What is Cloud Storage?
This is a model where cloud service providers provide remote storage systems where data can be transmitted, stored, and also accessed remotely whenever needed. This is achieved through a network provided. The network can either be public or private.
The data is maintained and managed by the cloud service provider and is made available on an on-demand basis. This offers elasticity and scalability that is much needed by growing businesses.
How does cloud storage work?
Just like the traditional methods of data storage, cloud storage stores data on servers. The difference is the servers are at an off-site location and most use virtual machines hosted on a physical server and mostly in multiple locations.
As your storage needs as a company increase, the cloud service provider to meet your increased demand for storage space, creates new virtual servers to meet your demand.
You connect to cloud storage either through the internet or a private connection using a website, a web portal, or a mobile application.
Types of cloud storage
Cloud storage is available in three forms namely:
- Public cloud storage
This is a model where you connect to a storage cloud that is run and maintained by the cloud provider and used by other multiple users. You can also access the services remotely from anywhere and just from any device, just as the other users can.
- Private cloud storage
This model is almost similar to the public cloud storage only that here the storage can be made in-house in your network or the cloud service provider can build a private cloud that you only can access with a private connection.
Organizations with sensitive data such as banks prefer this model.
- Hybrid cloud storage
This model combines both public and private cloud storage elements and gives users choice to choose which data to store in public clouds and which data to store in private clouds.
Ways in which Data is stored in cloud storage
There are three main ways in which data is stored in cloud storage namely:
- Block storage
Block storage was traditionally used in SANs. In this model, data is organized in volumes called blocks, each representing a separate hard drive. Cloud storage providers split large amounts of data using blocks.
Due to its low IO latency, it provides better performance, especially for large databases and applications.
- File storage
In this model, data is stored in the file and folder structure that is hierarchical and which most of us are familiar with. Data remains in its original format and the hierarchy makes retrieving and finding files easy when needed.
- Object storage
This model is different from both the file and block storage. Here data is stored as objects and kept in separate storehouses. It is then bundled with metadata and a unique identifier for ease of retrieval and access. It is preferred for the storage of large and unstructured data.
Cloud storage considerations
Before adopting cloud storage a company should make several considerations to gauge whether it will bring efficiency to operations.
- Compare the costs of managing the storage in-house versus the cost of using a cloud storage service provider.
- Determine if there will additional costs for appropriate access to the cloud service.
- Determine if cloud storage will provide adequate data governance and security.
- Come up with an in-house strategy for cloud security.
Advantages of cloud storage
- It is on a pay-as-you-go basis
- Utility billing
- Global availability
- Ease of use
Disadvantages of cloud storage
- Data security can be at risk.
- Cost can be high if a company wants to store large amounts of data and frequently moves data back and forth from the cloud to on-premises systems.
Let’s now look at Cloud Firestore and see how it differs from Cloud Storage.
What is a cloud firestore?
This is a cloud-based NoSQL database server that stores and syncs data. It can interact directly with the web and mobile apps using native SDKs. Moreover, it is a high-performance database that supports automatic scaling.
It is a database for mobile and web applications chosen mainly for its scalability and flexibility. More importantly, it also offers real-time synchronization of data and offers offline support.
Cloud firestore is Firebase and Google cloud platform combined.
How does Cloud Firestore work
Cloud firestore is a NoSQL database that is cloud-based that provides access to iOS, Android, and web applications through native SDKs.
It has a data model that lets you store data in documents. The documents contain fields corresponding to values. The document is stored in a collection that serves as a document container that organizes data and creates queries.
Cloud firestore queries are flexible and highly expressive and let you:
- Use flat queries
- Manipulate results
- Add cursors
- Add real-time listeners
In cloud firestore, many data types are supported by the documents from simple strings and numbers to complex nested objects.
Key features of Cloud Firestore
- Built for native cloud applications
- ACID Transaction
- Multi-region Replication
- Auto Scaling
- Offline mode
- Serverless development
- Powerful query engine
Advantages of cloud firestore
- Offers offline synchronization
One can store data offline and once connectivity is back sync it.
- Can be integrated seamlessly with firebase and google cloud
Being an integral part of firebase and google platform, it works seamlessly with them. This gives one the advantage of enjoying the benefits of both firebase and google cloud.
- Serverless and scalable architecture.
Negates setting up a server and data access management which makes work easier for programmers.
- Improved querying compared to a real-time database.
By supporting indexed queries, users can in a single query sort, combine, and create filter functions.
- Pay by the usage
You only pay for the server resources that you use making it cost-effective.
Disadvantages of cloud firestore
- Limited data migration
- Platform dependence
- Android centered
- Less support for iOS
Being a hybrid of the Google Cloud Platform and Firebase, Firestore brings the best from the two and puts them under one roof. The robust performance, advanced functionalities, and the many benefits it brings to the table make it a terrific product for both developers and their clients.
To know more about Cloud Storage and Cloud Firestore, connect with cloud app development company!