Decoding The Truth About Unlimited Cloud Storage Space

Remember the time when Gmail has launched with the promise of offering more storage for e-mail users than other service providers. Almost all industry experts rubbished the claim. But look at Gmail today, it is the top e-mail service provider and yet it continues to offer us ‘unlimited’ space.

Cloud storages, a service that many businesses would be crippled without, also promises ‘unlimited’ storage space. We have purposively been quoting the word unlimited because it is important to understand the word and see whether its usage by cloud service provides is a scam, a myth or a reality.

Cloud storage has enabled most of us to keep our valuable data on a secured online server. Online backup has become the need of the hour for several reasons. Continuous security threats, businesses on the move are some of the reasons why more and more people are advocating the use of cloud storage.

What Does ‘Unlimited’ Mean

Do not make the mistake to think that in case of cloud storage, unlimited simply means having no limits. The truth is service providers cannot really provide an ‘unlimited’ plan though they prefer to market it that way. One of the probable reasons why service providers continue to use this word is because our storing needs are increasing day by day. We never really have enough space to store the data. Due to this, cloud service providers are promising us what we keenly want – Unlimited Space. But in reality they cannot and are not offering unlimited space. Let’s elaborate with an example.

JustCloud, of the most sought after cloud providers, promises unlimited storage plans but with a rider. In its TOS, it explicitly mentions that they reserve the right to introduce an alternative pricing plan if you upload more data than an average user. So while they are offering you more space than you should need, they are not promising you that you can empty anything and everything on their server. Sounds fair now, right?

Now that we have broken the myth about unlimited storage capacity on cloud providers, let us look at some other aspects on this matter.

  • Storage – When you subscribe to any cloud storage provider, you need to read the TOS carefully. Remember that for them its business and they will have all loopholes sealed. Do not fall into this apparent trap and know what you are signing for.
  • Bandwidth – You wouldn’t think that bandwidth could be a problem for cloud service providers but some services do limit your bandwidth. When they limit the bandwidth, uploads becomes extremely slow. When you are signing up with a provider, check the bandwidth capacity carefully.
  • File Size – Many providers also have issues with file sizes. Even when they promise ‘unlimited’ space, they do not allow all file sizes to be uploaded. Some only limit certain kinds of files, while others have a more generic rule.

Cloud storages are definitely a boon for small and large businesses. But it is important to understand their terms of service before you start using them.



Facts about Cloud Storage

You need a Plan B for your data
Whether you own a large company or a small business you probably have a lot of data you need to manage, store and share with your employees, colleagues or partners. There are various methods to do that and many computer owners consider it a serious challenge to find the right ways for storing all the information regarding their business. Some of us rely on large hard drives, others like external storage devices more, like compact discs or thumb drives. And others like to keep their information updated and for that they delete whole files of data trying to make space for the new data they want to store. So if you are in such difficulty you might also wonder how to make more space for your valuable information.

Cloud storage – a growing trend

Believe it or not, we are not talking about weather here. This is a new way of storing huge amount of data on an off-site storage system that is maintained by a third party. It is all about storing your stuff on a remote database instead of a local device such as a hard drive. The connection to the database is made through the internet. In many aspects cloud storage has various advantages over local data storage. For example, you can access your stored information from any location in the world as long as you have an internet connection. You don’t have to take your computer with you or any storage device. You can even share the information with others so you can make your personal project a team work involving anyone you want from all over the world.

I myself used cloud storage when I developed my web store and as I couldn’t handle all the work by myself I got some collaborators that I worked with through cloud storage. It makes things much easier, believe me.

Cloud Storage Service – What to look for?

You can choose between hundreds of cloud storage systems based on the type of information you need to store. For example if you have a lot of e-mails to keep you can opt for e-mail message storage, or if you need to save a large amount of images, you can go for a storage that handles digital pictures. Basically a the best cloud storage system needs one data server that is connected to the internet. The customer, who can be a computer user who subscribes to a cloud storage service for example, sends copies of the files he wants to be saved and the server records the data and when the client wants to retrieve the information he accesses the server through an interface on the web. Many cloud storage clients use this kind of storage space to make a backup for the information on their local files. This is a great way to take the advice: ‘Don’t put all your eggs into one basket’.

Cloud storage has gained worldwide popularity ever since e-mail providers and social networks became largely used. Some examples of more popular and massively used cloud storage systems are Facebook, Gmail, Google Docs, even though you might not think of them as cloud storage systems.



