Using Cloud based storage services

Cloud computing has become a ubiquitous term for holding data or accessing applications over the internet. This paper considers the use of cloud storage services and how to ensure that the data remains secure and available.

Wireless future: Cloud storage could help images such as this a thing of the past.
Wireless future: Cloud storage could help images such as this a thing of the past.

The term "cloud" is used to describe the provision of a number of different things ranging from data storage space, computing power, through to full blown business applications.

In many respects, Cloud is becoming the norm for new IT environments and expanding existing ones. It is a method of data storage where the digital data is stored in physical storage environments owned and managed by a hosting company that provides the storage as a service to its customers.

This briefing paper considers the use of cloud data storage services, primarily in the context of geospatial applications. It explains why cloud storage should be considered and how to plan your service to suit your requirements, including a breakdown of issues such as:

  • Initial set up;
  • Long term data availability;
  • Speed of access;
  • Disaster recovery;
  • Data confidentiality;
  • User access; and
  • Network and Resilience requirements.

The volumes of digital data to be stored are growing exponentially. Geospatial applications will constitute a big part of this, with tools and initiatives such as Smart Cities and Smart Infrastructure having potential to create large amounts of automatically captured data.

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