Most companies nowadays are basing their business decisions on data. However, storing a lot of it can create a bit of a headache, related to costs, scalability, security, and the computing power needed for analysis.
This can lead to the need of handling resources for building and maintaining a large amount of IT infrastructure. Why not get rid of such problems and “outsource” them to someone else?
What is a cloud storage service?
Let’s try to answer this particular question before we go further. What should we imagine if someone mentions “cloud” in an IT context?
Short story long – all cloud solutions are kinds of resources (usually computing power or storage) which you can access remotely without buying and maintaining a lot of hardware and other infrastructure on your own.
Let’s go through some of the best cloud storage solutions which can help your company invest its time into getting value from data instead of spending time maintaining the necessary infrastructure.
Cloud storage solutions
A common thing you might hear from all cloud providers is – let’s focus on what you need from your data and we will handle the rest.
Cloud storage solutions for business give you the opportunity to avoid problems like securing space for your data, overseeing power usage, maintaining networking infrastructure, and ensuring the security of the whole environment, all of which will be handled by the cloud providers. All of those are also highly scalable – increasing as needed together with your company. Moreover, cloud providers can handle tools needed for analytics, AI and data visualisations without needing to get your data out of the secured cloud.
Another advantage of using cloud solutions is high scalability. Most cloud providers offer you the option to start small and increase the amount of storage, computing power, etc., according to your business needs.
Cloud storage solutions for business
We will start with the oldest cloud based storage solution. Amazon launched their big data environment back in 2006, becoming a model for any other cloud provider. Together with storage, Amazon launched Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2), which is a compute platform providing data-processing services with scalability abilities.
The well known Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is a crucial part of the Amazon Web Services ecosystem. It is an object storage service built to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere. Clients of all sizes and from any industries can use it to store and protect any amount of data for a variety of uses like websites, IoT devices, big data analytics, mobile application or backup and restore. S3 provides management features to meet specific business and compliance requirements.
Amazon is also providing other storage options like the Amazon Elastic File System (a cloud-native NFS file system), the Amazon Elastic Block Store (easy to use, high performance block storage) and many more.
AWS is currently known as the most popular cloud storage solution for the big data world.
Microsoft started in 2010 and quickly began offering a full range of tools and services allowing companies with large datasets to move all their operations into the cloud.
Experience gained in Microsoft’s own Office 360, Skype or Xbox Live guarantee enterprise-grade security and governance as well as integration with analytic tools.
Azure Data Lake was specifically built to handle complex data requirements. Data is stored in native format.
Users have multiple options to choose from:
- Disk storage: scalable and secure storage for virtual machines
- Blob storage: massively scalable, secure storage for unstructured data
- Archive storage: low cost storage for rarely accessed data
And many more.
Having been created with the same technology as the Big Data driven services YouTube and Google Search, ensures that Google Cloud Storage provides scalability and reliability. The great number of storage and data lake oriented services offered by this cloud storage solution can handle exabytes of data.
Users can choose from different pricing options depending on the data access frequency (a lower cost for backup data which doesn’t need to be accessed in mere seconds). A nice feature is choosing where our data will be stored. There are multiple regions available which can help reduce latency for “hot” data.
Users have multiple options to choose from:
- Cloud Storage: Object storage for companies. The possibility to store any type and any amount of data and retrieve it as often as needed.
- Persistent Disk: A block storage service integrated with Google Cloud products like Compute Engine and GKE.
- Local SSD: Locally attached block storage for virtual machines and containers.
- Cloud Storage: Low-cost archival storage with online access speeds.
And many more.
This well known database provider also operates Oracle Cloud Service. It offers flexible, highly secure storage with analytics and data processing services. Clearly, security features are the key point, including real-time encryption for all data sent to the platform.
Oracle’s portfolio of database services lets you choose from many options such as on-premises Cloud@Customer and public cloud. You have the opportunity to build highly scalable applications which will support all data types, including relational/non relational, graphs, structured and unstructured data.
There are plenty of other cloud storage providers not described above.
Just to mention a few of them,there are IBM Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Cloudera and many more. They all differ in terms of possibilities, pricing plans or technologies used.
The common thread is that all of these many solutions make it easy to get your data to work for you without additional costs related to maintaining a lot of infrastructure on your own. Instead you can pay for, or even get for free, just the resources which you need and start making your tons of data really valuable by using it for actual analysis, forecasting or reporting.
How should I choose the best cloud storage?
Your choice should be preceded by a thorough analysis of requirements, costs and resources. There are a lot of storing options for big data. However, using them with the right approach and applying them to your business needs require some experience and methodology.
DS Stream has both infrastructure expertise and an analytical background. Our team contains specialists in picking, setting up, and maintaining solutions for your business needs, and tailoring them to your requirements.
Feel free to contact us at any time if you want to use your data more effectively in your business processes.