What is Cloud Storage?
Alan   utmel.com   2021-10-21 17:37:58

Topics covered in this post:

Working principle of cloud storage

Structural model of cloud storage



Classification of cloud storage

Development trend of cloud storage

Working principle of cloud storage

Cloud storage is a new concept developed from the concept of cloud computing. Cloud computing is the development result of distributed computing, parallel computing, and grid computing. It automatically splits huge computing processing programs into countless smaller subroutines through the network. After the huge system composed of multiple servers is calculated and analyzed, the processing results will be sent back to the user. Through cloud computing technology, network service providers can process tens of millions or even billions of information within a few seconds to achieve the same powerful network services as "supercomputers."

The concept of cloud storage is similar to cloud computing. It means that through cluster applications, grid technology, or distributed file systems, a large number of different types of storage devices in the network work together through application software to provide external data storage. A system with a business access function to ensure data security and save storage space. Simply put, cloud storage is an emerging solution that puts storage resources on the cloud for people to access. Users can connect to the cloud to conveniently access data at any time and anywhere through any networkable device. If this explanation is still difficult to understand, then we can borrow the structure of the wide-area network and the Internet to explain cloud storage.

cloud computing.jpg

cloud computing

Structural model of cloud storage

Storage layer

The storage layer is the most basic part of cloud storage. The storage device can be an FC Fibre Channel storage device, or an IP storage device such as NAS and iSCSI, or a DAS storage device such as SCSI or SAS. Storage devices in cloud storage are often large in number and distributed in different regions. They are connected to each other through a wide area network, the Internet, or an FC fiber channel network.

Above the storage device is a unified storage device management system, which can realize logical virtualization management of storage devices, multi-link redundancy management, as well as status monitoring and fault maintenance of hardware devices.

Basic management

The basic management layer is the core part of cloud storage and the most difficult part to realize in cloud storage. The basic management layer uses technologies such as clusters, distributed file systems, and grid computing to achieve collaborative work between multiple storage devices in cloud storage so that multiple storage devices can provide the same service externally, and provide larger and stronger data access performance.

The CDN content distribution system and data encryption technology ensure that the data in cloud storage will not be accessed by unauthorized users. At the same time, various data backup and disaster recovery technologies and measures can ensure that the data in cloud storage will not be lost.

Application interface layer

The application interface layer is the most flexible part of cloud storage. Different cloud storage operating units can develop different application service interfaces and provide different application services according to actual business types. Such as video surveillance application platform, IPTV and video-on-demand application platform, network hard disk application platform, remote data backup application platform, etc.

Access layer

Any authorized user can log in to the cloud storage system through a standard public application interface and enjoy cloud storage services. Different cloud storage operating units have different access types and access methods provided by cloud storage.

Cloud storage is not storage, but a service

Just like the cloud-like wide area network and the Internet, cloud storage does not refer to a specific device to users but refers to a collection composed of many storage devices and servers. When users use cloud storage, they do not use a certain storage device, but a data access service brought by the entire cloud storage system. So strictly speaking, cloud storage is not storage, but a service.

The core of cloud storage is the combination of application software and storage devices, and the transformation from storage devices to storage services is realized through application software.


The many functions and performances provided by cloud storage are designed to meet the storage challenges associated with the growth of massive amounts of inactive data:

· As capacity grows, linearly expand performance and access speed.

· Migrate data storage to distributed physical sites on demand.

· Ensure that the data storage is highly adaptable and self-repairing, which can be stored for many years.

· Ensure privacy and security in a multi-tenant environment.

· Allow users to expand performance and capacity-on-demand based on policies and service models.

· The storage purchase model has been changed, and only the actual storage fee is charged, instead of charging according to all storage systems, including unused storage capacity.

· End the disruptive technology upgrade and data migration work.


