Data storage is undeniably crucial for businesses in all industries and at different stages of development. Whether it’s financial reports, sales data, or customer information, all these pieces of information are sensitive and vital. Therefore, it is imperative for enterprises to securely store their data in a reliable storage.
Advantages and Challenges of Centralized Cloud Storage
Advancements in storage technology have transformed storage systems from traditional and cumbersome paper-based methods to today’s more flexible, efficient, and customizable digital solutions. As businesses expand, the volume of data generated, processed internally, and accessed externally keeps growing. This escalating data volume leads to increased complexities in storage, processing, analysis, and retrieval. Centralized storage solutions leverage internet connectivity, allowing users to store data and enjoy remote access from any location. These solutions offer seamless cross-device accessibility, quick mobility, deployment, as well as data processing functionalities like backup, updates, and downloads. However, businesses should be prepared to pay for the storage services and space they utilize. Additionally, apart from the rising costs of storage, centralized cloud storage systems most businesses rely on face other critical challenges:
Lack of Ownership and Control
In centralized storage systems, a company’s data is stored on the host’s central server, giving the host the power to monitor, review, and potentially disclose the data to third parties. As a result, businesses lose control and customization over their data storage settings. This lack of control and customization becomes an inconvenience for large enterprises with complex data requirements.
Data Leakage and Security Risks
In recent years, data breaches have affected nearly all industries. Centralized cloud servers are typically located in a single region, making them vulnerable to power failures that can paralyze the entire network and result in the loss of unsaved data blocks.
Increased Storage Costs
While centralized storage systems eliminate the need for companies to invest in servers and costly infrastructure, they come with their own drawbacks. Cloud service providers often impose high charges for bandwidth transfer and data security. Moreover, the expenses associated with hiring experts or migrating between cloud providers can be significant. This has led many business owners to express frustration over the allocation of 30% of their cloud computing budget to wasteful expenses. Citing from The Flexera 2023 State of the Cloud Report.
Unstable Transfer Speed in Remote Areas
Due to the geographical placement of centralized servers in remote areas, far from users and businesses, the distance factor significantly hampers transfer speed. This limitation can hinder efficient data transmission and accessibility.
Undoubtedly, we must recognize the inherent necessity and innovation behind the widespread adoption of centralized cloud storage in the industry’s evolutionary stages. To this day, centralized cloud storage continues to cater to the storage demands of billions of mainstream users and large-scale enterprises, providing the benefits of high performance and cost-effectiveness.
Advantages and Challenges of Decentralized Cloud Storage
Enterprises worldwide are in search of alternative storage solutions that are faster, more secure, privacy-centric, and cost-effective to meet their ever-growing data storage needs. In Web3, businesses have stricter requirements based on the industry’s unique data characteristics that render centralized cloud storage inadequate. Decentralized cloud storage emerges as a vital infrastructure in the Web3 ecosystem, offering a competitive and Web3-compatible solution. As pioneers in decentralized cloud storage, CESS explores and pushes the boundaries of existing technologies, addressing the demand for high-frequency dynamic data storage in the Web3 landscape. CESS provides decentralized full-stack solutions, catering to diverse user groups, including large institutions, enterprise-level applications, and individual users.
Enhanced Security and Reliability
In contrast to centralized cloud storage, where all files are stored in a single centralized system, decentralized cloud storage stores data on nodes across the globe in a distributed system. Security does not rely on any individual server but rather on each independent server, increasing reliability through redundancy and data preprocessing. The high level of security and data availability makes decentralized cloud storage an exceptional solution for storing personal and enterprise data. CESS’s robust layered architecture includes the blockchain, distributed storage, distributed content delivery, and application layer. By leveraging data sharding, cryptographic and other Web3 technologies, CESS ensures the secure storage of vast amounts of data.
Decentralized Control and Data Ownership
The infamous issue of data leaks and the scrutiny faced in traditional data storage systems stem from centralized control. In the current landscape of centralized cloud storage, users lack control over their data ownership and fail to benefit from the value generated by their personal data. CESS introduces the MDRC (Multi-Format Data Rights Confirmation) mechanism. During data upload, CESS storage miners preprocess the data by extracting digital fingerprints, placing them on-chain, and conducting fingerprint matching. The on-chain digital fingerprint serves as indisputable proof of data ownership, empowering data owners with full data rights within the CESS network and restoring data ownership to their hands.
Enhanced Privacy Protection and Access Management
Decentralized cloud storage prioritizes the security and privacy of user data through robust cryptographic measures, granting users control over their data privacy. In a remarkable innovation, CESS integrates Trusted Execution Environments (TEE) to ensure data processing takes place within the framework of the Proof of Data Reduplication and Recovery (PoDR²) mechanism. This comprehensive approach encompasses encryption, storage proof, decryption, and other critical processes, offering airtight confidentiality and ensuring data integrity. With these advanced measures in place, CESS effectively safeguards both data security and privacy.
CESS pioneers DeOSS (Decentralized Object Storage Service), a decentralized, object-based storage solution designed to meet the needs of users requiring fast, secure, scalable, and privacy-enhanced storage for their dynamic data. With DeOSS, users can securely and selectively share their data in real-time, while maintaining control over privacy permissions. The privacy management features of DeOSS ensure that users can choose to keep their data public, private, or selectively shared, depending on their desired level of privacy.
Unleashing the Potential of Web3 Storage for a Thriving Data Economy
While the centralized storage market has reached maturity, decentralized storage is still in its nascent stage. After elaborating on the aforementioned advantages of decentralized cloud storage, we find that these benefits effectively address the challenges faced by centralized storage. Nevertheless, it is crucial to recognize that decentralized cloud storage encounters continuous technological advancements, iterative enhancements in performance, scalability, and the overcoming of significant entry barriers and participation hurdles.
However, decentralized cloud storage continues to exhibit an unstoppable growth momentum. By returning data ownership to users and bolstering data security and privacy, it fosters the formation of the data value chain and propels the advancement of the digital economy.
For users, conventional centralized storage solutions solely offer storage capabilities, often at the expense of data security and control, and with additional costs. Yet, as the value of data steadily rises, data storage is evolving into an industry value chain, granting users not only ownership but also the ability to trade their data. CESS actively supports and enables the monetization and circulation of data, empowering users to transfer data ownership securely without exposing private keys or data content, thanks to the implementation of proxy re-encryption technology. This empowers every user to fully embrace the inherent value of their data.