Today, we’re answering basic questions about cloud and cloud computing and computing in general. And the question that we’re answering today is what is cloud storage? the answer that I’m going to give is specific to the enterprise style of computing that is really IBM’s bailiwick. We’re going to be talking about cloud concepts as they apply to the enterprise. We will also mention in detail the most important Pros and cons of cloud storage. And which cloud storage is best in 2022? Some of them will provide a paid service with large storage space, high encryption, and security, and some will provide free cloud storage.
what is cloud storage?
Cloud allows businesses to share, share servers, share networks, share apps, and development tools, as well as data storage. Businesses use the cloud to quickly get new ideas up and running, protect their data, and boast the creation of new products and services. There’s not one cloud, and it isn’t located in just one place, the cloud can be accessed on any device connected to the Internet.
There are all sorts of clouds run by all sorts of providers. Some clouds are public like when a third party such as Microsoft, AWS, or Google host your resources on their servers, others are private and still, others might be shared by a small community. Many businesses use a blend of cloud environments to limit their risk and increase their capability, these are known as hybrid clouds. When hybrid cloud users buy services from multiple public cloud providers they’re using a multi-cloud approach that lets them operate in the cloud strategically.
Cloud storage types
So there are two important distinctions in cloud storage. Two primary branches, if you will, right?
What is ephemeral storage? Well, “ephemeral” means “fleeting”, it means that it doesn’t stay around forever. Ephemeral exists whenever you have a virtual server that is up and running, and the ephemeral storage is attached to it, but when that virtual server goes away, either because you cancel it or because the underlying host crash or something else goes wrong, you will lose everything that is running in that ephemeral storage.
ephemeral storage is great for a scratch disk, it’s great for a local disk. It’s great for putting things that you need a temporary home for. It’s great for a temporary home for log files because ephemeral storage is often very, very highly performant. Ephemeral storage almost always is physically attached to the host that a virtual server is running on. And because of that, you get a whole lot of performance for a relatively low cost because, again, it’s ephemeral. When the virtual server goes away, so does the storage. What happens if you want to keep that storage when the server goes away? At this point, we will need persistent storage.
Persistent storage is that that persists, it continues to exist, even when a virtual server isn’t attached to it. Now, persistent storage comes in lots of different flavors, lots of different mounting points, and things like that. But I’m going to break it up into three fundamental pieces; The first piece is going to be Block. The second piece is going to be File. And then the third piece is going to be Object because these are far and away from the most common kinds of cloud storage.
Block, File, Object. Each has its own underlying technologies. The way that block mounts to a device are different from how a File mounts to a device, Object doesn’t actually mount to a device at all. Object storage you interact with it via an API.
Block storage device, generally speaking, you attach that to the virtual server through the hypervisor. Now you can attach and detach block file shares whenever you need to, but it goes through that hypervisor layer. Again, this is, generally speaking, it doesn’t have to be done that way, but it’s generally done that way.
On the other hand, is generally attached directly to your virtual server. You mount it via a mount point. The File is useful because you can do a file share highly available between two different machines where you’ve got a primary and a secondary. And whenever the primary machine has a problem, you can lock the file share on it, unlock it on the secondary machine, failover, and still have data integrity.
Object storage is great for buckets of items, which is a little bit of a joke because that’s when you store objects in an object storage array, you put them into buckets. And so object storage is where you’re going to host things like videos. That’s where you’re going to put text content. It’s not as highly performant. So if you’re talking about a database, you’re never going to run a database on object storage. Databases go in file storage, they go in block storage. But for hosting objects like photos, text, graphics, icons, anything that gets read but doesn’t have real performance limitations on how quickly it gets out, that can go into object storage.
How is cloud storage billed?
Now, in the world of Cloud, how does this stuff get billed? It gets billed in two ways. One is: how much of it do you use? And the other is: how much performance do you need? So how much of it do you use, it’s gigabytes, right? You get billed a set number of cents per gigabyte per month. This is true for Block. This is true for File. This is true for Object.