What in the World Is Cloud Storage?


Yes, that is a good question indeed. I myself thought it was some weird storage space in the attic or in some skyscrapers. That is funny, I know, but I’m just that limited. I know that many of you are a little bit wiser than I am, but still I Thought I would gather in a nutshell some of the information I gathered on this topic for the very few people who think like me. So let’s see what this is all about.

Short description

Cloud storage is a sort of enterprise storage found on the network where large amounts of data can be stored in virtual storage pools that are usually hosted by a third party. These hosting companies own and operate large data centers and people or more often companies that need their data to be hosted lease or buy storage space from these hosting companies. These data centers have operators who virtualize the resources the way the client requires and expose them in the form of storage pools so that the customer can use them to store data objects or files. This way the resource can span many locations and servers and can be accessed from anywhere.These services can be accessed through “application programming interfaces” (API) provided by web services or through applications that use the API such as “content management systems” based on the web, “cloud storage gateways” or desktop cloud storage. People always misunderstood web hosting service with cloud storage. Although both are in the hosting business but web hosting services are solely meant for storing website files; while cloud storage is for digital data like documents, pictures, video etc files that are not meant to serve for public.

An important issue about cloud storage is safety of the data. The safety of the files depends on the safety measures brought by the hosting company and on the applications that you access cloud storage through. So be extra careful when you choose both the storage company and the app to leverage your data.

Cloud storage is available both on-premises such as “ViON Capacity Services” and off-services like Amazon and has great characteristics such as multi-tenancy, scalability, agility and elasticity. It is highly durable due to the possibility of creating and storing multiple versions of files, it is also made up of various distributed resources that still act as a single one. This is often called “federate storage cloud”.

Advantages of cloud storage

One of the main advantages is that companies only need to pay for as much storage space as they actually use, storage fees are usually prices per month that include the average consumption for a month. That means cloud storage incurs only operating expenses instead of capital expenses. Another advantage is that companies can use on premise or off premise options or even a mixture of both, depending on the complementary services and the cost savings they opt for, such as security, retention laws, operations continuity, regulation, policy or possibilitiesfor disaster recovery.

Cloud storage makes it possible to copy virtual machine images to on premise locations or to import them from these locations to the cloud library and also to move them between data centers and user accounts. Another great thing is that the service provider takes the responsibility of all the storage maintenance, such as purchasing extra storage capacity. Data protection and storage availability is often included in the monthly fee, so you don’t have to pay extra money for them. Cloud storage also offers the customers immediate access to a wide variety of applications and resources that are hosted by the infrastructure or by another company and are provided through a service interface.

So that is cloud storage in a nutshell, hope this info is as useful for you as it was for me when I started out in this field. Anyway, if you are interested in this topic just go ahead and lose yourself in the huge amount of information that you can easily get out there.



How to Choose the Best Cloud Storage Service?


If you have various files you wish to back up or your information is too large to be stored in a local storage device, you might be thinking about having an off-site storage space to save all your valuable data without using the space from your hard drive. Many people choose to have storage space on cloud storage systems. But how can you choose the right system that will meet your demands? What things do you have to consider? Let me share some of my experience in this matter, hoping you can use some of this information when you start looking for a safe place for your valuable data.

Uptime and reliability

Cloud storage services are usually expected to have 99.9% uptime but some companies fall under that because of unexpected circumstances. You should get well informed on these matters before purchasing space on any cloud storage service. The cloud service provider should have safety nets up and running in order to make services constantly available. That includes a large number of issues such as internet connection, security systems, power redundancy, fire suppression systems and many more. Uptime is the time the storage system has properly worked without any downtime. You should definitely check how long they have been functioning with no downtime. Have they gone through any disasters that caused damage of the stored information?

What services are you offered for the money you pay?

If you select the cheapest cloud storage service that does not mean you will get the best value for your money. Check out the combination of everything the cloud storage company has to offer and then compare it to the amount of money you are asked for the service. For example, if a company offers reliability, superior storage space and features, you will probably come to the conclusion that it is worth the money you pay. You should also take into consideration whether the storage company has reliable technical support service to offer which is not just nice but can really solve your problems.

Features

When you look for a cloud storage service you might want to take a look at the features they have to offer. Even though many companies proud themselves to offer a large variety of features, very few of them are actually useful when you get to use them. And of course take a look at the overall rating of the storage company.