The data storage needs of businesses have changed considerably in the 21st century. Businesses collect and store more data than ever before, through things like on-demand apps, search results, and order histories. It is starting to become clear that traditional database systems can no longer keep up in a world of IoT technology and Big Data analytics.
As businesses start to recognise the limitations of their in-house data storage systems, more are starting to move to cloud-based storage solutions. However, the cloud has shown itself to be vulnerable, increasing the need for businesses to look for new solutions concerning how to store data and ensure it remains secure.
Evolving Storage Solutions
As it stands, the current infrastructure raises several concerns when it comes to data storage solutions. Many businesses now rely on third-party services to store their data in the cloud.
While this is a convenient solution to an increase in a company’s data storage needs, cloud-based storage solutions come with issues concerning the security and integrity of data. Furthermore, a business can experience performance issues when dealing with large volumes of information.
With this reality becoming apparent, businesses need to look for alternative data storage solutions. New systems need to be developed to deal with the increase in storage needs while also maintaining the security and integrity of the data. For many, the blockchain looks to be an emerging technology that can help to solve these problems.
Blockchain for the Distribution of Data
Instead of storing data on centralised servers like a traditional cloud service, blockchain technology stores copies on different nodes in the network. The nodes then sync the data across the network, helping to ensure the integrity of the system.
When it comes to blockchain security, it is next to impossible to for an outside party to tamper with data. In essence, they would need to gain control over the majority of the nodes in the network in order to alter any information.
The idea of a distributed data storage network could be further enhanced with concepts like sharding and swarming.
With sharding, you could help to ensure data privacy among the users of the network. Instead of sending the complete file to any single node, it would be broken up into fragments across several nodes. With only a small fragment of the file being housed on any single node, the data would be unreadable unless all of the pieces were brought back together.
Swarming, on the other hand, works by breaking the network up into groups of nodes. This would be necessary to guarantee a system that can handle high throughput at any given time. Replicas of the same shard can be stored on multiple nodes in the system. Files can then be pulled together from the closest related nodes (or several), allowing for a fast, decentralised system that is totally secure.
The data storage needs of businesses are surpassing the capabilities of the current infrastructure. The systems of the future are going need to be able to store more data, keep it secure, and make it easy to retrieve. With blockchain technology, we already have many of the tools we need to create data storage solutions that can meet these requirements.
Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course