The terms cloud computing, cloud storage and cloud service provider are now a part of everyday language when talking about data storage solutions. They are often used as a means of backing up files from your computer onto a remote storage server which is maintained by the cloud service provider. Software will be installed on the computers you want data to be backed up from, with files in selected folders automatically updated onto the cloud server.
One of the most common uses of cloud storage is for sharing data with other members of you working team, clients and even as a means of distributing a file by providing a link which can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Such a service can be used for example, to synchronize changes in office documents which are being edited by multiple users, or as a means of sharing source code for large programming projects.
If you have sensitive data, one of the key issues is to ensure that all data placed on a server outside your direct control is protected by security, usually in the form of data encryption using a key which is provided when the service is set up. It is important that this key is never lost, because without it you will be unable to access your data which is stored on the secure cloud storage.
Cloud storage servers are part of major data centres, also providing web hosting services, for which multiple levels of redundancy are used, including backup servers, failover systems as well as enterprise RAID data storage systems. This ensures that a failure of the service is extremely rare. As robust as these systems are designed to be, problems can occur, although these are usually as a result of human error, such as misconfiguring a server or backup schedule, or accidentally deleting the wrong server object during maintenance.
When a problem does occur it is critical that the service is returned to full working order as quickly as possible. DiskEng have developed data recovery techniques which will allow them to work on-site or undertake an evaluation of the problem remotely, in order to speed up the process. This also allows recovered data to be restored directly to a server using their internal network, rather than sending data which would need to be copied once it arrives.