Sometimes, terms can be confusing. Or even downright misleading. Such is the case with data storage.

Data storage is simply a term used to describe the practice of storing information on computers. As such, data storage is not inherently an aspect of cloud hosting. After all, you could store your data on your computer assets at your business location and that would not constitute cloud hosting even in its most elementary defined ways. That is not to say that data storage is never considered cloud hosting.

Data storage becomes cloud hosting when you store your data at remote locations on the Internet. For instance, there are Web services that allow you to move your information online and store it on a server by delivering it digitally through FTP or through another Web-based protocol. How much information you are allowed to store in such circumstances depends on how much you are willing to pay for the privilege to do so.

Let’s take a simple and basic example. Flickr is a service that allows users to store photos online. They can also share their photos with their friends. The basic service is free. But you can upgrade. Some people have stored their photos on Flickr for personal use.

By storing your information online, you are able to retrieve it from any location in the world. That’s the primary benefit of data storage in the cloud, though there are others.