Now, in addition to that, you are also going to pay for performance. The more performance you need and that could be, the higher the IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) you need, or it could be, the more bandwidth that you need in writing to and from. The more performance you require, the more expensive the storage costs. And so you’re always looking for a balance between the performance needs of your application, the performance needs of your website, and the cost involved in running the actual infrastructure.
How is object storage billed? What are its uses?
Additionally, for object storage, there are some other pricing metrics that have to do with how often you put data into the object storage buckets, how often you retrieve it from the object storage buckets, and also what level of availability you want. Object storage is typically good for both warm and cold storage.
If you’ve got data that you need to keep for legal reasons or other reporting reasons, but you don’t think you’re ever going to access it, you’re just legally required to hang onto it for 5 years, or 7 years, or 20 years, you can put that into a cold storage object bucket at a very, very, very low rate. Dramatically less than block or file or even standard access level object. And then as long as you aren’t constantly writing out to it, or writing in from it, you’re going to keep that very low rate.
consumer cloud storage
Now, I did promise that we would talk very briefly about those consumer storage products, and so we will. And so consumer cloud storage, everybody thinks of that as something like iCloud, right? It could be OneDrive. It could be Dropbox. It could be Google Drive. But this is a consumer service where you have some sort of a web application or a website that is going to give you a place to host files and photographs and things like that, keep your devices in sync with each other.
Well, how does this play into cloud storage? Well, the answer is almost every consumer-grade cloud storage solution, whether that’s iCloud or OneDrive or Google Drive or any other, under the covers, they are actually all the way back to Object storage, and you’re writing to and from object storage buckets. Even though it doesn’t look that way, maybe it looks like a normal file browser to you when you go to the website or when you go to the app, at the end of the day, whether it’s iCloud or Google Drive or Dropbox, on the back end it’s object storage.
Why? Well, because again, if you think about performance needs, what I describe as high performance for an enterprise-level application like a database server, and what you describe is a high performance, but your application is really just looking at old pictures, they are two entirely different things. The latency that I require from that enterprise database server, that latency is measured in microseconds and in tenths and hundredths of microseconds. When you’re looking at old family vacation photos from a few years ago if you’ve got to wait three or four seconds for them to display, not that big a deal. And so for those consumer-grade services, under the covers is Object storage.
So hopefully that was helpful. Hopefully, that was useful. As always, if you have any additional questions about cloud storage ask them in the comments. We have other videos that get into the specifics on this channel. We can talk about file storage, we can talk about block storage. If you want to learn way more about ephemeral storage and what you would use that for, drop us a note, and let us know. But other than that, thank you so much. Hopefully, this was useful to you, and we’ll see you later.
Cloud Storage Pros
The advantages of cloud storage are many, so the technological world is now rapidly moving towards cloud storage, and after a period of time, traditional storage will be completely eliminated. Now it is possible that most of you know what are the advantages of cloud storage, most of us use it and know how useful it is, or some of you are facing problems with traditional storage and want to move to cloud storage, so we will briefly address the advantages of cloud storage:
- no more External hard storage: No need to think about where to put your files. Will I put it in the phone, computer, or USB flash drive, not to mention worrying about losing these files when these devices are lost or broken. With cloud storage just log in to your cloud storage account and you will get all files from any device, all the time.
- Remotely update your file: All cloud services provide synchronization service all the time, which means that you will see the same copy of the files on all your devices, and when you make any change to any file, this file will be updated everywhere.
- Share files easily: It’s great that you can easily and quickly share your files with whoever you want no matter how many they are, anywhere without having to use social networking apps.
- Easy online collaboration: We have all seen in the previous period, how much we needed to work remotely. Cloud storage allows you to work and create documents and projects online and work on them with your colleagues remotely at the same time, in other words, work, and share ideas while you are at home.
- The best encryption possible: We are all looking to secure our files and you won’t get complete security until you get zero-knowledge encryption, which means that no one can access your files but you. Zero-knowledge encryption prevents even your cloud service provider from knowing what you’re uploading. As far as I know, only two of them have this feature: Synvc.com and MEGA.
