In today’s digital age, public cloud storage services have become a key method of global data management. Cloud storage platforms allow individuals, small businesses, and large enterprises to store, access, and share vast amounts of data in a secure and scalable environment. Alongside enhanced data management capabilities, public cloud storage services have removed the need for physical storage and provided users with on-demand accessibility.
Public cloud storage services come with a host of advantages. They easily scale either up or down to meet demand, are more cost-effective than traditional on-site storage solutions, and enable easy access to data. They also tend to come with strong security features (like data encryption, access controls, and backup options) to keep your data safe while it’s stored in the cloud. Companies should look for a cloud storage solution that offer high availability, multi-regional storage options, automated data backup, and seamless integration with other cloud-native tools and services.
We’ve created a buyer’s guide featuring some of the top public cloud storage solutions currently available; in each case we’ll highlight their key features and use-cases. Read on for an introduction on public cloud storage solutions, how they work, and some key features to consider when choosing a solution.
Everything You Need To Know About Public Cloud Storage Services(FAQs)
What Is Public Cloud Storage?
To understand public cloud storage, we need to talk about public clouds. A public cloud is an IT model where public cloud service providers make computing services—such as compute and storage, applications, and cloud environments—available to organizations and individuals over the public internet. This is usually offered as a pay-as-you-go, on-demand service.
Public cloud storage is a cloud-based service model that provides data storage on a pay-per-use basis. It’s used as an effective alternative to on-premises solutions, which can be cumbersome, expensive, and require a high level of maintenance to install and run.
How Does Public Cloud Storage Work?
The public cloud is an IT environment that is hosted entirely virtually, offering services to companies and users through the internet. A third-party provider will host scalable, on-demand IT resources, and deliver them to users either over the public internet or a dedicated network. Public cloud storage providers offer on-demand storage units via the public cloud. This has a range of benefits; ultimately, it allows organizations to store their data more easily. Storage services are usually offered via a subscription, pay-as-you-go service, and can be scaled up or down easily. Public cloud storage also offers a more manageable and accessible way to store data as opposed to storing data on-premises. Users can upload and access data either through a web portal, browser, or mobile app via an application programming interface (API).
On the vendor side, remote physical servers are used to save data. These servers are usually placed strategically and globally, with vendors using multiple data centers to ensure high availability of data, low latency, and reduced redundancy. Users can upload data to virtual machines on these physical servers.
What Features Should You Look For In A Public Cloud Storage Solution?
Here are some of the key features to look for when choosing a public cloud storage solution:
- Document Collaboration: This feature allows teams to collaborate in real-time on files and be able to view the most recent and updated document in one space, with any changes being automatically saved.
- File Versioning: This feature is particularly helpful as it allows for multiple versions of a file to exist in storage, meaning that if part of it is accidentally deleted, it can be restored.
- Server Locations: When assessing a public cloud storage solution, it’s important to check where the vendor’s servers are based. The closer you are to a datacenter, the more benefits you can get out of it–such as a reduction in latency and higher app availability.
- User Friendly: As your public cloud storage solution won’t just be used by your team, but your users as well, it needs to be user-friendly and accessible for both groups. The interface should be easy to navigate, and it should be straightforward to upload and retrieve documents and files.
- Encryption: Encryption is a key feature in ensuring your data stays safe. Encryption should be applied to data while it is at rest and in transit. Most providers use TLS to encrypt files in transit and then AES encryption for when it is at rest.
- Access Controls: This feature needs to be highly granular and robust, with admins able to minutely control which user has access to what. These permissions should be carefully monitored and easily revoked when needed.
- Automatic Syncing: This feature ensures that all changes to a document can be unanimously synced across all storage units, ensuring the document saved in multiple locations is the most recent.
- Scalability: Organizations tend to amass a lot of documents, files, and data quite quickly. Solutions that are easily scalable are important as you will need a solution that can grow with your business.
- Backup And Recovery: Backup and recovery features should be robust, allowing for the easy recovery and restoration of lost or deleted files. Ideally, your solution should allow admins or users to retrieve lost, misplaced, or deleted files and be able to back up computers and connected drives.
- App Integrations: For a many organizations, having a solution that can integrate well with work-critical apps can strongly enhance workflows and productivity, making collaboration easier for creators and distributed teams. Look for solutions that offer app integrations with popular app providers.
- File Requests: This feature can be used to submit work for review or send documents for signatures when required.