The cloud is a massive server that stores, holds, and inputs data that consumers or businesses select to store over the web. Although the cloud takes up no physical space, the companies that provide this service have massive storage facilities to hold all this data. Apple for example has what they call “iCloud”, which is a version of the cloud that lets consumers store and access their data from pretty much anywhere in the world on any kind of device. Most people think of the cloud as way up in the sky. As an technology associate for Staples Canada I actually see customers point up at the clouds when they mention the cloud. By why do people think that? The cloud is actually on ground level in massive server rooms.
There are four kinds of clouds. There are public, private, community, and hybrid clouds. Public clouds are just companies that offer cloud computing services to consumers such as Apple’s iCloud. Private cloud refers to a network that is only accessible by a certain company where information is only shared internally within the company. A community cloud is a cloud that allows multiple companies to share information among each other such as stock market information, or climate information for an airline industry. And the easiest of all, the hybrid cloud is, well you guessed it, a mixture of a private and a public cloud, depending on the user. Sources taken from this website.
Cloud based servers offer a personalized, hands free approach to storing data that can take up lots of space on physical computers. cloud storage is also accessible 24/7, and can be accessed anywhere through any sort of device. Although cloud storage seems like a dream if you are just learning about it, there is a cost to its luxury. Apple’s iCloud storage runs for $1.29 per month for the basic 50GB of storage. The full 2TB plan costs $25.99 per month. The costs of these plans definitely turn people off because it is somewhat not affordable to most. Sourced from here.
Alternatively you can buy extra storage space from an external hard drive. A 1TB hard drive can cost around $80–100, depending on if you catch a sale or not. These hard drives offer portable storage like the cloud does, but they are physical in size, meaning you have to carry them everywhere, there is a chance of the data being lost, stolen, or even corrupted. You can also just email yourself your data, but that will take you lots and lots of time depending on how many files you have. All in all, cloud storage has come a long way and is still very popular but the price does need to come down before it will take off and replace hard drives and external hard drives forever in the personal market.