What is Decentralized Cloud Storage

October 16, 2020

Tardigrade is the world's first enterprise-grade, decentralized cloud storage service. Through decentralization, Tardigrade is more secure, more performant, more affordable, and more private by default than centralized cloud providers.

What exactly is decentralized cloud storage? On the user's end, it operates exactly the same as traditional cloud storage options like Amazon S3. But, instead of your files being stored in a big data center that's vulnerable to outages and attacks, your information is stored on thousands of distributed Nodes all across the globe.

How the decentralized cloud works

First off, we aren't going to get super technical here. This is an overview of how it works, so if you really want to dig into the technical specifications of Tardigrade (the nuts and bolts stuff), you can check out our documentation. Here's also a cool diagram to reference.

How decentralized cloud storage works

As previously mentioned, with traditional cloud storage, all of your data resides in one large data center. This often leads to downtime and outages when one of these facilities goes offline. With decentralized cloud storage, we have a large, distributed network comprised of thousands of Nodes across the globe that are independently owned and operated which store data on our behalf. A Node is simply a hard drive or a storage device someone owns privately. We pay all of our Node Operators to store files for our clients, and we compensate them for their bandwidth. Think of it like this: You have a 10 TB hard drive, and you're only using 1 TB. You could sign up to be a Node Operator and we would store pieces of our clients' files on your hard drive utilizing your unused space. Depending on how many files you store and how many times that data needed to be retrieved, we'd compensate you accordingly.

So why make it decentralized?

The real issue with centralized providers like Amazon S3 is all of your data resides in huge data centers. If a part of Amazon's network goes down, you won't be able to access your data at best, and at worst, your data could be permanently lost or damaged. Large data centers are also vulnerable to hackers, as we've seen time and time again. With decentralized cloud storage, end-to-end encryption is standard on every file

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