Why “The Cloud”?

by Dereck Senter on January 16, 2013

After much prompting, I am finally putting my thoughts in a blog.  Everyone else seems to have one, so why not me?  Welcome to Information Technology (IT) made simple.

I am going to try to simplify different topics of technology.  So, we might as well start at the “top” and discuss “The Cloud”.

I’m fairly sure you have heard of “The Cloud”.  It is that thing out there (pointing to the sky) where our pictures, emails, and music live.  You can back up your computer data to “The Cloud”.  Your personal information, including your medical records, can be kept in “The Cloud”.  But really, what does that mean?  We need to take a few steps back.

Many years ago (maybe not so many), when you wanted to keep/store information, you would have to store it on your own computer (A PC).  Over time, your PC had thousands of pictures, music files.  What happened when your PC died?  What happened when you wanted to view that picture of “Sally” when she was 3?  There was also that issue of cost.  PC’s used to be pretty expensive as well.  There were many questions, few answers, and lots of limitations. Though, we could see the possibilities.

Then the age of the internet dawned.  You could attach your PC, to other PC’s.  Have a web-based email account, which would allow you to talk to your friends for free. View websites with pictures and text from companies that could afford to put a server (large PC) on the internet.  It was slow, but you now had access to a ton of information.

The internet, of course, is nothing more than a large number of computers connected together, and open to the public.  It was a wild, free place.  It could have dangers as well.  Others accessing your information for instance.  It was still expensive, there were even more questions, and limitations.  Lots of possibilities!

So far, we have the PC, and the internet.  The next bit of technology is what really made “The Cloud” possible.  High speed internet.  That may sound strange, but users (you and I) do not like to wait for anything.  In order to move a picture or music file to the internet, it would take a long, LONG, time.  No one wanted to wait.  High speed internet made it possible to put your data on other PC’s or Servers, fairly quickly.

All that being said, “The Cloud” is nothing more than a group of secure servers that are available on the internet.  They have large amounts of storage, and incredibly high security.  With high speed internet readily available to large chunks of the population, it makes it financially possible for companies to share/charge to use some of the space they have on the internet.

Risk is very low, when you put data in “The Cloud”. It is a very secure place to keep your information.  Security comes in two forms; encryption, and duplication of your data. Your data is scrambled, to make it nearly impossible for someone to figure out what it is.  It is also kept in more than one place, to keep it safe from natural disaster, or power outages.

“The Cloud” is a safe, affordable way to archive your personal or business data.

Thank you for taking the time to read “IT made simple”.

 

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