Decentralised storage vs. cloud: The rising tech debate demystified.

Oct 30, 2023 |
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With the emergence of the pace towards decentralisation, a new debate has risen – “Is decentralised storage just a glorified term for cloud?” Well if you look at them from a top view, they are quite alike in terms of how devices or nodes communicate or are connected and all that fancy stuff.

But diving deep, the differences are evident. However, as the old giant, cloud is quite established while the new age behemoth, decentralised storage is on the rise, there lies substantial confusion on what aspects separate these two.

If you find yourself pondering the same then worry no further as we got your back. In this article, we will consider 6 aspects to find out how they differ from each other using analogies of fortress, epic battles and other cool adventures.

Aspect 1: Centralised cloud storage – The digital fortress

Consider a massive, centralised castle that contains your data and is manned by an army of digital sentinels. This castle functions similarly to standard cloud storage. Google Drive, Dropbox, and Amazon S3 serve as the fortress’ custodians. Your data takes sanctuary behind their walls, benefiting from the ease of access and scalability. It’s as though you’re living in a huge, busy metropolis where everything is just at your fingers.

However, this centralised strategy has drawbacks. Your data is at the mercy of the proprietors of the fortress or the cloud facilities. They make the rules, regulate access, and may occasionally look inside your treasure trove. Data breaches, outages, and escalating expenses may all throw dark shadows over an otherwise formidable castle.

Aspect 2: Decentralised storage – The digital archipelago

Consider a large chain of islands or archipelago if you prefer fancy words, with each island representing a node in a decentralised storage network. Your data pieces are spread over the archipelago on numerous islands. Individuals like you and me operate these islands, which together comprise a distributed, peer-to-peer storage ecosystem.

The concept of decentralised storage represents a paradigm change. It’s like having your own archipelago, where you have complete control over your data. Without your specific authorization, no one creature may access or modify your treasure trove. This distributed design assures security and immutability, rendering your data nearly impenetrable to intrusions.

Furthermore, decentralised storage is less expensive. You simply pay for what you use, so there are no monthly costs. It’s like owning property on your archipelago—no rent, just ownership joy.

Aspect 3: Accessibility – Decentralised storage’s surprising advantage

Imagine trying to access your treasure chest in the middle of a storm while confined to a single island in a centralised fortress. That’s what happens when the cloud goes down. Decentralised storage, on the other hand, shines during severe storms. Your data is spread over numerous islands, allowing it to be accessed even when certain islands experience turbulence.

Furthermore, decentralised storage is virtually borderless. It’s like building bridges to link your islands. Because your data is accessible to anybody with an internet connection, it is excellent for worldwide collaboration and sharing.

Aspect 4: Scalability – Cloud’s fortress vs. decentralised archipelago

Let’s say you have become too rich for the old tiny chests and want to expand your capacity with new bigger chests. Now the cloud fortress may ask you to bargain with the fortress owners. Most of the time, this expansion comes with additional expenditures and complexity. It’s similar to extending your hotel room—you’ll have to pay for the extra space.

Scalability is smooth in the decentralised storages. As your data develops, you may expand the network by adding new islands (nodes). The system naturally meets your requirements without further costs. Consider it like adding extra rooms to your home which is completely customizable.

Aspect 5: Security and privacy – The decentralised shield

Your data is constantly monitored in the centralised fortress. While they claim to secure your data, their terms and conditions frequently grant them access for a variety of objectives, leaving your treasure trove unprotected.

In contrast, decentralised storage is the digital equivalent of a private vault with an impenetrable lock. The keys are only in your possession. It’s like having a treasure box buried beneath your archipelago with a map that only you have.

Aspect 6: Cost – Cloud’s hidden expenses

At first glance, the cloud fortress appears attractive, with free or low-cost admission. But beware: those hidden charges might soon add up. It’s like entering an appealing casino for free, but once inside, you start paying for every move you make.

Decentralised storage, on the other hand, is cost-effective and predictable since you pay only for the resources used.

Final thoughts

To sum it up, Cloud storage, as represented by centralised services such as Google Drive or Dropbox, provides ease and scalability but frequently compromises privacy and security since data is kept on servers controlled by a single company. Decentralised storage, on the other hand, such as blockchain-based systems like IPFS or Filecoin, prioritises data ownership, security, and transparency. Data is dispersed throughout a network of nodes, guaranteeing that no single party has total control. Decentralised storage also saves money since users only pay for the resources they utilise.
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