What is Cloud Storage and why use it?

Cloud storage means different things to different people depending on how it–s implemented. One of the most common implementation is a –public cloud–, which is essentially storage space that is accessed through the internet or a wide area network (WAN) connection. The characteristics of cloud storage make it appealing to users, it supports rapid scalability, it–s sold as pay-per-use, and it is persistent storage. As more and more businesses face growing storage challenges they need a storage solution that is easy to manage, has no practical limits to scaling of either capacity or performance and is extremely cost effective, which is why they turn to cloud storage.

What is Cloud Storage good for and when should it be used?

Cloud Storage solutions are a good fit for a variety of storage needs, including:

  • Digital content distribution and serving
  • Backup and archival storage
  • File archiving
  • Video surveillance
  • Streaming media

Shared application access, file collaboration and content distribution are also ideal uses for cloud storage. Cloud storage isn–t typically used for things like high-transaction databases or temporary storage. But it can make sense for businesses with unpredictable storage demands, a need for an inexpensive storage tier or a low cost, long term archive.

Does Cloud Storage replace SAN or NAS?

No. Cloud Storage solutions have important differences from traditional SAN and NAS storage. Choosing the right storage solution is dependent on the type of data that is being stored and what that data will be used for. If you are maintaining a transactional database that drives your business revenue stream, cloud storage is not a solution for you, and you should be looking at SAN solutions from vendors like Dell, EMC, EqualLogic, and HDS among others. If your requirement is for Tier1 NAS storage (for email, databases, engineering development) with complex data protection and compliance requirements, you should be considering Dell, EMC and EqualLogic as well.

What does Hostway–s Smart Cloud Storage solution offer?

Smart Cloud Storage provides a simple storage service that offers organizations a highly scalable, reliable, easy-to-use data storage infrastructure at a compelling price. With Smart Cloud Storage you can store, manage, and share unlimited files without worrying about how to handle your unpredictable storage needs. Data in the Smart Cloud Storage is accessible using our intuitive GUI client, as well as an extensible API, from anywhere on the web. If you already have a server hosted at Hostway, you receive direct access to the Smart Cloud infrastructure via our world-class private network to experience even greater speed and performance.

Cloud Storage Advantages

  • Flexibility, high scalability – use as much capacity as you need and when you need it
  • Reliability, redundancy - receive built-in data mirroring on redundant centralized storage arrays
  • Security - receive advanced data protection during transmission and while stored
  • Ease of use - take advantage of simplified management and flexible access methods
  • Utility billing - pay only for what you use, no long-term commitment