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Storage needs of general users (people who simply store files into storage) are not similar to

that of system developers who deploy or develop the applications. Their requirements vary in

type of uses, frequency of access, data transfer rate and others. Cloud services deliver storage

systems to fulfill requirements of both types of users.

General users (who are actually end users of computing) want to store their files and folders in

ready-to-use storage spaces (like formatted pen drive or external hard disk). Their requirements

can be fulfilled through personal file hosting services where users can store their files.


Specialized users or developers need different kind of storage services where they would be

able to control the storage system on their own. Simple file hosting facility would not serve their

purpose as they will deploy applications or even perform application development tasks using

the storage service. So, they would like to have full control over the system. Unlike general

purpose storage system (the file hosting storage) where files once stored remain unaltered for a

long period of time, this kind of specialized storage system is accessed frequently by the users.

Cloud storage is categorized according to the purpose of use such as general storage

purpose or computing system development purpose.

13.6.1 Managed and Unmanaged Cloud Storage

The general purpose and the specialized cloud storage systems are also characterized as

unmanaged and managed storages respectively. They are managed and unmanaged in the sense

whether users or consumers get the chance of managing the storage or not. Managed storage

system provides raw disk like facility to users. User can divide or format the storage spaces as

per their requirements and can also install the software. This type of storages is mainly meant

for computing system developers.

Unmanaged cloud storage is like ready-to-use disk drive. Users directly get storage capacity

available for use. All of the primary disk management tasks like partitioning, formatting and

else are managed by the vendors or service providers. Since users of such storage need not to

worry about managing the storage space, it is called as unmanaged storage. Here, users have

very little control. Storage provider decides the nature of the storage and applications through

which the space can be accessed.

Unlike managed storages which provide raw storage space, the unmanaged storages provide

pre-configured storage space. User can use it, but cannot separate or format as they like, or

cannot even install any application in it. The other attributes or capabilities of the storage space

(like encryption or compression) are also pre-configured and set by the provider. However,

unmanaged storage is easy to work with and relatively cheap. Users can utilize unmanaged

storage service for file hosting purpose where they can store their files. Unmanaged storages

are used independently irrespective of any virtual machines. But managed cloud storage can

function as a part of some virtual machine owned by the consumers.

Managed cloud storages are delivered as Infrastructure-as-a-Service, whereas unmanaged

storages are delivered as Software-as-a-Service.

Note: It may be little misleading as the terms managed and unmanaged often are used to

recognize two different types of cloud storages. They do not go along with the cloud computing

Cloud Storage

General Purpose Storage

(for end users)

Specialized Storage

(for system and application developers)

FIG 13.3: Types of cloud storage delivery233

File System and Storage

jargons where the service delivery models are generally identified as fully-managed offerings.

Any facility offered directly as cloud service to the consumer is considered as fully-managed

since consumers need not to worry about the back-end administration of the service and is

fully-managed by the provider. On the contrary, the term ‘managed storage’ represents the storage type that users can manage on their own.

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