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Data has become so cumbersome that storing them is becoming a problem, but due to the age that we are in now; where things are now made smaller and smaller. Data storage has trend from magnetic drums in the first generation computers to diskette, Compact Disk ROM, hard disk, flash drives and micro SD. Making data portable has been the main reason for all these trends and now it has gotten to the pick where data are stored in the cloud and there are great flexibilities in accessing them.
Cloud storage is a category of cloud computing. Cloud data storage has been traced back to the 1960s when an American psychologist and computer scientist; Joseph Carl Robnett wanted to connect to people around the world from anywhere at any time while he was working with the Advanced Research Project Agency Network (ARPANET). An American multinational telecommunications corporation, American telephone and telegraph (AT&T) introduced an online platform for personal and business communication in 1994. Amazon.com also lunched their Amazon Web Services sometimes called Web Services in 2006 and since then web storage has become a good option for data storage.
Cloud storage always has host service providers and in recent times there are different host services. Uploading your best photo on Facebook and your favorite video on YouTube are practical and as well the simplest form of cloud storage, as you get to watch them whenever you want anywhere in the whole wide world as long as there is availability of internet connection. The host servers consist of different super computers used as servers and storage and they are constantly connected to the internet, they are sometimes called the data server. Most users of cloud storage use it as a backup to their main file in their computers or hand held so as to get back their data when the device is lost or faulty.
HOW CLOUD STORAGE WORKS
As said earlier, a cloud storage system consists of a cloud storage host and the user (also called client) as without the user a cloud storage system is not complete. In the cloud storage host, there are different computers way stronger than the computer we use at home, these computers are called the storage server and they are the destination of every data stored on the cloud storage.
There are several data servers storing one specific data so as to provide access to data whenever the user needs it and as well to avoid data lost as there might be maintenance activity on one data saver or even a mechanical or electrical damage. Whenever a client sends data (be it e-mail address, web page or photo) to the data server via the internet, the data gets stored in so many data servers all over the world at the same time so whenever the client needs it he or she can get access to the data over the internet. The client is then allowed to download or manipulate the data anywhere in the world.
DIFFERENT CLOUD STORAGE PROVIDERS
There are so many cloud storage providers on the internet and some of us even use them without knowing. Different cloud storage providers provide storage for different kinds of file and they offer different storage size. Here are some popular cloud storage providers with details on the kind of files they store:
· YouTube tends to store video files for users all around the world and it is absolutely free but stores only video files.
· Picasa, Flickr are storage server for the storage of photographs allowing users create album online
· Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites allows users to upload photos and some allow the storage of mobile numbers and other credentials.
· E-mail providers also allow the storage of e-mails, e-mail contacts as well as drafts and sent mails making it easier to access any mail or e-mail address anytime anywhere.
· Strongspace, Dropbox, Xdrive and some others allow the storage of all kind of digital files. Some are free while some charge depending on the storage space.
ADVANTAGES OF CLOUD STORAGE
Cloud storage has become of much advantage to a lot of computer users today. One of the advantages is reducing the cost of storing data as you don’t have to buy a huge sized storage device. If you store your data on a cloud storage system, the data will be accessible anywhere in the world so far there is an internet connection around there so you don’t have to carry any physical storage device about. Some storage service you can share files and even allow other users to view your data anywhere in the world.
DISADVANTAGES OF CLOUD STORAGE
Everything that has advantage should have disadvantage and cloud storage is not left behind as it also has a lot of disadvantages. Some of the disadvantages are:
· Consumption of electricity: The consumption of electricity by numerous data severs is high making it expensive to power.
· Generation of heat: data servers generate a lot of heat and too much heat tends to damage the data server so data centers must be effectively cooled and that might be expensive.
· Security of data: data stored on a cloud storage server might be insecure if not proper stored or if the storage provider is not properly selected as hacker might get access to sensitive information stored on the cloud storage.
Despite these disadvantages I still think cloud storage is cool and so many movies have it that soon the world will no longer have to move around with storage devices.