Cloud storage is one of the fastest growing areas of cloud computing. Cloud storage has evolved in many forms and supports a variety of use cases.
Cloud Storage Types
Among the public, the most familiar types of cloud storage are the consumer-oriented cloud storage services that enable people to back up files online, sync files across multiple devices, and share photos, videos, and music with friends. The file backup service MozyHome and the photo-sharing service Instagram are good examples of consumer-oriented cloud storage in action.
Another class of cloud storage services are those geared toward the needs of businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies. Within this class of enterprise cloud storage solutions there are three different types of cloud storage:
- Public cloud storage services are sold to multiple customers on the open market.
- Private cloud storage services are implemented for the exclusive use of a single organization. Organizations sometimes build a private cloud due to concern about data security in cloud computing.
- Hybrid cloud storage solutions use a combination of private cloud storage and public cloud storage. For example, a business might store highly sensitive corporate data in a private cloud while moving less sensitive data into low-cost public cloud storage.
Enterprise Cloud Storage Use Cases
Cloud storage serves a range of enterprise use cases including:
- Storage at massive scale. Enterprises today are awash with data, much of it in the form "unstructured" content such as emails, documents, log files, and audio and video files. Public cloud computing infrastructure provides an economical way to store this "big data", often leveraging a new generation of distributed storage technologies that are more flexible and scalable than traditional relational database systems.
- Remote backup. Cloud storage services provide a simple and affordable way for organizations to back up data offsite in support of disaster recovery strategies.
- Archiving. Businesses are archiving more data than ever before, both to meet regulatory requirements and to feed into business analytics applications. Cloud hosting of archival data enables businesses to cost-effectively retain more data for longer periods of time.
Enterprise Cloud Storage Performance Optimization
Because cloud storage entails using the Internet to push data into storage and to retrieve data when it's needed, service availability and performance are major concerns. Akamai helps businesses get more value from cloud storage by improving storage service availability and performance for their employees, partners, and customers accessing the service through the Internet. The global Akamai Intelligent Platform, with more than 175,000 servers in more than 100 countries, uses a combination of network routing optimization, transport protocol optimization, and intelligent caching of static and dynamic content to accelerate and secure the delivery of cloud services over the Internet. For audio and video content, the Akamai media platform also optimizes content for delivery to a wide variety of mobile devices.
Learn more about how Akamai can help your organization get better value from cloud storage.