Understanding the Cloud

Understanding the Cloud

Information technology is changing drastically with cloud technology. I have found the cloud to be extremely beneficial to self-employed people like me, but it takes a bit of rethinking how you do computing. In fact, I’d argue that I would not be able to do half of what I do if it wasn’t for my rudimentary knowledge of cloud computing.

I’m afraid that this limits some people. It’s a foreign concept to many people. Though the cloud is liberating, these folks find it difficult to imagining… 

  • never having to press “save.”
  • not worrying if their harddrive crashes.
  • not caring so much if you leave your computer behind.
  • never having to download anything.
  • not having to backup (or worry that you haven’t lately).
  • not having to haul disks or hard dives or memory sticks around.
  • having your files “out there” on the mysterious internet.

Welcome to the “cloud,” where everything you need is online. It isn’t too difficult to understand when you compare the way things were (outside the cloud) to the way things are inside the cloud. Here are two illustrations.

Traditional Content Distribution

Traditional Content Distribution

This is the way most of us were used to sharing content. Content rested on our computers or (somewhat a pre-cloud idea) on a company server. We would create, save, and send the content from our computers. Emails would be sent to our collegues – they were lost, deleted by accident, corrupted, and so forth. We also needed to wait for one another, and the infamous “it must have gotten lost in cyberspace” became the excuse of an entire generation.

The Cloud

The Cloud

This illustrates how information is exchanged within the cloud. Notice how information is accessible by anyone in the cloud. The content you create is within an online database. To share the document, you don’t send anything other than permission to access the same file. Data is saved automatically, and you can even make the information public for the world to see.

Does that make things easier to understand?

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