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Cloud storage infrastructure and other types of storage infrastructure can vary quite a bit, partly because of new and emerging storage technologies. For example, with storage virtualization, the infrastructure is changed to become more software-driven than hardware-driven. In a typical storage virtualization environment, a set of physical hard drives are replaced by a set of "logical drives" or "virtual drives" that are partitioned and operated by software. Engineers use different types of strategies like a redundant array of independent disks (RAID) design to create more versatile storage systems that use hardware in more sophisticated ways.
Looking at cloud storage infrastructure also helps to explain the value and philosophy of cloud computing. The infrastructure is typically composed of end-network hardware, where tenant data is eventually stored, as well as virtual systems that help push data and files from a client to a vendor network, and vice versa, during data retrieval. In general, cloud computing allows vendors to deliver product services over the global Internet, making the storage infrastructure a kind of hybrid design between the hardware located on-site in vendor offices and the proprietary software that handles all the different kinds of data transfer.