Cloud Computing 101
‘Cloud computing (n)- the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.’
So if you’re an iPhone user, you’ve probably come across this notification from your beloved IOS several times:
And if you’re a somewhat normal functioning person like myself, then I guess it’s safe to assume this is your probably your response every time that darned notification just happens to pop up (oh, and of course it has to be at the worst possible time, like when you absolutely have to take another selfie next to the 5789231 you’ve already taken) is this:
But hold up — what exactly is iCloud? Or really all these drives, boxes and clouds everyone keeps talking about? They’re all forms of what we call (or rather should be calling) cloud computing. So what exactly is cloud computing? Why should you be using it? What are the different platforms for it? Oh, and why the heck is it called ~ the cloud ~?
So cloud computing is essentially a smarty pants word used to describe how your data is remotely stored in what’s commonly known as the ‘the cloud’. Chances are if you’re a gmail user, you’re already utilizing Google Drive and as I mentioned previously if you’re an apple user, you’re already using iCloud. Think of of the cloud as a virtual locker to remotely store your files from everything to cat memes to presentations for work and angry letters to Rogers (just hopefully not in the same folder because I’m pretty sure your boss does not want to see your #grumpycat memes instead of that powerpoint on something like ‘why the company is doing better’). But then this leads to the bigger question — where are my files going? Do they just disappear into thin air?
Well no they don’t — instead they’re copied over the internet into a data server which are actual physical places where companies store your data in a physical hard-drive, otherwise known as server farms, which are spanned across several locations. And I know that right about know you’re probably reading this and all like:
And it’s pretty mind-blowing when you think about the fact that you can virtually access your data from anywhere in the world from your phone or laptop and not have to lug around USB’s or floppy disc’s in your pocket. So yknow #TechnologyForTheWin
So now that you know what exactly is cloud computing, what are the different platform’s you could be using for it? There are a gazillion and I literally mean a gazillion cloud services you could possibly be using (and to see a comprehensive list, click here). It all really depends on your preferences and needs; and every cloud service provider has a similar sort of structure in terms of what they provide, which usually involves a certain amount of data being free of cost, and when you exceed that limit, you will be asked to pay a monthly fee.
Dropbox is a prime exemplar of a cloud service provider that is hugely successful due to their structure; as with most cloud providers, an individual is given a certain amount of space to store data for free, and when that limit is crossed they have to pay up. But with Dropbox, once you cross that limit or are about to cross it, you can simply invite a friend for more storage space; their ingenious structure has caused them to be one of the most highly valued startups in the tech industry.
There you go kids. Cloud Computing 101.
Citations (Memes and GIFS) : https://memegenerator.net/instance/65283992