Introduction to Cloud Storage Solutions for Businesses

2023/10/20 10:23

What is cloud storage?

Cloud storage is a cloud computing paradigm that facilitates the storage of data and files on the internet using services provided by a cloud computing provider. This provider can be accessed via the public internet or a dedicated private network connection. The provider is responsible for the secure storage, management, and maintenance of the storage servers, infrastructure, and network, ensuring that you have access to your data at virtually limitless scale and with flexible capacity.

With cloud storage, there is no need to invest in or oversee your own data storage infrastructure, which grants you the advantages of agility, scalability, and robustness, along with the ability to access your data anytime, from anywhere.

How does cloud storage work?

Cloud storage is provided by a cloud service provider that possesses and operates data storage capacity through the maintenance of extensive data centers. These providers manage capacity, security, and data resilience, ensuring that your applications can access data over the Internet through a Pay-as-you-go model.

Typically, you can connect to cloud storage via the internet or a dedicated private connection, using a web portal, website, or mobile application. When customers procure cloud storage from a service provider, they delegate most aspects of data storage to the vendor, including capacity, security, data availability, storage servers, computational resources, and network data transmission. Your applications interact with cloud storage using conventional storage protocols or directly employing an application programming interface (API).

Additionally, cloud storage providers may offer services aimed at efficiently gathering, managing, safeguarding, and analyzing data on a large scale.

What are the types of cloud storage?

Three primary cloud storage types exist: Object Storage, File Storage, and Block Storage. Each of these options offers distinct advantages and is suited to specific use cases.

Organizations often use a combination of these storage types to meet their diverse data management needs

Organizations often use a combination of these storage types to meet their diverse data management needs

1. Object Storage

Organizations dealing with vast and continually expanding amounts of unstructured data, including images, videos, sensor data, audio files, and web content, face the challenge of finding scalable, efficient, and cost-effective storage solutions.

Object Storage is a data storage architecture designed for large repositories of unstructured data. In Object Storage, data is stored in the format it arrives in, and you can customize metadata to facilitate easier data access and analysis. Instead of organizing data in traditional file or folder hierarchies, objects are placed within secure buckets, providing virtually unlimited scalability. This approach is cost-effective for handling extensive data volumes.

Cloud applications often benefit from the scalability and metadata capabilities of Object Storage. It is ideal for creating modern applications from the ground up that require scalability and flexibility. Object Storage can also be used to import existing data stores for analytics, backup, or archiving purposes.

2. File Storage

File Storage, also known as file-based storage, is widely employed by applications and organizes data in a hierarchical folder and file structure. This type of storage is often referred to as network-attached storage (NAS) and relies on standard file-level protocols such as Server Message Block (SMB) for Windows systems and Network File System (NFS) for Linux environments.

3. Block Storage

Enterprise applications like databases and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems often demand dedicated, low-latency storage for each host. This is akin to direct-attached storage (DAS) or a storage area network (SAN).

In such scenarios, cloud storage services that employ Block Storage are valuable. Data is stored in the form of blocks, and each block is assigned a unique identifier for rapid storage and retrieval.

What are cloud storage use cases?
The use cases for cloud storage continue to expand as organizations discover new ways to leverage the scalability and cost-effectiveness of cloud-based storage solutions

The use cases for cloud storage continue to expand as organizations discover new ways to leverage the scalability and cost-effectiveness of cloud-based storage solutions

Cloud storage serves various purposes in application management, data management, and business continuity. Below are some illustrative examples:

1. Analytics and Data Lakes

Traditional on-premises storage solutions may lack consistency in cost, performance, and scalability. Analytics often require large-scale, affordable, highly available, and secure storage pools, known as data lakes.

These data lakes, built on Object Storage, keep data in its original format with rich metadata, making selective extraction and analysis easier. Cloud-based data lakes can centralize different data warehousing and processing activities, aiding in more efficient project completion.

2. Backup and Disaster Recovery

Backup and disaster recovery are vital for data protection and accessibility, but managing increasing capacity needs can be challenging. Cloud storage offers cost-effectiveness, high durability, and scalability for data backup and recovery solutions.

Embedded data management policies can automatically migrate data to lower-cost storage based on specified criteria. Archival vaults can be established to meet legal or regulatory requirements. This scalability is particularly beneficial for industries with substantial unstructured data and long-term retention needs, such as finance, healthcare, life sciences, and media and entertainment.

3. Software Test and Development

Developing and testing software often requires the creation, management, and decommissioning of separate storage environments, which can be time-consuming and capital-intensive.

