Cloud Computing 101

What is the “Cloud?”

The buzzword “Cloud” is used all of the time now. It’s on the Internet, on TV advertisements, on our phones, and more. It’s everywhere! What is this cloud exactly? The cloud actually refers to “cloud computing.” So, what is cloud computing? According to Merriam Webster, cloud computing is “the practice of storing regularly used computer data on multiple servers that can be accessed through the Internet.”

Another way to look at cloud computing is that it is a service. You can access software and/or hardware as a service by another company over the Internet instead of performing this service or action using only your computer hardware and software that you have at home or at work. Where this computing actually takes place isn’t seen by you, the user, and whatever task you are trying to accomplish is just completed somewhere in the “cloud” that you access via the Internet.

It is likely that you may already be using the cloud and not knowing it. You may be using cloud computing to check your email, save your documents, your music, photos and so forth. So now that we know that the cloud is really services performed via Internet access and that there is more than one cloud, let’s look at some examples of cloud computing.

Everyday Examples of Cloud Computing
  • Web-based Email Services

If you are using Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo as your email service, you are employing the cloud or a service to send, receive, and store your emails.

  • Social Media

When you are checking your Facebook account or your LinkedIn profile, you are actually using a cloud computing service.

  • Movie/TV Services

The list of cloud-based entertainment services is endless and in some respects these services have existed longer than the conversation about the cloud. Applications such as Netflix and Hulu have been streaming movies and television shows to your laptop or TV for years now, taking advantage of cloud technology in the process.

  • Photo-Sharing

Photo-sharing is a specific form of file-sharing and it is one of the most popular uses of cloud computing. You can upload your pictures to a service such as Facebook, Flicker, or PhotoBucket so that others can access your photos from their phones, tablets, or desktop computers. It’s that easy!

Cloud Computing 201

Now you know that the cloud is being used by almost everyone who has access to the Internet. It affects many areas of our lives. We use it to share photos, send/receive emails, and watch our favorite TV shows to name only a few. In future posts we will discuss in more depth about the different kinds of cloud computing as well as the benefits and pitfalls of using cloud computing.

If you are interested in using cloud computing and would like some help setting it up, contact Cyberscapes Systems.