We shall be discussing Google Drive Cloud Storage. The world as we used to know it, is fast changing. This isn’t unrelated to the exponential growth of education and by extension, technology. This growth ushered in a new era wherein there is an increasing need to store the ever-increasing amount of data being generated each minute. To further support this need, the changes experienced in internet connectivity capabilities also helped to push this need.
The world has moved away from the traditional on-premise method of storage of hard copies of files backups to the more robust off-site digital storage, allowing for more security, seamless access, collaboration, retrieval, and modifications of data on-the-go, across all manners of divides. This off-site storage of data is what is commonly referred to as Cloud Storage. The focus of this post is on one of the popular providers of cloud storage services- Google.
Difference Between On-Premise Storage and Off-site Cloud Storage
On-premise storage is the one most people are familiar with. We all have used some form of this storage in the course of our work. Data files are stored on physical storage devices such as USB flash drive, external and internal HDD, and for larger organizations, servers known as Storage Area Networks (SAN). computer internal HDD we know can only store a finite amount of data; when it gets filled we need to transfer our files onto an external HDD. SANs are expensive to maintain, most especially in the long run; as the need for more storage space increases, organizations would need to scale up on their servers and associated infrastructures.
Cloud storage is an off-site storage system that allows you to save files and data on server(s) at off-site locations. These servers mostly use virtual machines hosted on physical servers. Third-party agents or companies, known as cloud storage service providers are responsible for hosting, securing, managing and maintaining the servers and associated infrastructures.
They help to ensure you have access to the stored data whenever and wherever you need to. Access to these files and data can be either through a public internet or a dedicated private network connection via a web portal, website or a mobile application. These cloud storage can literally store an infinite amount of data, and also offers scalability- increasing or decreasing cloud storage space as the need arises. Facilities that house cloud storage systems are referred to as Data Centers.
Cloud storage provides for robustness and elasticity. Individuals and organizations pay for what they use- either scaling up or down. The cloud storage providers increase the cloud storage space as the need arises. Payment is for services rendered in the form of cloud technology and cloud storage capacity. Cloud storage services are available in public, private and hybrid clouds.
To ensure security of file storage, cloud storage service providers implement the following measures:
- Encryption- through the use of complex algorithms that require keys to decrypt even if hackers breach the security and gain access to the stored files.
- Authentication- requiring the creation of a username and strong password to gain access by customers.
- Authorization- in which the customer lists and grants access to stored files by different groups of members and at different levels.
Advantages of Cloud Storage
Just like any other form of technology, cloud technology isn’t without its pros and cons. Some of the advantages of cloud storage include, but is not limited to the following:
- Off-site management circumventing the need for investment in physical infrastructure, servers, and maintenance.
- Scalability- increasing provision of storage capacities on a need basis.
- Fast implementation and deployment
- Multiple backups by the providers and redundancy- a process whereby cloud storage providers store multiple copies of data in multiple servers allowing for seamless access by customers at all times.
- Access to the files and data from any location and at any time.
- Convenience and flexibility
Disadvantages of Cloud Storage
- Risk of security breaches, despite the cloud services using state-of-the-art data encryption methods.
- Loss of total administrative control
- Latency in terms of delay in data transmission to and retrieval from the cloud storage, especially with congested public network connections.
- Regulatory compliance bottlenecks are peculiar to some companies such as healthcare and finance.
- Need for internet access over a network to access data files.
Ranges of Google Cloud Products
Google offers various products under its cloud services. We shall be focusing on the Google Drive Cloud storage services offered by Google. google drive is the free tier of the file storage and synchronization platform offered by Google. Clients are given a storage space of 15GB to store their personal files. Storage space in excess of this free space attracts an additional cost. The use of Google Drive gained further popularity with the launch of Google open-source Android operating system for mobile phones
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