- Financially Inexpensive: Some might say, How to be financially inexpensive? We pay them money every month! Realistically, when you compare the prices of cloud storage services with the rest of the services provided online, they are considered very cheap and some of them give free cloud storage space. Some services are only for music or movies, and their monthly prices are high, while cloud storage, stores all your personal files, work files, and finances at a much cheaper price than them. And some cloud services offer a lifetime subscription! Yes, you pay once and then you can store your files in the cloud for life, like Icedrive and pCloud.
Cloud Storage Cons
Some, when they hear that this service has negatives, may run away and will not subscribe to these services, but, wait, none of the negatives of cloud storage services are really that serious that they prevent you from subscribing, and perhaps they are negatives for some and not for everyone. The most prominent of these negatives are:
- Need internet connection: Without an internet connection, your files cannot be accessed unless you have sync enabled, and therefore your device will have a copy of your files before the internet is interrupted.
- Extra storage space comes at a cost: There are a lot of cloud services that provide free storage but they are limited and not enough and you have to pay for more cloud storage space. And if you are one of those who like to keep their old files, and also upload new files constantly, the cost of the cloud service will continue to rise.
- Security and privacy: The protection of your personal files should not be underestimated. Cloud services from Google and Apple may be secure and cannot be hacked, but at the same time, they do not respect privacy and take users’ data to develop their commercial services. Also, if you see cloud services that give a lot of free storage space, you should stay away from them, as these are either bad services or they will sell your data. And remember if the product is free, you are the product.
which is best cloud storage 2022?
The importance of cloud storage lies in keeping all our files safely and for long periods of time without worrying about them, and they can be retrieved from any device at any time. But are all cloud storage providers worth paying for their services and putting your files there? Of course not, there are a lot of cloud storage providers that offer services that are not worth subscribing to. Therefore, we will answer the question of which is best cloud storage 2022 with a list of the best cloud service providers at the present time.:
The Cloud storage provider that’s doing a bang-up job in 2022 is pCloud. It offers great integration with most platforms, offers excellent free and paid plans, and comes with brilliant collaboration tools. The cloud storage free plan offers just 10GB of cloud storage and is heavily restricted in terms of storage features, which is understandable. I’d always recommend the paid feature. I believe you only get to experience the magic of cloud storage with a paid plan. One of its outstanding features is file versioning, which lets you restore older versions of your files. Not pleased with a change you made? Made a mistake? No problem, easily fixed.
Another unique feature I found during my testing is the built-in pCloud audio player, which lets you play music from within the smartphone app or pCloud web. I think it’s brilliant. And what about the automatic backups? pCloud takes all the stress out of manual backups as you can just select folders and let it do its thing. pCloud also makes it easy to share large folders and files through a self-generated link. It also offers a lifetime subscription! The only complaint I have about it is that zero-knowledge encryption isn’t available, it’s out of the box. You’ll need to pay for it. Their cloud storage pricing strategy is rather strange.
Sync.com is another cloud storage service that puts loads of focus on security. It provides end-to-end encryption, which literally makes it impossible for anyone to intercept your data. But it doesn’t end there. The service also adopts zero-knowledge encryption, making you the only person with access to your account.
The service is super user-friendly with an intuitive interface and it offers a great suite of features designed to aid collaborative projects. The included file versioning feature also allows you to restore older versions of files you’ve recently edited. However, it does only give you 5GB of free cloud storage space to start with which isn’t much.
What can I say about Mega? To be honest, it’s a mixed bag. Their founder has had troubles with the law in the past, so many put Mega in a lower order or may drop it from their best cloud storage list, but he’s no longer part of the company, so that’s reassuring. Since his departure, Mega has increased its focus on security, employing zero-knowledge encryption that makes you the only one that can access your data. On top of that, Mega also adopts end-to-end encryption that protects your files 24/7. I believe that suggests you have nothing to worry about regarding security.
