I remember some years back, when myself and my family attended a function, lots of memorable pictures were taken and the usual thing to do was to print out the pictures and arrange them neatly and nicely in an album. This time however, we decided to keep them in the “cloud”.
It was humorous at the time as my Uncle jokingly interjected; “what if it rains?”. We all had our share of laughter over that statement but then I allowed the statement to linger in my head, for real, “what if it rains?”.
Has it ever crossed your mind as you keep storing your document on the “cloud” that someday, it just might ‘Rain?’
Well, in this article we are going to thoroughly but briefly look at what cloud storage is, it’s advantages and disadvantages and of course, what happens “when it rains”.
WHAT IS CLOUD STORAGE?
Cloud storage is a cloud computing model in which data is stored on remote servers accessed from the internet, or “cloud.” It is maintained, operated and managed by a cloud storage service providers on a storage servers that are built on virtualization techniques.
Simply put, Cloud storage is simply storing your data i.e. pictures, documents, videos etc. on another computer somewhere in the world known as a server specifically designed for storing data. This is usually done with the help of applications like google drive, dropbox or iCloud.
So yeah, if you have ever saved pictures or any form of documents on any of these applications then you have stored your data on another computer somewhere in the world. (You are a genius).
For some of you, the sudden realization that you just stored your confidential data on a computer somewhere in the world may be freaking you out already, but there is need to panic.
If you have ever used any of the applications listed above, you would realize that you must provide username and passwords before you are allowed to use the software and besides there are a whole lot of encryptions running on the background to ensure that you, and only you have access to your files and data unless of course you give someone else the permission to do so.
Also, there are standards or rules that are accepted worldwide that restricts cloud service provider. Hence, one cannot just say ‘hey… from now onwards everyone can store data on my computer’. First, one has to have enough space and also be able to provide security for people who would be saving their data their server.
The next question you probably would want to ask is what if that computer (Server) Shuts down abruptly or even gets spoilt (lets be real here lol).
Ok, so what happens is, when you store your data on another computer(server) through cloud storage, it also stores your information on other computers(servers) which are located at different parts of the world, (I know it’s getting confusing but stay with me, it would all come together soon 😊) so that your file is backed up.
That means, should any of the computers crashes or shuts down abruptly, there are other computers (servers) where your information can be retrieved (so cool).
Another cool thing is that all these computers (Servers) storing your data, are in sync so any change you make on that file, reflects almost instantly in all the other computers(server).
Most of these cloud storage services already provide you with some gigs of free space so you don’t have to spend on printing and albums for every memorable occasion as anything could happen to these files. It is a reliable way of storing data as there is no need to worry about fire outbreaks or floods. You can retrieve your data anytime provided you have internet.
It is also very accessible as you can easily access your data anywhere, provided you have the appropriate devices and of course, internet connection.
Then, there is scalability, this means that you can always purchase more storage space as your demand grows. This could be expensive if you require huge storage space.
Lastly, there are some security concerns to take note of…
Whilst we cannot 100% eliminate the fact that it can NEVER happen that someone else would have access to your data, a lot is going on behind the scenes to make sure that no one except you, have access to your files.
I believe that the billion-dollar question for the day has already been answered if you have read to this point. So yeah you don’t have to worry about the ‘rain’ even though your important data are on the “cloud”.
Thank you guys for reading, be sure to come back for another interesting yet enlightening articles…
Written by; Magdalene Ainooson , I.T. Engineer.