Every company or individual, however big or small, require data storage. Data plays a vital role in the daily operations of systems in businesses or individual operations. The trends in data storage have evolved over the years, from paper storage to physical media devices to cloud storage solutions.
As businesses grow, there is an increase in data from both internal and external sources, leading to complexity in storing, processing, analyzing, and retrieving this data. Centralized storage has been the traditional method for businesses to store customer information and other sensitive data on the internet. However, these solutions are vulnerable to cyberattacks and other security risks, which makes storing data in a secure and reliable way a necessity.
In a scalable decentralized web, the storage system is a crucial underlying layer. The blockchain, which powers the decentralized web, serves as a decentralized storage solution for transaction data, smart contracts, and codes, but not for large files. Storing large files on-chain can be expensive and increase access latency.
The widespread use of blockchain technology has led to the concept of "decentralized cloud storage" as an alternative to centralized cloud storage. Before we dive into decentralized storage, let's take a look at some of the problems associated with centralized storage solutions.
Drawbacks of a Centralized Storage System
Lack of ownership and control: Data is stored on a central server controlled by the storage provider, who may monitor or even disclose it to third parties. This means that you do not have complete ownership and control over your data.
Data breaches and security risks: Major companies have experienced data breaches in recent years, and centralized storage systems are vulnerable to physical hazards like natural disasters and power outages.
High storage costs: Storage providers charge high prices for bandwidth transmission and data security because centralized storage is easier to attack. This can lead to exorbitant costs for users.
What is Decentralized Storage?
Decentralized storage (dStorage), is a data storage system where data is broken down into different parts and stored in different nodes of a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. This type of storage uses blockchain technology and a peer-to-peer network to provide a secure and tamper-proof storage and sharing system.
With dStorage, users can upload and store data just like traditional storage systems. However, dStorage has a unique feature where uploaded files are encrypted, ensuring that data and files are secure. When downloading a file from dStorage, the file is downloaded in fragments from a P2P network until the full file is retrieved.
Decentralized storage offers several benefits compared to centralized storage:
Minimal file loss: With potentially millions of nodes participating in data storage, multiple copies of your data can be stored on different nodes in various regions. This redundancy minimizes the risk of file loss in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
Low storage cost: The decentralized storage network comprises millions of nodes willing to host data. This provides a large amount of storage bandwidth and reduces the cost of storage.
High security and privacy: Data stored on decentralized storage is encrypted, making it secure. The data is split into chunks, encrypted, and stored, so no one person can access or know what you are storing.