A Cloud NAS (network attached storage) is remote storage that is accessed over the Internet as if it was local. The storage is usually hosted by a third-party service provider, who charges the customer a fee based on capacity and bandwidth but also used for backups and archiving. In the enterprise, the off-site storage might be proprietary, but the chargeback method would be similar.
A simple example of a well-known cloud in the world of computing is Dropbox or Google Drive. If you use these products to upload, store and retrieve data, then you know what a cloud is without realizing it. More specifically, clouds are networks of servers connected together in a way that allows centralized data storage and access to various services and resources. There are many kinds of clouds, but the two basic categories of cloud are public and private.
The well known private type of cloud is a network-attached storage (NAS) device-based cloud – the Seagate® Personal Cloud Home Media Storage device is a great example. A NAS device acts as a central secure location where you can backup or store and access your files. You can connect with a variety of devices such as media players, gaming consoles and smart TVs. Unlike desktops and laptops, a NAS device offers a simple OS that focuses on doing a small subset of tasks as efficiently and securely as possible. The streamlined OS makes a NAS easy to set up, and the device’s flexibility allows for a wide variety of activities – you can even share a printer through a NAS.
The benefit of any type of cloud is the potential for the data it stores to be accessed at all times. Whether you’re using massive storage servers to host a cloud like Facebook, or a NAS device for your small business or home, immediate access to your data is important. Using a handheld device and any available Internet connection, cloud solutions make it possible for you to access your data right away from anywhere. The main drawback, however, is that the data transfer rate (DTR) is only as fast as the network connection the data is accessed over.