Cloud storage is a model of networked online storage where data is stored on virtualized pools of storage which are generally hosted by third parties, which can be obtained via free cloud storage providers . Hosting companies operate large data centers; and people who require their data to be hosted buy or lease storage capacity from them and use it for their storage needs.

Cloud storage is a model of networked online storage where data is stored on virtualized pools of storage which are generally hosted by third parties, which can be obtained via  free cloud storage providers . Hosting companies operate large data centers; and people who require their data to be hosted buy or lease storage capacity from them and use it for their storage needs. The data center operators, in the background, virtualize the resources according to the requirements of the customer and expose them as storage pools, which the customers can themselves use to store files or data objects. Physically, the resource may span across multiple servers.

Cloud storage services may be accessed through a web service application programming interface (API), or through a Web-based user interface.

Cloud storage advantages

  • Companies need only pay for the storage they actually use as it is also possible for companies by utilizing actual virtual storage features like thin provisioning.
  • Companies do not need to install physical storage devices in their own datacenter or offices, but the fact that storage has to be placed anywhere stays the same (maybe localization costs are lower in offshore locations).
  • Storage maintenance tasks, such as backup, data replication, and purchasing additional storage devices are offloaded to the responsibility of a service provider, allowing organizations to focus on their core business, but the fact stays the same that someone has to pay for the administrative effort for this tasks 
  • Cloud storage provides users with immediate access to a broad range of resources and applications hosted in the infrastructure of another organization via a web service interface.

Potential concerns

  • Security of stored data and data in transit may be a concern when storing sensitive data at a cloud storage provider
  • Performance may be lower than local storage depending on how much a customer is willing to spend for WAN bandwidth
  • Reliability and availability depends on wide area network availability and on the level of precautions taken by the service provider.
  • Users with specific records-keeping requirements, such as public agencies that must retain electronic records according to statute, may encounter complications with using cloud computing and storage.

What are some features you would look for from free cloud storage providers

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