What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud Computing is an internet-based technology. It involves the hosting of data files on a server that is not directly wired to one’s computer. Rather, via the internet, users can access these files from any computer or mobile device with a connection.
Cloud Computing has paved the way for many technologies and innovations– ones most of us now use on a daily basis!
Cloud Computing and Webmail
Probably the most commonly used of these is web-based email, or webmail. Webmail works the way it does, because it’s hosted “in the cloud”. You don’t download messages to your computer– you just access them from any computer with an internet connection. That’s because your webmail provider uses their servers to store messages that have been sent to your address. You have the freedom to log on, access those files and forward, save or delete them.
Business use of Cloud Computing
This is a relatable example of how cloud computing is being used in business environments. Cloud computing is increasingly being utilized as a supplement to, or in place of traditional IT systems and personnel. By hosting and backing up their data in the cloud, employees have immediate access to work-related files from locations both inside and outside of the office. The use of cloud-based calendars is also helping businesses stay on track and communicate schedule changes company-wide.
Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
Business might choose to set up their own cloud systems, or, more likely, will outsource their cloud operations to a cloud computing service provider. These providers often host the data of multiple clients on the same server. This has given rise to concerns about security. So alternatively, many cloud computing service providers offer the option of hosting files on a Virtual Private Network or VPN. VPN’s are dedicated servers that allot each company a separate drive to store their data.
Individual Use of Cloud Computing
Cloud technologies are not only being utilized by businesses. An increasing amount of individuals are choosing this alternative over storing files on their local hard drive. Additionally, there are free cloud storage options that are available to individuals– an enticing option that some find irresistible.
Many people are finding, however, that there are too many disadvantages to cloud computing.
One of these, as previously mentioned, is the concern about security. Because files are often stored on the same servers as other individuals and businesses, there is a fear that data can be stolen by hackers, or simply misallocated.
This, along with a general hesitancy to let go of control, is enough to turn a significant number of users off from computing in the cloud.
We’re already seeing large variations in how this technology is applied. Cloud computing is responsible for everything from streaming video to programs like Dropbox.
But the future of cloud computing is likely to be even more exciting than its past.
With the impending release of inventions like virtual reality glasses, cloud-based technologies are moving to change the very nature of how we interact with our physical world.
As more and more everyday items are interfaced with computers, we can look forward to digital relationships with everything from our light switches to our clothing. Even cars are being developed to self-navigate via cloud-based databases.
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