Protecting Cloud Storage in the Event of a Disaster

Our society is increasingly dependent on the Internet. A lot of people spend much of their time checking email, watching YouTube videos, and networking on the web or interacting with other people on social media networks. Much of online data required for us to use the Internet effectively is stored in what is called “the cloud.” This “cloud” consists of buildings filled with servers that are constantly running. These servers are linked to other sites that have the same setup, and when a disaster strikes—man-made or natural—these connections can be damaged, entirely cutting us off from our daily internet fix. Hence, protecting cloud storage now becomes a priority.

To combat the possibility of these disasters from causing data loss, researchers are looking at the risk to these servers that a disaster holds. Using this data, they are coming up with a formula that can detect danger to a data center and then protect the information by moving it from the affected area to another center in a different location that is not at risk. This information will help networks to have disaster-proof cloud storage.

The key to this change will be integrating wireless and fiber optic connections between servers. These fiber optic cables connect servers over great distances, allowing the different networks to reach each other worldwide. These same cables, however, are more susceptible to damage in a disaster than their wireless counterparts. For this reason, should a disaster destroy the optical connection, wireless connections could protect the data for a time by transferring it to a safer location. If these two types of connections could be used in tandem, it would combine the processing speed of the cables and the range of wireless. In order to accomplish this, researchers are working on an antenna that would create an uncomplicated, fast wireless-optical combination. Using two polarized antennae, they have been able to reach previously unattained speeds. This could also be applied to in-home networks where the signal arrives through a cable and is then dispersed wirelessly.

Protecting cloud storage in the event of a disaster is key to still being connected when most needed, as well as retaining the pleasure and amusement we derive from the Internet.