Definition

cloud storage

Cloud storage is a service model in which data is maintained, managed and backed up remotely and made available to users over a network (typically the Internet).

There are three main cloud storage models:

  • Public cloud storage services, such as Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3), provide a multi-tenant storage environment that’s most suitable for unstructured data. 
  • Private cloud storage services provide a dedicated environment protected behind an organization’s firewall. Private clouds are appropriate for users who need customization and more control over their data. 
  • Hybrid cloud storage is a combination of the other two models that includes at least one private cloud and one public cloud infrastructure. An organization might, for example, store actively used and structured data in a private cloud and unstructured and archival data in a public cloud.  

An enterprise-level cloud storage system should be scalable to suit current needs, accessible from anywhere and application-agnostic.

See also: storage as a service (SaaS), cloud computing, cloud backup, utility storage, storage service provider (SSP)

This was last updated in May 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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