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Smart Ways to Solve Your Company's Storage Problem

Generating data streams does not help much if you can not store them somewhere. The most obvious solution is, of course, to multiply storage units, such as the hard disks in computers.

The Advent of the Cloud

Before the advent of the cloud, many companies have equipped themselves with storage centers. The function of these private centers is now being questioned. Their use, often limited to the management of the data of a single company, raises the problem of under-exploitation.

Between installation, maintenance, and consumption of electricity, datacenters are genuine financial chasms. The result is counterproductive IT services. Another disadvantage of traditional storage centers is they do not adapt to the changing needs of the company.

Data Security

The question of data security and confidentiality arises especially as most cloud providers, such as Amazon, are under the US flag. They are therefore subject to the Patriot Act. This law, adopted by the United States in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, empowers the federal government to access data hosted on a US company's server, regardless of the country where the server is installed. This is a right that worries some users.

With the large masses of data, we have seen the appearance of specific solutions that exploit the massive parallelism, with new models of programming this parallelization. This task is all the more thorny as the data is not only very numerous, but also heterogeneous and dynamic. That's why new ways of storing information have emerged, especially under the impulse of internet giants, which have to keep track of billions of web pages.

Clouds offer a centralized entry point that makes them vulnerable to attacks by hackers. And because many sites offer single access control for all their services, such as e-mail, calendar and access to documents, a successful attack can do a lot of damage. To counter this kind of threat, research focuses on detecting attacks before they occur and on the partitioning of data.

The more you want to go fast, the more you hire workers, but the more complex their coordination becomes. In other words, stacking storage systems is not enough, it is also necessary to optimize the way they work together. Everywhere in the world there are larger and larger datacenters while researchers are inventing new storage methods.

Data Centers

Everywhere on the planet there are these data centers, where massively parallel computing and storage systems are installed. Access to these centers is via a private network or the internet. It is a cloud that lets you temporarily or permanently rent space and even computing time. This is called cloud computing.

Cloud Computing

The advantage of this IT solution is that it can be cost effective for users who only pay for what they really need. These services may interest companies for non-strategic data, but it is difficult to have confidence in this system. Amazon has already experienced a breakdown such that data could not be recovered.

It is on this model that Amazon's elastic cloud of computing works, a service targeted primarily at enterprises or more general public services such as Google Apps and Apple iCloud for computer users, tablets and telephones. Most of the time, servers store data legibly, and people who manage these servers have access to information from their clients.

In fact, the development of the cloud is still subject to many reservations. Many companies are reluctant to use them for confidentiality reasons. To solve this problem, it would be enough, for example, to encrypt the data at the customer before sending it to the cloud. There is research going on to develop this type of solution, but it makes it more complex to access data, increases computation time and costs.