What is public cloud? And what are public cloud storage services?

public cloud storage service
One of the most common type of cloud services used today, is based on the public cloud service model.

With public cloud, customers can store, upload and download data and files publicly. In this way, data can be shared with anybody online, and it is intended as such. Through using a public cloud service, businesses can not only safely store and access their non-sensitive data, such as public commercial data; but they can also provide them as a file delivery service (download) to their customers. For example, company's internal personnel such as agents or employees can access public data in their company's library, stored in a public cloud, for example datasheets, technical manuals, news, various PDF files and so on.

There are plenty of services of this kind available to the public; for example Google Cloud Storage, Microsoft Azure and Amazon S3. Apart from the three market leaders mentioned here, there are countless other cloud providers that offer similar services, of all sizes, from large cloud providers to small, niched cloud storage providers as well.

One of the most well-known public cloud storage service is Amazon Simple Storage Service, also known in short as Amazon S3. Through the Amazon S3 service, data is stored into containers known as “buckets” and can be accessed by anyone, unless access is otherwise protected. It is to be said though that certain businesses often fail to understand and manage properly their public S3 buckets and from time to time a bucket containing private customer data is exposed, creating massive data breaches for that particular company. To be clear, these are public buckets and no private, sensitive data should be stored in this way.

Public cloud storage is also often used similar to, or creating a CDN. Depending on the web application used by the company who owns the data, different storage locations can be used to dynamically serve data to the end customer and various website visitors, using localized storage services, geographically as close as possible to the end user location. It is to be said that public cloud storage is most suitable for unstructured data, and storage can be spread across various continents, different regions or countries.

Public cloud storage has the main advantage of a logical pricing model. The pay-per-use model is the one mostly used for public cloud storage services, and it definitely makes a lot of sense - from the commercial standpoint. Customers pay for what they use, the amount of data they store and especially the network bandwidth used for upload and download, on a monthly basis or even on a per-hour or per-minute basis in some cases, depending on cloud provider's offerings. In the other articles we also talk about other services such as private and hybrid cloud storage, their pros and cons and some specifics.
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