The Cloud. When I first came to work for Clools as an intern, I kept hearing about the elusive Cloud. “We do everything through the Cloud. We live on the Cloud. Life on the Cloud is great.” What in the heck is this Cloud!? Last I checked, clouds were in the Florentine sky and had nothing to do with computers. Well, evidently, that is not the case. I imagine I’m not the only person out there who should know what the Cloud is, but doesn’t, therefore, I’m going to do us all a favour and explain it (or at least try).
To start generally, cloud computing means instead of having various hardware and software on one’s personal or professional network, those networks are provided to you as a service from a larger company via the internet. Where the software and hardware are located exactly is a mystery (to me anyway), just that they’re in the “Cloud” that is the internet. Some have described cloud computing as “IT outsourcing.”
A common example of cloud computing is the use of search engines. When you look up something, you computer isn’t doing much of the work. You use your computer to access the internet and then the search engine, but after that, once the query has been made, the search engine’s knowledgeable networks take over to find your answer. The computer you use is merely a messenger.
However, cloud computing also has its disadvantages. Because using servers (via cloud tools and services) is an ongoing thing and not one upfront cost, cloud computing becomes an ongoing expense for its users. In the long-run, this can be expensive.
Furthermore, if a business is using a software-based service, such as an online word processor, a strong, reliable broadband internet connection is a necessity. This can be a problem in many places, especially developing countries and rural areas. As previously mentioned, users buy what services they need, but unfortunately, because users are reliant on what someone else has created, there may not be a service they want available or they’ll have to settle for something close. Overall, the Cloud is something that works for some businesses, but not for others. The owner/operator must decide that. It has good parts and bad parts. It is true however that the incredible rate of growth in various cloud computing services strongly suggest that this particular cloud is not going to evaporate any time soon.
So, will you be joining us on the Cloud?