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  • Arjun Patil

Decentralized Storage Vs Centralized Storage? Is Decentralized Storage The Future?

The Decentralized data storage methods have gone through a drastic transformation in the last century. We started with punch cards in the 1700s and reached cloud storage in the 2000s. However, the majority of the developments belong to the last 60 years. This article takes you through the history of data storage devices, why data storage is a big issue and the differences between centralized & decentralized storage.

The market size of cloud storage

Data storage methods are constantly evolving. Punch cards were the first method of data storage for machine language. In the 1960s punch cards were replaced with magnetic strips that could store more data in smaller sizes. Subsequently, vacuum tubes were also in use. Later the storage devices advanced further and semiconductors, magnetic disc storage, hard disk drives (HDD), optical discs, flash drives, and solid-state drives (SSD) were developed and brought into use. The latest developments in data storage technologies are data silos, data lakes, and cloud storage.

With every advancement in data storage technology, the cost of storage per unit was drastically decreased. In contrast, the data processing speed increased multifold. Hence, the current world is storing and processing more data than ever before. Therefore, more research and improved business decision-making.

Fortune Business Insights Report. Global Cloud Storage Market In Billions USD
Global Cloud Storage Market In Billions USD

Fortune Business Insights reports that the market size of cloud storage was $61 billion which is estimated to be $390 billion by 2028 growing over a CAGR of 26.2%.

What does data storage mean & it is important?

As you must have heard the statement ‘data is the new oil’. This one statement shows the importance of data, therefore data must be managed carefully. Data storage is the archiving of information in electromagnetic or other forms for use by a computer or device. Storage systems may utilize electromagnetic, optical, or other media to store and restore data as necessary. IBM refers to data storage as “magnetic, optical or mechanical media that records and preserves digital information for ongoing or future operations”.

Businesses need the information to make data-backed decisions. Therefore, the data must be stored in a structured format that will facilitate the retrieval and analysis. Further, the data storage medium must be easily accessible, easy to use, reliable, and secure. Most of the big companies are spending a fortune on managing their data. Some of them have in-house data storage facilities while some outsource data storage to centralized cloud services.

The 2020 Data Attack Surface Report by Arcserve predicts that by 2025, the world will have 200 zettabytes (ZB) of storage out of which 100 zettabytes of data will be stored in clouds. To give you a better perspective of data measurement terms, a zettabyte is equal to 1 trillion gigabytes.

What is centralized storage?

Centralized storage is a type of database in which data is maintained and stored in a single location. It is the storage of files, data, and databases that are shared between servers over a network. Additionally, the data is modified and managed in a single database, which may be a centralised computer or a database system. In today's competitive and demanding market, the concept of centralised data management offers numerous opportunities that are essential for any business. Important data can be accessed quickly and easily from almost anywhere in the world via file sharing. The relative mobility and control of data can increase the effectiveness of a company's workflow.

Statistics of centraliised data storage
Statistics of centralized cloud storage services

Most used centralised cloud storage services

A research paper suggests a centralized approach is more suitable for a data quality strategy that emphasises data standards, common metadata management and data quality control, and a reduction in replicated (and inconsistent) functionality supporting data quality. However, because all activity is managed by the centralised environment, there is a possibility that alternative demands for application functionality support or other system requirements will be given a higher priority than addressing data quality issues.

what are threats to centralised cloud storage services
Threads to centralised cloud storage services

Threats to centralised cloud storage services

What is decentralized storage

This is a data storage system in which information is stored in multiple databases located in distinct physical locations, but which are interconnected. Decentralized cloud storage represents a transition from a location-centric to a content-centric perspective. It also enables businesses to assess the credibility of information from multiple sources.

Decentralized storage is based on a democratic principle in which data storage is not centralised in the hands of a few tech titans. Multiple nodes disperse the system's load, resulting in a high-performance capability. The data in decentralised storage is encrypted, fragmented, and then distributed across a global network of multiple hosting nodes (computers). Hence, the data is more secure.

Centralized Storage vs Decentralized Storage

A detailed comparison of centralized and decentralized storage is given below in a tabular form.

Decentralised storage vs centralised storage comparison
Decentralised storage vs centralised storage comparison

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