Cloud storage

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Cloud storage is a means for storing heavy volumes of digital content on a massive cluster of computer servers, with secure access by the individuals or groups that own or license the content. Such a massive server cluster is called a cloud. (Some observers call it The Cloud, on the theory that cloud service providers, by trading storage or other server capacities at need, almost maintain shares of a single Cloud instead of discrete clouds.)

Advantages of cloud storage

The best advantage of cloud storage is security against accidental loss of data. Clouds are fault-tolerant, and cloud administrators can protect their hardware, and the content they store on it, better than an individual or even a group can protect his/her/its own hardware.

Another advantage is unlimited remote access to data. Whenever an individual or group member or officer travels, he can still access his content, or the group's content, from any Internet accessible location.

Among other advantages, cloud storage can also offer the client easy scalability. The client can typically upload as much or little data as they want, without needing to worry about drive size or other capacity concerns. Cloud storage providers such as Amazon (AWS) and Microsoft (Azure) allow clients to upload practically unlimited amounts of data, and they are charged for what they use. Data can be later deleted, and the charge to the client is likewise decreased. However, some services (such as Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive) do put limits on capacity, typically because the client is paying a flat-fee for the service rather than paying for exactly what they use.

Disadvantages

The major disadvantage is a subjective one. The individual or group owning or licensing the content might consider they are less secure against unauthorized access to data or even malicious destruction of data if someone were to compromise the username and password registries of their particular cloud service.

The cloud administrator has a problem too: security against accessory to copyright violation. The administrator shares this vulnerability in common with streaming and other user-content-management services.