Difference Between Centralized and Decentralized Cloud Storage System

CrossFi_Official
4 min readAug 23, 2022

One of the hotly debated blockchain use cases in the world is the issue of storage system. Storage, in this case, refers to the retention of accessible data on a laptop, desktop or any other electronic gadgets. Since we exist in the time and age where data (or information) is a valuable commodity as compared to money, and everyone wants a faster and more reliable medium to accessing data and therefore is swerving in great numbers towards decentralized storage which seems to mitigate a range of shortcomings faced by the traditional storage system.

The Growth of the Internet Storage System

Years in the past, when the idea of storage was still in its nascent stage, sharing of files was slow and laborious. To share or store contents, you had to input an external source like a floppy disk or a CD into your computer and transfer the data to it. But the evolution of the internet brought a major change to the game. Now it’s possible to access data with your computer or phone from anywhere in the world at any given time. You can just visit a website and download any file stored on the server.

The growth was quite immense: from a Web 1.0 model where you had to own and maintain your server to the “pay-as-you-use” model of Web 3.0. And recently, we have started using cloud services such as S3 that pose as a better scalable option to accommodate traffic for websites. Despite the internet’s revolutionary tract, there are quite a bunch of shortcomings that affect its current traditional storage system.

The Limitations of Traditional Cloud Storage

The current model of internet data storage can be referred to as traditional cloud storage. Since it runs on a centralized model, users who want to host data and websites on the internet are dependent on big players like Google, Amazon and Microsoft as

storage service providers. This model of storage was a quantum leap from the previous standard of storage on external hardwares which was neither scalable nor readily accessible.

Despite their mainstream adoption, traditional cloud storage providers have faced onslaughts from the public for its inflexible and expensive services due to lack of viable alternatives. One of the major concerns is that users are required to lose custodial authority of their data to these centralized data providers, relying on them to keep their data safe or keep their websites online. In this case, they are prone to many forms of censorship. Not to talk about how it’s susceptible to data mismanagement and hacking because of its single authority.

The Unsoiled Legacy of Decentralized Cloud Storage

Censorship and Monitoring

Since the internet currently works on a centralized model, there’s a risk of users facing forms of censorship. That said, decentralization can mitigate this problem with ease. For example, if you are in a country where Wikipedia or Google is blocked, you can still access such data via decentralized storage platforms. This is because users have custodial authority over their data and dictates how it’s being run.

Ownership

One of the biggest concerns of centralized cloud storage services is that the user hands over the control of the data to the third-party souvenirs, which means they also give up control of data they do not want to share. Most of these third parties who are keen to make profits might make hurting decisions that might affect your brand. Decentralized cloud storage gives back ownership of the data to the users.

Data Mismanagement

In traditional cloud storage systems, there are often cases of the third party mismanaging a client’s data. Take for escape, the recent case of Facebook’s design allowing an app developed by Aleksandr Kogan, a data scientist at Cambridge University, to not only access the personal information of the users but all their linked connections as well.

Or perhaps the popular case of media analytics company “Deep Roots Analytics,” using the Amazon cloud server to store information of 61% of the US population without any restriction.

Decentralized storage platforms make use of blockchain technology and decentralized protocols to break apart the users’ files and distribute them across multiple nodes on their network. Since the data is scattered across multiple nodes, there is no single point of failure. Hence, not only is your data secure from hacks and scams but data mismanagement is eliminated.

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