Not to mention its free version gives you a whopping 20GB of cloud storage! Which is very generous in my opinion. It also provides automatic backup in addition to keeping old versions, that is, when you make updates to your files, Mega will keep a new copy of the updated file and also save a copy of the old version of the same file. Mega also provides many collaboration features.
Icedrive is one of the newest cloud service solutions I’ve featured, but I feel it brings enough to the table. It totally deserves to be here. It deploys a Twofish algorithm for security, which many experts believe to be as secure as the AES 256-bit encryption. It also comes with two-factor authentication. But it doesn’t offer many collaboration features. I think it makes up for it with other nice features, though, like the feature that lets you preview encrypted files, for instance. Icedrive also offers zero-knowledge encryption, but it’s only available for paid plans that offer cloud storage free of 20GB.
If Google Workspace and Android are already part of your workflow, choosing Google Drive for cloud storage would only make sense. It works hand-in-hand with those platforms. Google Drive provides an affordable, feature-filled backup-and-sync solution. I also find it easy to use as it has a very intuitive and clean user interface.
It’s way more than a cloud storage service. Google Drive also comes with companion apps like Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Google Photos. So it lets you store, create, edit, view, and sync files via an integrated interface. I also feel Google Drive is suitable for businesses as it’s quite security-oriented. It protects your data with end-to-end encryption and a zero-knowledge policy. It is also worth noting that Google’s cloud storage pricing is more expensive than the above-mentioned competitors.
iCloud is for Apple users. Apple’s ecosystem is literally the largest around, and if you already use a Mac and iPhone, it only makes sense to use their cloud storage service as well. Of course, the service is decent, but it’s not like I’d expect anything less from Apple anyway. iCloud doesn’t come with many special features, but it does the simple things a cloud storage solution is expected to do. It’s also super-easy to use, especially with Apple devices. And it offers free 5GB of cloud storage for users not willing to pay for the paid plans. Also, their cloud storage pricing is high, and the pricing varies for each country.
Microsoft OneDrive is for Windows users. Of course, it’s available on other platforms, but it works best with Microsoft. This cloud service is best known for making collaboration effortless. It lets you share your docs stored in the cloud and allows other users to make changes to them together in real-time. Every modification made is visible immediately to every other collaborator and is automatically stored in the cloud. OneDrive also comes with other features to give you the full experience. The only blip is that OneDrive doesn’t offer zero-knowledge encryption, which means your data is visible to the company.
Dropbox is arguably the cloud storage provider that brought cloud service to the mainstream. Remember seeing Dropbox everywhere around 2008 and wondering what it was all about? Dropbox is probably not the only frontrunner nowadays, but it remains a big name in this space. It’s definitely the leader when it comes to file-sharing as it comes with many features that make it painless to share large files with other people.
Dropbox also takes security seriously. All files are encrypted both at rest and in traffic, and accounts can be secured with the two-factor authentication. I’ve got a few concerns with Dropbox, though. First, it’s been involved in a series of security breaches in the past. I remember a particular major data breach in 2012, which led to the leak of users’ emails and passwords. 68 million users were affected at the time, and even today, Dropbox is still reeling from the impact of that breach. Another concern I have is that it doesn’t back up network or external drives, unlike its rivals.
We have put pCloud in the foreground because it is worth doing. It provides all means of security and encryption, and most importantly, it provides a lifetime subscription, which I advise everyone looking for cloud storage to subscribe to save money instead of the monthly or annual subscription. In the second place, we find Sync, which is no different from pCloud, except that it does not provide a lifetime subscription, unfortunately.
As for Google Drive and iCloud, and after them and Drive, they are equal on the same bike, and the choice between them depends on the type of devices you use. If you use Google services and the Android system, the best for you is Google Drive, and if you are using Apple devices, then definitely subscribe with iCloud, but if you use Windows and Microsoft applications, your choice is OneDrive.
But these three services every period we hear about the existence of some cases against them regarding the violation of privacy, they are large multi-service companies and they may use some user data to develop some artificial intelligence services such as virtual assistants. So if you want our opinion, which is best cloud storage 2022? Of course, we prefer pCloud or Sync.com. For more details and comparisons, watch the following video