I remember, a few years back when my computer crashed and I was left with a feeling of devastation and loss. I had lost all my pictures, music, movies, files and many things I don’t even remember. While all others could be somehow gathered all back again, I missed the pictures the most as they were irretrievable. I’m sure most of us have faced this scenario.

Data, in any form is most important to its owner, be it an individual or a multinational company. Since 2008 there has been an unprecedented growth in the way data storage is being perceived. Data is now increasingly being stored in multiple third party servers rather than private dedicated servers. This method ensures there is minimal risk of potential loss of data. With the big data boom, Cloud Computing has become a paradigm of data storage.

There are four types of approaches to cloud deployment:

Public: It’s a cloud type which is available for storage over the internet and ideal for a more general use like the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud.

Private: A cloud or data center which is privately owned and is operated within the company firewall.

Hybrid: It is a combination of public and private cloud types. More and more companies prefer Hybrid Cloud as it allows more flexibility, security and control and combines the best of all worlds.

Community: A Cloud framework shared by multiple organizations. Government organizations sharing information usually prefer this type.

The cloud industry is getting competitive as predicted and the companies are falling over each other to cut down their prices and entice their customers. Giants like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, EMC etc. have been trying to stay in the market with their new innovations. The price of storing the data is being greatly reduced while the data being produced is increasing tremendously.

While few companies are benefiting from this competition, few others have faced losses. The online storage startup Box, exemplifies this, as the company has incurred a loss of $168.6 million in the year 2013 by investing in the company’s growth and future to stay competitive.

The battle for the dominance in the cloud industry is on, and the winner will be the one with maximum number of developers who influence the apps and innovations. Amazon is heading the crowd in the Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) while platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is yet to find its leader. Apple, having made a niche in the desktop and smartphone market is ready to claim a stake in the cloud market.

As for the common users, a big turnaround happened in 2009 when Google started offering browser-based application through Google apps. The auto save mode of files documents and pictures in Google plus rescues general public from accidental data loss. With more data on the cloud, it becomes easy to access and retrieve the data and the dependence on a specific device is also reduced making Cloud, a service for the long haul.