This article on Cloud Computing in China is another in our simple basic “what is” series written for beginners or novices. It is not an indepth, tech dissertation.
Of all the things tech, The Cloud seems to cause most confusion. Even among seasoned business people. And as is the case where information is scarce or confused we hear different stores re the Cloud- not all accurate.
Cloud: What is “The Cloud?”
“Uengager Cloud UX tools: multiple synchronised computers. Affordable, secure, fast alternative to local HDD software storage. Used by individuals or corporates, 24/ 7 on demand.
The above image is NOT Cloud Computing~
Cloud: alternative to local HDD storage.
Cloud = multiple synchronised computers.
Private cloud: used by individuals or corporates.
Uengager: Cloud Computing
SaaS has been around for a while but only recently reaching mainstream business and computer users. Unsurprisingly, people ask us to clarify or explain what SaaS is, [What is SaaS?] inevitably leading to “Cloud Computing” and the sheepish question: “Yeah, so what exactly is “The Cloud”?
Our header image shows how cloud computing is graphically represented, so confusion here is understandable.
Beginning with something you already know:
Cloud Computing has nothing to do with those fluffy white things in the sky~~
This image courtesy of PCMag might help
In the beginning- Local Hard Drive
Once apon a time, hmmm, there were two ways to store and access information on your computer. For home users; the hard [local] drive, floppy disks [remember those] CD ROMs, or flash drives. You bought more storage space as needed.
With SSD’s storing a couple of TB of data, for users without a fast Internet connection, loading programs from the local hard drive was much faster.
Enter The Cloud
As technology improved, Internet speeds grew faster. Power users, esp large businesses storing massive data found their local drives inefficient.
Security backups required more storage
In theory, storing data on remote machines linked to a series of other machines or servers connected to the Internet freed up local space. If one server crashed, another would automatically step in. The mathematical odds of several or all machines crashing simultaneously was low. Space and security issues solved.
What could possibly go wrong?
Ignorance is bliss, THE CLOUD was born.
In Simple terms:
The Cloud: series of fast, interconnected servers accessible via the Internet.
Local Drive V/s The Cloud
Today, you can if you so desire, rent space on a public cloud such as Amazon and store all your data, photos, music – keeping your local HDD just for the OS.
Some cloud Apps you may already be familiar with:
- Microsoft Office: Available for purchase on line or on CD ROM-at your computer store [if you can find one.]
Or, for a monthly fee you can “subscribe” to their SaaS app via cloud.
- Google’s G Suite: Many businesses use this App. Google stores Email and other tools on the cloud.
- Apple I-cloud; Mac users will possibly be using this, Apple store, everything on the cloud.
- MailChimp; Running Email campaigns or newsletters? It is held on the cloud.
Is the cloud suited to you?
Cloud plays well with business, although that does not mean all business should use the cloud.
Home users can also use the cloud- only you know your own situation and if – with its costs- it is right for you.
Like anything techy, it has drawbacks; if your Internet suddenly goes down, so does the cloud- at least for you!
Clouds are not all created equal. Check your contract; who owns your data? If you don’t- run like the wind!
There are also free limited storage offers, be careful though, it can get expensive once you reach the free limit. Some less scrupulous cloud owners have been known to “lock” your cloud down when you reach the limit. You basically have to pay or lose everything.
Initially cloud security was not so secure. Today it is well protected. But if you remember nothing of this article we hope you remember this;
Please, always bear in mind, there is no such thing as 100% guaranteed security or safety of the web. Always use your common sense, back everything up and don’t entrust very sensitive, personal information to your digital device. Any digital device.
This article from 2016 on Cloud security might interest you.