“What exactly is a Cloud? How does the Cloud work?”
We’ve all heard these question from almost every non-millennial person we meet whenever one mentions the concept of Cloud.
“I mean, is it literally a cloud? Whenever we post something, does the data go up in a device positioned somewhere in the sky?”
We wouldn’t blame you if you thought all these things because up until lately, the cloud has always just been known as condensed water vapor floating in the atmosphere and not something else that’s so technical and confusing. We’ve all been there.
Before we dive into a simple explanation of what a Cloud Computing Service is, let me share a scene from a movie (Sex Tape, 2014) that most non-Cloud users can relate to:
Nobody understands the cloud. It’s a mystery…
We’re already halfway through 2016. Everything and everyone is dependent on technology because it makes life easier both personally and professionally. It gets all the work finished a fraction of the time it would normally take if done manually. The ever mysterious Cloud is part of this technological revolution we are now all part in.
But how does it relate to business?
If you’ve been to companies, large or small, you’d notice a few people working with computers, right? Now along with those computers, you would see all these intimidating, humming boxes with blinking lights underneath a table or in some large companies, in rooms of their own with important looking men, the IT department, checking up on them once in a while. These are called SERVERS and they store data that are inputted, transmitted, read, etc. by everyone in the company. Everything that is logged in to the computer is stored into those servers. So it would only make sense that not everyone has access to them because they contain important company information that needs to be taken care of.
Fast forward to the present day, most companies now are more knowledgeable in trying to be cost efficient and be more productive at the same time. Housing your own servers is expensive because you would need not only for them to be high powered to store all that information but you would also need the space and the personnel to maintain them. Quick thinkers then had the brilliant idea of using the internet to actually access and store data instead of having to provide their own servers. The internet is now accessible to all so it would only make sense to take advantage of it fully. Enter CLOUD COMPUTING Services.
What is CLOUD COMPUTING?
The Cloud is now synonymous with the internet. The whole concept of it refers to a public (or semi-public) space that receives and stores data from different endpoints and can typically be accessed by people “renting” out the space. Take note that the cloud space is shared by many other data transmissions. Access to that data, however, is only limited to people who are given the authority to log into it. Just think of it as a virtual locker that can be accessed anytime and anywhere via the internet and only you have the key to the lock that protects its contents. That goes for other people who have also rented out the space. Of course you can share that key to anyone you’d want to have access to the data to as well. All that data is stored in large groups of reliable servers provided for by the Cloud Computing Service company so that you don’t have to spend so much on having any one of these high powered servers.
It is highly beneficial for companies who would want to focus more on business objectives aimed at earning, high efficiency and productivity. It saves you from spending so much time on activities that don’t produce revenue like updating your servers, configuration planning, data encryption and security because now you have a trusted company who will do all those things for you.
You’ve decided that taking advantage of cloud services sounds like a brilliant idea. There are so many things the cloud can do other than just letting users rent space. Earlier in the post, we mentioned about locks and keys to your virtual locker. These locks would be provided to you by the company in a form of a software or a cloud based application. You purchase the software as a service (SaaS) owned by a company and you, the user, can access it via the internet through ANY computer. You can have access to reliable and functional business apps that would help you and your team members build your business. The biggest advantage of this is when your computer breaks down, gets corrupted or gives up, the data you logged in through this software doesn’t get lost. It stays in “the Cloud” provided for by the company you got your software from. You can access all these data again in another computer as long as it’s connected to the internet. If this doesn’t define convenience, we don’t know what does.
By now, you can relate to everyone else when they point up to the sky and mysteriously mention that all their data is in “the Cloud”. It just means they have access to a cloud based application – software that made their lives easier by letting them input and access their data from any device connected to the internet. This is all done without the hassle of purchasing, building and maintaining the actual software. The company who runs the software does all that for you.