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Cloud Computing Storage And The Exponential Growth Of Data

Practically Speaking about Cloud Storage



If we ever have a chance to sit back and think, we will wonder how easily we accumulate things and store them in various places.  Whether it is in our personal life or in the companies that we work or connected with, we can find that.  In digital life too, we gather a lot of information and data and try to store them in convenient places that we find.

Worldwide there is a huge growth of digital data.  Data here means a lot.  Not necessarily a text message or a spreadsheet.  Audio, Video included. If data is divided into two different types, as structured data and un-structured data, the growth of un-structured data is posing a huge challenge. It is reported that the world is crossing the zettabyte barrier meaning that in the year 2010, the total digital data is exceeding 1 zettabyte.

KiloByte                        KB1000
MegaByte                    MB1,000,000
GigaByte                      GB1,000,000,000
TeraByte                       TB1,000,000,000,000
PetaByte                      PB1,000,000,000,000,000
ExaByte                        EB1,000,000,000,000,000,000
ZettaByte                    ZB1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Internet traffic itself is expected to reach ZettaByte in a few years time. EMC Corporation, one of World’s leading storage technology service provider has a ticker running in their website on the growth of digital information.

Cloud Storage:

Cloud Storage is a most interesting real sub plot of cloud computing. In fact, cloud storage has taken off well from the beginning itself.  In the year 2009, it is reported that the cost of 100 TB of data storage around $ 3 compared to $ 43 Tier I Single Node storage with 99.9% SLA.  Both for public and private, one of the prime reasons of cloud adoption is low cost.

As with cloud computing, with cloud storage too, there were some misconceptions about what cloud storage is and how it is distinguished from the other distributed storage systems like SAN or Storage Area Network and NAS or Network Attached Storage.  The key differentiator is how the storage is accessed.  In the case of cloud storage, the files are accessed only through Web Service APIs.

Enterprise Storage:

When we say enterprise data, there are basically two types. They are primary and secondary.  Primary data is the one that is in production or in use. Secondary data is the one that is stored for protection and backup.  In addition, enterprises classify primary data as Tiers.  Tier 1 being the most used data.  If we take a look at the evolution of data storage, first separation of disk from the server happened around 1970s.  And after two decades, the arrival of RAID Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks led to the development of SANs or Storage Area Networks.  Scalability limitations and Management challenges of SAN led to NAS as preferred storage for a cloud environment where in a number of virtual machines are running.

For the enterprise cloud storage let us take Amazon S3 Simple Storage Service is a typical example.

Personal Storage, Rise of Dropbox:  Dropbox is a cloud storage service having several million users. These several million users love the use of Dropbox because of its simplicity and features. The features include,  File Sync,  File Sharing,  Online backup, Web Access and easy access in mobile devices.  Interestingly enough,  Dropbox is said to be using Amazon S3 as its storage backbone!

Let us take a deep look at Amazon S3 in the next part – Part 2 on Monday

By Glenn Blake

About Glenn Blake

Glenn Blake is a writer for CloudTweaks and has been writing about technology trends for over 25 years.

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