Cloud computing technology has always been there, really. But its only in the last few years that the term, as well as the technology itself, garnered some recognition. A lot of people are still curious as to what exactly it means. Everyone has a different explanation which confuses us even more.
This might sound weird but almost everyone is actually using it these days, directly or indirectly irrespective of whether they know about cloud computing or not. Let’s first go into the details of what cloud computing really means.
What is Cloud Computing
In very simple terms, wherever you go, your data goes with you. I am NOT talking about the physical device(Eg. Pen Drive) that you carry. All your data is basically stored in company’s Hard Disk Drive at a completely different location(another country), and that data can be accessed from anywhere in the world, with an internet connection. The interesting part, however, is that it is not just data that you can carry, you can, in fact, carry your applications too.
You are already in the Cloud
You read that right. Even before you knew it, you were actually using it. The photos and videos that you store on your social networking sites (Facebook, Google+, Orkut, etc) are stored on their servers, which you can access from anywhere by simply logging in with your credentials. Furthermore, You might have also heard about Google Documents. It was launched in 2007. It allowed you to create and store Documents(word) and Spreadsheets(Excel) on their server. All you needed was a Google/Gmail id to log in and you could access those files anywhere you want, the same way as you accessed emails. These days, there are other options besides Google docs as well, like Zoho office suite and even Microsoft’s recently launched Skydrive. It might not offer the full-fledged version like your office 2010/2013 but provides you with more than enough features
The Risks involved in Cloud
Steve Woznaik, Apple co-founder, shared his thoughts about it saying, “The more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we’re going to have control over it”. How do we know for sure that the private documents, photos, videos that you have uploaded would remain private? I am not implying that the company intends to use your data stored on their servers but would you store your private and important documents over the cloud.
Cloud Computing: The next level
A lot of companies today offer their cloud services at a certain price, like Google Drive(It integrates google docs), Dropbox, Box, Microsoft SkyDrive, Apple’s iCloud, Amazon’s Cloud Drive and much more. This particular service is a type of cloud computing better known as Storage as a Service or STaaS. We will get into it in detail in my upcoming posts
Its Here to stay
Suffice it to say that Cloud Computing is not a passing technology, it is indeed here to stay. People are using it, relying on it, they trust it and many of them, in fact, love it. There is a lot more to it than meets the eye. There are various types of services that Cloud Computing offers, like Software as a service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), Storage as a service (STaaS), and much more. As I said earlier, I will get into it in detail in my upcoming post. As for now, open a brand new cloud account for yourself with Google or Microsoft, and get familiar with. I am sure you will also enjoy the benefits of portability, mobility and the ease of access that come with it, for free.