I remember a time when a cloud was a white puffy thing in the sky that, when you laid on your back, you looked at and tried to make shapes with. I remember when it was where the rain came from.
But those were simpler days and with new technology, our vocabulary is changing. Allow me to show you some cloud computing examples to answer three often-asked questions about the cloud:
1. What is Cloud Computing?
Many people have no clue what all the buzz is about “cloud this” and “cloud that”. Cloud Computing is simply the storage and use of data that is not necessarily on your local hard drive inside your computer, but is kept on a server somewhere on the Internet.
The following cloud computing examples may help clarify this for you:
If you are a small business owner you may use either Dropbox or Google Drive to share things with clients over the internet. This is a form of cloud storage, as although the information syncs to your Dropbox folder on your hard drive, it is also stored on Dropbox’s server.
The cloud is basically just another term for the Internet, except more specifically related to the storage of data on the internet.
2. What Does the Cloud Have to do With Me?
The short answer is, more than you know.
More cloud computing examples:
For example, if you have any Internet-based email address, such as Gmail or Yahoo, all of your emails are stored in the cloud, or to put it another way, on the Internet on Gmail or Yahoo’s servers.
You may be utilizing a program, such as Microsoft Outlook, to have your email directed to your desktop. But even if you download your email, they are still stored in the cloud.
If you watch Netflix, they use Amazon’s servers to stream your favorite shows to you. Netflix is utilizing the cloud.
If you enjoy watching videos on Youtube, you are watching videos stored in the cloud.
If you are a musician and have worked with Soundcloud, you are storing your music in the cloud.
Although cloud storage seems mysterious still, it is really just a new buzzword for something you’ve been using on your computer since the Internet began.
3. Is the Cloud Safe?
Since you are literally using someone else’s servers to store data, this costs companies money. Soundcloud, for example, gives you a certain amount of free space, but if you really want to get serious about posting music online they will want to charge a monthly fee.
Then there is the potential for hacking. Yes, my personal computer could, in theory, be hacked and data stolen. But with certain data, I still feel safer knowing I am in control of the data on my own hard drive.
Also, there is the question of intellectual properties. As a child, I was always taught possession is nine-tenths of the law. This is not good if I have made a video, taken a picture, or written a story or a song.
Always read the fine print before you utilize cloud computing and storage services. Make absolutely sure that you retain ownership to your intellectual property.
But overall, all the cloud is pretty safe. After all, you’ve been checking your email in the cloud for years without even knowing about it. 🙂
Did my cloud computing examples above help clear up any confusion you had about the cloud?
Please let us all know by dropping a comment below this article.
About the Author
Katrina is an IT industry leader, who brings custom solutions and innovative ideas to rack solutions in her role as a product specialist.
- License: Image author owned