The Nebulous Cloud Isn't So Nebulous: Redefining Cloud Storage Services For Those That Are Still Confused
When "the Cloud" was introduced, it was this vast data library in a virtual space that had limited access. It was difficult to wrap one's brain around something that had zero physical substance, but there it was. Most people have always assumed that the cloud was this vast, nebulous virtual space wherein everyone had their own little secret section of "drawers" to store data.
Concerns about being able to cross over into other people's cloud storage were quickly dismissed when it was proven that it was not possible to access anyone else's storage "drawers" without the correct password and IP address. Now, when people ask, "Which cloud storage provider you use?", some people are still confused because there has always been the general assumption that cloud storage was all one provider. The following should help clarify things better in regards to the cloud and cloud Providers.
There are actually multiple "clouds." Each of these clouds is created from one of three different means: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. SaaS is cloud computing via a software program/connection. PaaS is "Platform as a Service," which means that you have to access the Cloud through a specific platform.
Then, there is IaaS, or "Internet as a Service," which gives you direct access to cloud storage without needing a software program or requiring you to use a specific platform. Depending on which type of cloud storage you choose to use, your cloud will not be connected to any cloud using other types of storage formats.
Separate Clouds Within Clouds
Let's say that your employer opts to use cloud storage in IaaS. Your employer purchases "x" number of gigabytes of cloud storage based on expected needs and use. Only the GB purchased and assigned to your employer's company are accessible to employees for company purposes. Everyone who has access has to have a password and company-assigned username so that only the company's cloud storage can be accessed. You cannot access any other company's IaaS cloud without their usernames and passwords and without knowing exactly what Cloud provider that the company uses.
Because of the three different cloud storage delivery means, there are numerous providers. Many of these providers are associated with well-known email and web browser companies. There are at least fifteen leading providers offering cloud services and cloud storage. If you need cloud storage for personal or professional use, start with a cloud storage provider.