Cloud storage is a service model in which data is maintained, managed and backed up remotely and made available to users over a network (typically the Internet).
Cloud storage refers to saving data to an off-site storage system maintained by a third party. Instead of storing information to your computer's hard drive or other local storage device, you save it to a remote database. The Internet provides the connection between your computer and the database.
When you store something “in the cloud”, you are storing music, movies, documents and data on giant internet servers around the world. That way you can access your files wherever you are, whenever you want, on your laptop or smartphone or even a different computer. This is the basic concept of cloud storage.
You may already be using cloud computing and are completely unaware of it. Google's GMail and Google Apps, Flickr, Dropbox, Salesforce.com -- all of these are great examples of cloud services. There are plenty more, but this gives you an idea of how cloud computing has actually become widespread. Web e-mail providers like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail store e-mail messages on their own servers. Users can access their e-mail from computers and other devices connected to the Internet.
CLoud Storage categories:
- Public Cloud: A public cloud infrastructure is made available to the general public or a large industry group and is owned by an organization selling cloud services. An example of this would be Amazon.com.
- Community Cloud: A community cloud infrastructure is shared by several organizations and supports a specific community that has shared concerns such as mission, security, policy, and compliance considerations. An example of this would be a centralized implementation to support several school districts. A community cloud may be managed by the organizations or by a third party and may exist on premises or off premises.
- Private Cloud: A private cloud infrastructure is operated solely for one organization. It may be managed by the organization or a third party and may exist on premises or off premises.They are owned and managed by the organization, and also offer restricted access controls as well as the opportunity for users to to provision their own services. The private cloud seems to be the best option both for enterprises and for government, who are often concerned about security and access control of their information
- Hybrid Cloud: A hybrid cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more clouds (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability such as “cloud bursting” for load-balancing between clouds.