What really is the ‘cloud?’
The ‘cloud’ is one of those trendy tech terms that is thrown around often, but few can clearly explain what it is in layman’s terms. Most of us encounter the cloud daily and have some general understanding of what it may be (something up in the air and our selfies and computer data can be accessed there anytime we’re online). Here’s a compilation of facts from articles around the web we think you should know:
What is it? Where is it? How was it made?
- The cloud is that it is not a physical thing, it is a network of servers that each have a different function.
- For example, some servers run applications or “deliver a service”:
- Like Adobe’s Creative Cloud
- We no longer buy physical copies of Adobe programs, users pay a monthly fee to access them in the cloud
- Servers store data:
- Pictures on your devices = saved to the device
- Pictures online = in the cloud = stored on a server
- Why utilizing the cloud is beneficial:
- Saves $$
- Makes it easy to keep programs up to date
- Easy scalability
- History of the cloud dates back to 1950’s when a mainframe took up an entire room and was too expensive for everyone to have their own.
- “Time sharing” was developed so multiple users could share access to data and CPU time.
- Essentially the same idea as the modern day cloud!
- The cloud didn’t have enough bandwidth to be available to the large groups of people until the 90’s.
- The cloud can store about 1 exabyte or 42 million MacBook Pro hard drives (Mashable).
- The security of the cloud makes some people very nervous :/
- The scary idea of personal information seemingly floating around to be accessed by anyone??
- BUT, major companies like Google encrypt paid users information.
- Where is it?
- It’s not just in the air, guys.
- There are physical servers all over the world (most likely on a major company’s server)
- When you upload to the cloud you’re actually making copies of that data so if you attempt to delete it, you must trust that company will delete all traces of all copies of the information
- Read those terms of service agreements! The potential disasters that can ensue get scary with law enforcement involved.
- Potential future of cloud computing:
- Bye-bye hard drives?
- Where does everything physically go?
- Dystopian future?
- What happens when no one has personal data storage? Who is in control of what images are projected onto this future communal cloud space?
- Think $$.