Cloud storage's flexibility, performance, and affordability are employed by many leading companies to expedite application development. Even simple static websites can be enhanced with minimal costs. IT professionals and developers are turning to pay-as-you-go storage options to simplify management and scalability issues.

4. Cloud Data Migration

While the availability, durability, and low costs of cloud storage are compelling, transferring large data volumes to the cloud can be challenging. Hybrid, edge, and data movement services offer solutions to facilitate data transfer to the cloud, addressing concerns of IT personnel dealing with storage, backup, networking, security, and compliance.

5. Compliance

Storing sensitive data in the cloud may raise compliance and regulatory concerns. Cloud data compliance controls are designed to help you deploy and enforce comprehensive compliance measures on your data, ensuring compliance with regulations from various global agencies.

Cloud vendors often follow a shared responsibility model, enabling customers to manage risk efficiently in the IT environment and provide assurance of effective risk management through adherence to established frameworks and programs.

loud storage providers help organizations meet regulatory compliance requirements by ensuring that data is stored securely, and access is audited

loud storage providers help organizations meet regulatory compliance requirements by ensuring that data is stored securely, and access is audited

6. Cloud-Native Application Storage

Cloud-native applications, relying on technologies like containerization and serverless computing, use small, loosely coupled components known as microservices. Cloud storage services cater to data management needs for these applications and address storage challenges within the cloud environment.

7. Archive

Businesses are currently facing an exponential growth in data, stringent regulatory compliance, and data analytics demands. Machine learning and data analytics bring more usefulness to data than ever before.

Compliance requirements necessitate long-term data storage. Customers need to replace tape and on-premises tape and disk archive infrastructure with cloud storage solutions that offer enhanced data durability, rapid retrieval, improved security and compliance, along with better data accessibility for advanced analytics and business intelligence.

8. Hybrid Cloud Storage

Many organizations seek the advantages of cloud storage while maintaining on-premises applications that require low-latency access or rapid data transfer to the cloud. Hybrid cloud storage architectures bridge on-premises systems with cloud storage, reducing costs, easing management, and facilitating innovation.

9. Database Storage

Block Storage, with its high performance and upgradability, is commonly used for transactional databases. Its limited metadata enables ultra-low latency, making it suitable for latency-sensitive applications like databases.

Developers can create robust, scalable, and efficient transactional databases using Block Storage, with each block serving as an independent unit. The database operates optimally, even as the data continues to grow incessantly.

10. Machine Learning and Internet of Things
Cloud storage plays a critical role in data storage for machine learning and IoT applications, making it a valuable component of the infrastructure

Cloud storage plays a critical role in data storage for machine learning and IoT applications, making it a valuable component of the infrastructure

Cloud storage allows you to process, store, and analyze data near your applications and subsequently transfer it to the cloud for further analysis. This approach supports cost-effective storage while facilitating machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics for insights and innovation.

About vStorage

VNG Cloud features vStorage, a multi-tier cloud storage solution. This is a secure, reliable, and durable solution with three types of specialized storage (Object, File, Block) designed to meet the requirements for fast and continuous data access. It is well-suited for various storage needs including media data warehousing, log analytics, mobile applications, backups, enterprise applications, IoT, and more.

Outstanding features of vStorage:

  • Ability of Extension: 2 branches in Ho Chi Minh & Hanoi; Instantly expand storage (in TB); Ready time under 1 minute; Actively work on the portal; Capable of auto-scaling.
  • Absolutely Safe and Secure: Replication = 3 on 3 servers; Encryption when stored to the drive; Decentralization features (ACL, IAM); Whitelist IP; Block public access; Tempurl; Cross-region backup.
  • Simple Administration: Self-service portal; Dashboard with Usage Report, Billing Report, Cost Explorer features; Increase quota automatically; Auto-renew / Postpaid.
  • High Speed & Compatibility: 10Gbps (scalable) bandwidth; Compatible with S3 SDK, S3 client tool; Supports NFS/SMB protocol on Object Storage.
  • Cost Optimization: 3 cloud storage tiers; Lifecycle feature allows data transfer between storage tiers; Gold Class offers 100% free requests and x10 traffic.

VNG Cloud offers advanced cloud solutions that drive businesses towards the era of digital transformation. Whether your goal is to effortlessly deploy application workloads or create and launch custom applications with minimal latency for your end users, VNG Cloud delivers the cloud infrastructure where and when you require it.