Cloud storage refers to saving data to an off-site storage system maintained by a third party and can be accessed through the internet or a wide area network (WAN) connection accessed through the internet or a wide area network (WAN) connection. Instead of storing information to your computer's hard drive or other local storage device, you save it to a remote database. The Internet provides the connection between your computer and the database.

Cloud storage has several advantages over traditional data storage. For example, if you store your data on a cloud storage system, you'll be able to get to that data from any location that has Internet access. You wouldn't need to carry around a physical storage device or use the same computer to save and retrieve your information. With the right storage system, you could even allow other people to access the data, turning a personal project into a collaborative effort. Also, with cloud storage, you only pay for the storage you actually use. You don't need to install physical storage devices in your own datacenter or offices, which reduces IT and hosting costs.

One of the primary attributes, and successes, of existing cloud-based services on the market comes from the fact that self-service portals and deployment models shield the complexity of the cloud service from the end user. This helps by driving adoption and by decreasing operating costs as the majority of the management is offloaded to the end user. Within the self-service portal, the consumer of the service should be able to manage their own virtual datacenter, create and launch templates, manage their virtual storage, compute and network resources and access image libraries to get their services up and running quickly. Similarly, administrator interfaces must provide a single pane view into all of the physical resources, virtual machine instances, templates, service offerings, and multiple cloud users. On top of core interfaces, all of these features need to be interchangeable to developers and 3rd parties through common API.

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