I keep coming across this text when an author tries to describe how SaaS platforms store data:

Content and file storage: With this type of data storage, the customer uploads data through the web application, but instead of being stored in an integral database, the content and files are stored in other storage mechanisms that users can access. Ref: https://www.dummies.com/test-prep/cloud-data-storage-architectures CCSP for Dummies

However, I am frustrated by the phrase

are stored in other storage mechanisms

What does this mean? Does it mean that content and file storage uses volume or object storage, or something else?

In context, the suggestion is that content and file storage will be unstructured data.

Surely this means it can only be object storage?? Or can volume storage store unstructured data too?

Without understanding the basic storage, I cant begin to understand how the data will be secured and what types of questions a certified cloud professional should ask or be aware of.


Its not you its them. The quoted text is close to meaningless and is (at least in lots of cases) wrong. The underlying refernce provided does not support the assertion either.

SaaS platforms are simply platforms where the users font need to worry about how the data is stored as thus is handled by the application and is the responsibility of the SaaS provider.

The SaaS provider I worked for stored data in a database , as do other SaaS providers I am aware of. I put to you that the type of storage is dependent on the data being stored. Images for example may be better off stored as files while information that needs to be corelated/mined wpuld often go in some kind if database (not neccesdarily relational).

(Volume storage is unstructured - with structure being imposed on it to make it into object storage).

You might be asking domething of an XY question as it is unwise to make assumptions about how data is stored when speaking to a provider, and will likely not lead you to meaningful answers.

  • Appreciate the answer David, thank you. The books I am reading say unstructured data includes files, emails, photos etc and then say that in the cloud this is stored using object based storage. However, your answer suggests that it is not entirely true. You can store both structured (databases etc) and unstructured data (photos etc) in volume storage
    – Beginner
    May 30 at 11:50
  • Correct. "The cloud" is a fancy way of saying "other peoples computers". "Unstructured data sits on a filesystem (which is a kind of database, but not typically a relational one), ie object storage which sits on disk/raid array ir similar (volume storage). Also, its not really true to say emails and photos are unstructured. The structure is possibly less rigid then in a typical relational database but they have defined strucures and can be indexed on thise structures. (eg for email from, to ,date,subject, for photos exif data)
    – davidgo
    May 30 at 16:33
  • Thank you kindly. Really appreciate the clarity. I guess the file system is just a tree data structure capable of storing either.
    – Beginner
    May 30 at 16:49

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