We are all familiar with the term Computing in relationship to using, a PC, laptop, tablet, or similar device.
But just where is the cloud and what makes up the cloud? Well, a cloud service is actually someone else’s computer, just a whole lot bigger than yours and is accessed using the internet. So what is Cloud Computing? Let’s take a look.
What we have here is a service used by the general population that uses their computer at home or in a small office where you use the internet frequently.
The cloud computing is not like using your own hard drive that is stored on your computer.
This is what is called local computing, and unless you are on a home network this hard drive is only accessed by you as for where the cloud is accessed by anyone that signs up and uses the service.
Where did the Term Cloud Computing Come From?
We all know it doesn’t actually exist in the clouds, so where did the term come from? Well many years ago there was a professor of some sort, he was describing the internet in a way of showing puffy looking clouds to represent personal and businesses connected together using the internet.
In his diagram, he was using puffy looking clouds to show the internet and the connection between personal computers and businesses.
And from there the term cloud computing rose and became quite popular.
Examples of Cloud Computing:
To give you an idea of cloud computing let’s take a look at something we are all familiar with, and it is one of the largest forms of cloud computing around today. This would be Facebook; here we are all connected to their servers (which represent the clouds) through the internet with any type of computing devices like your Tablet, Smartphone, Pc, and Laptops.
And once connected to Facebook you can interact with friends, family, or coworkers to share any sort of information.
Another example would be using Google Drive services like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms. When using any of these you are using Google’s software that is located on their servers (you got it, the cloud), which allows you to write, edit and collaborate (computing) with anyone you choose to, and from any device of your choosing.
Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook etc are yet another form of Cloud computing where you are using their servers (and we have the cloud) software to send, receive, and store your emails. So as you can see you have been using Cloud Computing all along and didn’t even know it. 🙂
So basically if you’re using Google’s service like Google Drive, Gmail, Calendar and even Google Maps, you are in sense cloud computing because everything is happening on their server via the internet from your PC, Laptop, tablet, or Smartphone.
Your Data is Encrypted:
And your data will all be encrypted to prevent prying eyes access to any of it.
Microsoft also has its own version of cloud service with their Office Online where (Office 2016 is here. Get it in Office 365!) you are able to use their apps services like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to do your work.
This way you are using their software where any time it needs to be updated all they have to do is update it at their servers, eliminating the process of having to send out updates to the hundred of thousand users.
The same goes for any other services out there that are using the cloud. This is one reason you will find more and more services using the cloud to handle their business.
Using this service is also a great way to collaborate your projects with others, whether it is with co-workers or family members, it can all be done in real-time computing, saving the old standard way of emailing everything back and forth.
And here you can work on a project at home using the cloud, and then pick up where you left off once you get to the office or vice verse.
Did you know that Amazon Web Services provides services to places like Netflix, Nasa, Pinterest, and others? Well, they do, and many other places do the same. Places like Netflix uses services like Amazon Web services because it is a lot cheaper to pay them for the service than it would be to build a data center (cloud) of their own.
There is a lot of costs that go into building and operating data centers.
Cloud Computing will make your life easier:
Cloud Computing is making our lives a little easier and more productive as time goes on, but as of today, there are no regulations to Cloud Computing. Like who owns the data stored on their servers, whether it is data that you uploaded to the Cloud or the data that you created using their software and storage?
Could the owners of the services declare ownership of the data and therefore share, sell, or whatever else they would want to do with it. This is something to think about before you jump in and start using the Cloud 100 percent of the time.
Another factor to consider is the potential for crashes of the data centers, which has already happened in the past, for instance like it did with Amazons Web Service back in 2012. There it took out Netflix, Pinterest, and a few other large sites, though they were only down for a few hours, it does happen.
It has happened to Dropbox, iCloud, Microsoft, and a few others over the last four years.
Now don’t let this get in the way of using the Cloud, it still is a great service to take advantage of, even though they had experienced crashes, no one ever lost any of their data. So let’s take a quick look at what we can do with the Cloud.
What can be done with cloud computing:
The Cloud is a great place to use as a place to backup all of your data and to keep it safe in case something should happen to your hard drive. You can never have enough online backups for your personal files! Check out my article on Backing up Your Files for some ideas on backing up your files.
It is also a great place to work on your docs if you like to use different devices at times by having your files synced from one device to the other. For example, you start your morning out working on your article on your desktop PC, and later in the day, you want to work outside on the patio because it’s just too fine a day to be inside.
Well, you take your Laptop, or tablet with you to the deck and sign in to your account and you will be right where you left off when you were inside on your PC.
Also using the cloud to collaborate with others on a project for work can come in real handy. For example using Google Docs, Google sheets and so forth you can let colleagues access to these files to collaborate on the work at hand.
Microsft Office Online is another great way to share your work in the cloud and be able to team up with others on any projects that you have in the works.
And let’s not forget how handy it is to keep the family in the loop of things like using Facebook or any of the other social networks that require the use of the cloud.
You can also use Google docs or Office online to collaborate with family members to put together a family album, or maybe something like writing a book together. Those are just a few examples of what can be accomplished with the cloud; it’s all up to the imagination for what you can do with Cloud Computing.
What is Cloud Computing?
So when someone asks you “What is Cloud Computing?” You will now be able to answer them because you now have a better understanding of Cloud Computing, where it came from, what it is, and some things that you can do with it.
Have any Question or Comments about Computing with the Cloud?
Should you have any question or would like to share things that you use Cloud Computing for, please do so in the comment section below, I’m looking forward to hearing from you. 🙂