The Cloud: Created From Technical Magic And Innovation

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The Cloud: Created From Technical Magic And Innovation

Businesses and individuals continue to talk about “The Cloud” these days. Unfortunately, the average user doesn’t know much about this mysterious cloud. Everything found on the Internet could be considered part of The Cloud in a general sense. Cloud hosting and cloud storage take on much narrower definitions, though. In the past few years, companies have been pushing these concepts onto other businesses and even consumers. General Internet users are often least informed on such topics.

Here’s a general overview of The Cloud and related concepts:

A Barely Technical Explanation

The Cloud could easily be described in jaw-droppingly long and technical terms. However, it’s basically a network of servers accessible online. Certain servers are dedicated to storage, but others are designed to run Web apps. Cloud servers are versatile enough to be used for a variety of other applications, too. Internet-connected devices can access The Cloud 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Currently, both public and private clouds exist, with permissions necessary to access the latter.

Cloud servers are run by various entities, including hosting companies and other businesses. In some cases, individuals can own and operate their own cloud servers. Such servers come with cost benefits because a given user doesn’t purchase and maintain the hardware. The company that runs the server handles such tasks, and everyone that accesses these servers saves money from that fact. Without a doubt, getting into the management side of cloud servers is somewhat boring.

Taking A Look At Cloud Hosting

Larger companies own and operate their own cloud servers. Sometimes, they sublet usage of their servers to customers and clients. These users aren’t required to obtain this hardware themselves as previously mentioned. Hosting services operate these servers with the sole intention of making money from customers. Besides the cost savings, cloud server users like the always available nature of these servers. Clients can access their content or files from anywhere in the world with all connected devices.

Corporations like Google, Apple, and Amazon own their own cloud servers. These companies tend to use these servers for specific purposes. For instance, each company runs Web Apps through its own servers. This specific trio of companies even utilizes the servers for cloud storage. Apple and Google power voice assistant software through the cloud, too. Either way, such uses are a small taste of what can be accomplished through cloud servers and The Cloud.

Cloud Storage: A Rapidly Growing Solution

Cloud storage is something that the average consumer has dealt with by now. Previously, most computer users stored their files locally on hard drives. Local storage is separate from The Cloud because it’s only accessible from that single location. Storing files in The Cloud places that data onto a cloud server that’s accessible everywhere, though. Therefore, consumers have constant access to their data without having to be on a specific computer or carry a specific hard drive.

Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and countless other companies offer cloud storage services. Also, DropBox is another popular cloud storage solution available to businesses and consumers. Frequent users of The Cloud can reap various benefits today. An overview of those benefits will be touched upon soon enough. As companies push their cloud storage services, millions of consumers will jump into The Cloud and experience everything it has to offer. Those capabilities are only going to increase in scope as time goes on.

The Cloud From Companies Like Amazon and Google

Amazon and Google utilize The Cloud for dozens of different purposes and tasks. At this point, both companies provide cloud solutions for businesses and consumers alike. This includes cloud storage, although Amazon takes things a step further by connecting consumers to its own content through The Cloud. A number of business solutions are available through both platforms. On top of that, both companies run Web Apps thanks to cloud computing, enabling them to offer users new capabilities online.

As another example, Microsoft runs its own cloud computing platform called Azure. The service is oriented toward businesses. Azure is used to run servers for Microsoft’s Xbox Live service, though. In fact, Azure brings new capabilities to video games in the form of persistent worlds and unparalleled performance. All of this is possible through The Cloud and cloud computing. Achieving these same results a few short years ago would have proven nearly impossible.

The Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing brings countless benefits into the picture for users. By placing data in the cloud, businesses and individuals can access content everywhere. This leads to more collaboration among users because files can be accessed and modified in real time. Productivity increases because users aren’t tied down to their local storage drives any longer. When it comes to the cloud, users spend more time getting things done and far less time waiting around for something to happen.

Likewise, The Cloud can be used to improve overall efficiency of every connected server. Cloud servers can be designated for one task during the day and utilized for a completely different task at night. Companies can direct cloud servers to handle high usage loads wherever necessary. If congestion occurs somewhere else in the network, then cloud servers can be rerouted to the new stress point. Sure, this is a rough outline of what occurs on the technical level, but the advantages are evident.

The Drawbacks of Cloud Computing

Most of the disadvantages of The Cloud revolve around privacy and security issues. While private cloud servers are quite secure, public servers are more vulnerable to security breaches. Recently, a number of high-profile security breaches have resulted in lost or stolen data. Thieves can steal information, including images and videos, and sell or disseminate that information online. Something that was meant to be private could quickly become all too public.

Consumers especially aren’t always aware of these risks. Plus, an individual that stores their information exclusively in The Cloud could potentially lose that data forever. The same applies to businesses and business users, though. A backup on a local storage drive is always recommended. For now, proponents of The Cloud continue to look for ways to mitigate these risks. The Cloud isn’t perfect, and many non-business users often misunderstand the risks they could potentially face.

Simply Put, The Cloud Is Complicated

In the end, The Cloud could still be considered in its early stages. Companies have proven the value of cloud computing through storage and hosting. Hosting services have learned how to make money from the cloud. Even consumers have benefited from cloud storage and related cloud technologies. Then again, thieves have revealed a couple of troubling flaws with cloud computing. Taking a non-technical approach to describing this cloud still yields a thoroughly complicated concept.

 

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