Beginners guide to understanding the cloud

CloudWhat Is The Cloud, Anyway?

You’ve likely heard quite a lot about “the cloud” over the last few years, and it’s easy to assume it must refer to some sort of huge super computer that stores unthinkable amounts of files. In reality however, the cloud is a variety of data center server networks that are accessible online by approved consumers and organizations. More and more contenders are stepping into the ring with cloud storage services these days as well; examples include Amazon, Google, Apple, and innumerable others. In essence, “the cloud” is really a generic term used by each of these platforms to refer to their own servers rather than one specific network in particular.

Some companies create their particular cloud servers by lending out space that was already established by another company. Let’s say that the first company wants to offer more storage for its customers, so then they go to another company with a lot of space already available to facilitate the expansion. It’s highly possible that you can subscribe to one company’s storage plan and end up actually accessing space originally hosted by another. It’s an increasingly common practice, but there are plenty of safety measures in place to make sure only you have access to your personal data.

What’s The Big Deal About The Cloud?

Cloud storage makes keeping files such as photos, videos, word documents, and various other projects readily accessed and more securely backed up. Say you have a phone with tons of family photos and videos – if it fails on you, gets stolen or lost, or wiped somehow, you’ll likely lose all of those wonderful documents. If you opt to back them up to the cloud however, you’ll always be able to just download them again should the need ever arise.

The average home computer these days holds at least 500 gigabytes of data. When compared to something like Microsoft’s cloud server, that’s a literal drop in the bucket. Some of these servers have as much as 400 petabytes of space, the equivalent of 100,000 hard drives. You’ll have to pay a little more to be given access to a larger piece of that pie of course, but rest assured, these companies definitely have enough room to keep all of your important documents safe for a long time to come.

Some cloud servers are built only for storage and sharing, but others offer even more functionality. These include subscription services that are generally available in three different forms: Software As A Service, Platform As A Service, and Infrastructure As A Service. With these services, you can expect the following:

1 – Software As A Service
SaaS covers online e-mailing, word processing, CRM (customer relationship management) software, development management, and content management. One popular example is Google’s G-Mail.

2 – Platform As A Service
PaaS is the most complex of the three. It provides customers with a platform to build and test apps, as well as manage comprehensive databases and even run powerful websites.

3 – Infrastructure As A Service
IaaS gives you a virtual server of sorts. With this, you can install and run programs or apps the same way that you would on a physical server within your office. It comes with all the trappings of a traditional server, including network connections and storage. Whichever cloud provider you work with will own the server of course, and that in turn will run within their own IT infrastructure to make sure it’s always available. This is a serious sigh of relief when compared to trying to take on administrative burdens yourself, as well as a great way to save money.

Storing All Over the Cloud – A Word of Warning

It seems reasonable to take advantage of all the various free storage options out there, but it can make everything quite hard to track in the long run. That goes especially for companies who need to keep all of their documents in one central location for easier access. It is responsible for keeping all company files safe, so it’s best to keep everything in one spot for the better of the company overall. Safety is always key.

Comparing cloud services at sites like cloudstorageboss.com can make everything a lot easier and allows you to ensure you’re getting the right storage option for you.

Cloud storage is a significant benefit and something that so many of us can benefit from. So, utilize the above info to make the most of it.

, , ,