabilities with intense levels of security, temperature control, and large generators to cover electricity in the event of a power outage, and are strategically placed in areas of the world that rarely see natural disasters. Creating data centers with all of these amenities keeps the servers online for longer so as not to disturb the owner of the servers and their connectivity.
A Slice of the Pie
The beautiful thing about cloud storage is that it is scalable, meaning that you can rent as much or as little storage space as necessary for that particular project. Many businesses choose to rent large servers and resell the extra room to other businesses, while others only set up as much space as they need themselves. Not everyone uses a web hosting company to store their data, but those who do have less of a burden because of technical support teams and less risk of technical difficulties. Information that is stored on the cloud is accessible from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection, while homemade servers do not.