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Cloud storage is a model of networked online storage where data is stored in virtualized pools of storage which are generally hosted by third parties. Hosting companies operate large data centers, and people who require their data to be hosted buy or lease storage capacity from them. The data center operators, in the background, virtualize the resources according to the requirements of the customer and expose them as storage pools, which the customers can themselves use to store files or data objects. Physically, the resource may span across multiple servers.
Cloud storage services may be accessed through a web service application programming interface (API), a cloud storage gateway or through a Web-based user interface.
The cloud seems made for online storage. At its core, the cloud offers a nearly infinite space to store data, whether it's for backup, business continuity, disaster recovery or any of the other myriad purposes. And for solution providers, offering Storage-as-a-Service, or offering the ability to back up or store data via the Internet, is creating new business opportunities. The ability to dynamically expand or scale back storage capacity on demand is a powerful proposition, and solution providers and enterprises want to ensure they're trusting their data to the right cloud storage vendor.