The Wizard of The Cloud

Source: Giphy

The Cloud” is a term that many people pretend to understand but really have no earthly idea as to what it really means. Technology website Recode says it’s a buzzword used by companies like Internet of Things, Big Data and 5G, but they never really make it clear as to what The Cloud really is or what it does.

So, what really is the cloud? Is it a place to hold your vacay pics, or is it a self-proclaimed powerful, omniscient sorcerer behind a cloud curtain that will hold all of your secrets against you?!

The Cloud is a software and service that are run on the Internet instead of being stored on a computer or hard drive. Cloud computing is also a tool for pooling and delivery of on-demand computing resources which requires scalability and elasticity. Elasticity refers to the cloud infrastructure that allows it to meet real-time demand whereas scalability highlights the capability to accommodate a growing amount of work. Cloud computing is designed for utility, which is the key to innovation. The idea is that the cloud provides as much storage as is needed, when it is needed and is a resource that can be switched on and off.

Source: Recode

A couple of examples of cloud services that are popular are: Google Drive, Apple’s iCloud, Netflix, Dropbox, Amazon web services, Yahoo Mail and many more. These are mainly consumer options, but there are lots of other cloud applications for business purposes.

Let’s talk a little bit about what the pro’s and con’s of the cloud are before you decide to join us on the fluffy side.

PROS:

  1. Flexibility— cloud computing allows for the ability to access files using web-enabled devices such as smartphones, laptops and notebooks. It gives the ability to simultaneously share documents and other files over the Internet which increase collaboration opportunities.
  2. Scalability — like I mentioned earlier, scalability is one of the big advantages to cloud computing. Scalability allows for accommodation to meet growing amount of data storage without having to change IT systems.
  3. Cost Effectiveness — Cloud computing is relatively affordable compared to continually having to upgrade hardware. Users are able to purchase scalable space for data crunching on demand and only have to pay for what they use. Therefore, there is no need for significant capital investment in large amounts of hardware.
  4. Security — Cloud computing service providers know that security is a very important component to the idea of this service. Google data centre offers security that no other company can match. They keep clients’ security of their information a top priority and follow best practices to protect the privacy of their users. In addition, improved disaster recovery with cloud computing allows users to retrieve data in an easier and less expensive manner.
Source: Rx for Success

CONS:

  1. Security — Oppositely, security can be an issue with cloud computing. It comes down to trusting a company with your data. Businesses especially need to think about how sensitive their data is and how important data security is. Can you trust a third party to keep it safe? The key is to choose providers that are security savvy and have enough resources to ensure data is protected and secure.
  2. Internet Connectivity — The cloud is an amazing tool… but only if you can maintain a consistent Internet connection. If connectivity is lost by a cloud service provider, all of the information needed will be inaccessible and a business may have to stop operations until it is back and running.
  3. Ongoing Costs — The initial startup fees to cloud services are much lower than traditional IT hardware, however, the ongoing costs associated with cloud computing for maintaining the server and also the data could add up.

So, while The Cloud isn’t run by a man behind a blue, cloud imprinted curtain, it is a useful way to store as much data when you need it for when you need through the Internet.

Let me know what you think about the could on twitter @pnakatsu1 and let’s talk more about digital technology!