(1) Storage management can be automated and intelligent, all storage resources are integrated, and customers see a single storage space;

(2) Improve storage efficiency, solve the waste of storage space through virtualization technology. It can automatically redistribute data, improve the utilization of storage space, and have load balancing and fault redundancy functions;

(3) Cloud storage can achieve economies of scale and elastic expansion, reduce operating costs, and avoid waste of resources.

advantages of cloud storage.jpg

advantages of cloud storage

Classification of cloud storage

Cloud storage can be divided into the following three categories:

1. Public cloud storage

Like Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) and Nutanix's storage services, they can provide a large amount of file storage at a low cost. Suppliers can keep each customer's storage and applications independent and private. Among them, the personal cloud storage service represented by Dropbox is the more prominent representative of the development of public cloud storage. The more prominent representatives in China are Sohu Enterprise Netdisk, Baidu Cloud Disk, LeTV Cloud Disk, Mobile Color Cloud, Jinshan Kuaipan, Nut Cloud, and Cool Disk, 115 network disk, Huawei network disk, 360 cloud disk, Sina microdisk, Tencent micro cloud, cStor cloud storage, etc.

Public cloud storage can be set aside for private cloud storage. A company can own or control the infrastructure, as well as the deployment of applications. Private cloud storage can be deployed in corporate data centers or facilities in the same location. The private cloud can be managed by the company's own IT department or by the service provider.

2. Internal cloud storage

This kind of cloud storage is similar to private cloud storage, the only difference is that it is still located inside the corporate firewall. The platforms that can provide private cloud by 2014 are Eucalyptus, 3A Cloud, minicloud secure office private cloud, Lenovo network disk, etc.

3. Hybrid cloud storage

This kind of cloud storage combines public cloud and private cloud/internal cloud. It is mainly used for visits according to customer requirements, especially when capacity needs to be provisioned temporarily. Setting aside a portion of the capacity from the public cloud and configuring a private or internal cloud can help companies face rapidly increasing load fluctuations or peak times. Nevertheless, hybrid cloud storage brings the complexity of distributing applications across public and private clouds.

Development trend of cloud storage

Cloud storage has become a trend in future storage development. However, with the development of cloud storage technology, applications that combine various search, application technologies, and cloud storage need to be improved from the perspectives of security, portability, and data access.

(1) Security

Since the birth of cloud computing, security has always been one of the primary considerations for enterprises to implement cloud computing. Also in terms of cloud storage, security is still the primary consideration. For customers who want to use cloud storage, security is usually the primary business and technical consideration. But many users have even higher security requirements for cloud storage than their own architecture can provide. Even so, in the face of such high unrealistic security requirements, many large and reliable cloud storage vendors are striving to meet their requirements and build data centers that are much safer than most enterprise data centers. Users can find that cloud storage has fewer security vulnerabilities and higher security links, and the level of security that cloud storage can provide is even higher than that of the user's own data center.

(2) Portability

Some users also consider the portability of data when hosting storage. Under normal circumstances, this is guaranteed. Some large service providers provide solutions that promise data portability comparable to the best traditional local storage. Some cloud storage combines powerful portable functions, you can transfer the entire data set to any medium of your choice, or even a dedicated storage device.

(3) Performance and availability

In the past, some managed storage and remote storage always had the problem of excessive delay. Similarly, the characteristics of the Internet itself seriously threaten the availability of services. The latest generation of cloud storage has a breakthrough achievement, which is reflected in the client or local device cache, keeping frequently used data locally, thereby effectively alleviating the Internet delay problem. Through local cache, these devices can alleviate latency issues even in the face of the most severe network interruptions. These devices can also allow frequently used data to react as quickly as local storage. Through a local NAS gateway, cloud storage can even imitate the availability, performance, and visibility of terminal NAS devices while protecting data remotely. With the continuous development of cloud storage technology, vendors will continue to work hard to achieve capacity optimization and WAN (Wide Area Network) optimization to minimize the latency of data transmission.

(4) Data access

The existing doubt about cloud storage technology is whether cloud storage can provide sufficient accessibility if large-scale data requests or data recovery operations are performed. Under future technical conditions, there is no need to worry about this. Existing manufacturers can transmit large amounts of data to any type of media, and can directly transmit data to enterprises, and the speed is equivalent to copy and paste operations. In addition, cloud storage vendors can also provide a set of components that mimic the cloud address on a fully localized system, allowing the local NAS gateway device to continue to operate normally without resetting it. In the future, if large manufacturers build more regional facilities, data transmission will be faster. In this way, even if a catastrophic loss occurs to the customer's local data, cloud storage vendors can quickly retransmit the data to the customer's data center.

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