How Long Will I Be Able To Avoid The Cloud?
What is the cloud? Where is the cloud? Are we in the cloud now? These are all questions you’ve probably heard or even asked yourself. The term “cloud computing” is everywhere. In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programmes over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet. Cloud computing is not about your hard drive. When you store data on or run programmes from the hard drive, that’s called local storage and computing. Everything you need is physically close to you, which means accessing your data is fast and easy for that one computer, or others on the local network. Working off your hard drive is how the computer industry functioned for decades; some would argue it’s still superior to cloud computing. The cloud is also not about having a dedicated network attached storage hardware or server in residence. Storing data on a home or office network does not count as utilising the cloud. For it to be considered “cloud computing,” you need to access your data or your programmes over the Internet, or at the very least, have that data synchronised with other information over the Web. In a big business, you may know all there is to know about what’s on the other side of the connection; as an individual user, you may never have any idea what kind of massive data-processing is happening on the other end. The end result is the same: with an online connection, cloud computing can be done anywhere, anytime. And it is big business. The market was already generating $100 billion a year in 2012. It could be $270 billion by the year 2020. Credit: Eric Griffith for PC Mag.
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