Cloud Storage is a form of networked online storage where data is stored in virtualized pools of storage. 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 and multiple locations. Cloud storage services may be accessed through a web service application programming interface (API) or by applications that utilize the API, such as cloud desktop storage, a cloud storage gateway or Web-based content management systems.
Hybrid cloud storage is a type of cloud storage model that derives and combines the functionality of public and private cloud storage models to provide storage services. This storage technique uses internal and external cloud applications, infrastructure and storage systems to form integrated storage architecture.
Hybrid cloud storage overcomes the problems of managing data and storage by integrating on-premises storage with cloud storage services. In this architecture, on-premises storage uses the capacity on internal SSDs and HDDs, as well on the expanded storage resources that are provided by cloud storage. A key element of the architecture is that the distance over which data is stored is extended far beyond the on-premises data center, thereby providing disaster protection.
Cloud Storage Provider's on-premise storage components vary widely in architecture, functionality, cloud integration and form factors. There are huge differences between what are called cloud storage gateways and cloud-integrated storage. Gateways provide an access point from on-premises to cloud data transfers, whereas cloud-integrated storage is an automated solution to some of IT’s biggest problems such as managing data growth, backup and recovery, archiving data and disaster preparation.
Cloud-integrated storage (CiS), like Microsoft’s recent StorSimple acquisition, is a full-featured on-premises storage system that integrates with the cloud (i.e. Windows Azure Storage). Enterprises can create a complete hybrid cloud storage architecture where they store their data locally and protect it with snapshots on-premises and in the cloud, and where dormant data can be seamlessly tiered to the cloud to make room for new data locally. This way, CiS gives IT an automated “safety valve” to prevent running out of disk capacity, while also providing rapid disaster recovery via cloud snapshots.