Mobile Cloud Storage

Mobile cloud storage is a form of cloud storage that applies to storing an individual’s mobile device data in the cloud and providing the individual with access to the data from anywhere. Mobile cloud storage additionally facilitates syncing and sharing data across multiple devices such as mobile phones and tablet computers. Mobile cloud storage is also sometimes referred to as cloud storage on the go, personal cloud storage or pocket cloud storage.

What are examples of cloud storage?

Examples of popular mobile cloud storage include Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon S3, and IBM Cloud Storage. Over 92% of organizations are already at least partially in the cloud, with the market expected to continue growing through 2026.

Who is mobile cloud storage for and how is it used?

Mobile cloud storage is used by individuals and businesses alike to ensure that large volumes of data are secure, accessible from anywhere, and synced across devices.

Businesses especially benefit from the ability to store and transfer vast amounts of data. Storage in the cloud supports access by remote workers, analysis, backup and redundancy, cost savings, security, and disaster recovery. Storing important data in the cloud can give businesses operational flexibility and decrease risk and costs.

How does mobile cloud storage work?

In the mobile cloud storage model, data is stored remotely on servers rather than at home or on a business’s premises. The data can then be transferred through the internet on an as-needed basis and accessed by connected devices including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Storage can be specialized for certain types of files or usage, such as for music files or for analysis, or it can be more generalized. The three main types of storage include block, file, and object storage. Data can also be stored in a public, private, or hybrid storage cloud.

Servers can either be dedicated for greater security and performance or virtual to increase efficiency and economy. Storage can also be proprietary or open source. Open-source storage may allow greater administrative and security controls with decreased costs, but it sacrifices the convenience of proprietary storage.

What are the key features and benefits of mobile cloud storage?

Mobile cloud storage comes with some possible risks and downsides, such as the hacking of mass storage facilities or mobile devices, performance issues such as latency or server downtime, and an inability to comply with regulatory requirements in certain industries. However, reputable providers minimize these risks while maximizing the benefits below.

Availability

Data can be accessed from anywhere with internet connection and instantly synced across devices with minimal server downtime. Vast amounts of data can be stored with almost unlimited capacity for instant scaling.

Lower costs

Mobile cloud storage decreases costs by eliminating the need for on-site storage and IT expertise and only requiring the use of thin clients for data access. Meanwhile, subscription models spread costs more evenly over time and make them more predictable. Storage costs based on usage can also be more cost-efficient for users.

Risk mitigation

Data stored in the cloud can be used as a backup for local storage. Data can also be duplicated and automatically backed up for storage on multiple servers and in multiple geographic locations to prevent data loss and increase availability. This also facilitates disaster recovery in the event of a natural disaster, cyberattack, human error, or other catastrophes.

Security

Mobile cloud storage can prevent unauthorized access through administrative permissions, authentication procedures, removal of data from local premises, and more. Security can be more specialized and comprehensive than any individual or business can provide itself.

Mobile cloud storage providers

Personal and business mobile storage

Google Drive.

Google Drive offers both personal and business plans, including free and paid tiers. All plans offer file storage that syncs files and media across devices, but business plans allow for expanded storage capacity, collaboration, and integration with Google Workspace and a variety of popular third-party applications.

Dropbox also offers personal and business plans, including free and paid tiers, file storage, and syncing. Business plans feature expanded capacity, collaboration, and integration with third-party applications. Due to its “block-level” synchronization that syncs only changes to files rather than whole files, Dropbox syncs faster than file-level alternatives.

icloud icon.

iCloud is specifically designed for users to store and sync files within the Apple ecosystem. It offers relatively low capacity for the largest available plans. In 2021, Apple rolled out the beta version of Apple Business Essentials targeting the storage and syncing needs of small businesses using an Apple ecosystem.

Onedrive Icon.

Microsoft OneDrive provides file storage and synchronization for users in a Microsoft ecosystem. Personal and business plans both include options for just storage and syncing, or for expanded file sharing and collaboration through integration with other Microsoft applications.

Mobile cloud storage for businesses

AWS logo.

Amazon S3 is designed for use by developers. Amazon S3’s object-level storage is especially suited for business due to being easier to store and analyze large volumes of data, near-unlimited and instant scaling, and fees based on actual data storage, transfer, and usage, rather than flat monthly fees.

IBM logo.

IBM Cloud Storage offers object, block, and file storage for a diverse variety of digital assets. The storage environment is highly customizable based on business needs. IBM Cloud offers a Content Delivery Network (CDN) based on mass storage servers situated in strategic global locations.

microsoft azure logo.

Microsoft Azure offers file, disk, and scalable block blob storage that requires no coding experience. Its large array of related products include quickly spinning up virtual machines for expanded availability, Azure Kubernetes Service for simplified deployment, and platforms for application development. Pricing is based on usage.

Recommended Reading: Webopedia’s Cloud Computing Dictionary Resource and Cloud Computing Security Challenges.

This article was reviewed and extensively updated in February 2022 by Lucas Ledbetter.
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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