What is the Cloud?
We are always hearing about “the cloud” these days. The tech term gets thrown around a lot, however, many people don’t really know what the cloud is nor do they know how it works. If you use any kind of social media or online data drive, you’re already using the cloud; you just may not realize it. Cloud computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand, as with the electricity grid. The cloud is a network of servers, and each server has a different function. Some servers use computing power to run applications or “deliver a service.” Chances are, you encounter the cloud daily. From Google Drive to iCloud to Evernote, any time you store information without using up your phone or computer’s internal data, you’re storing information on the cloud. No one knows exactly how much space can be provided by cloud-based services like Google, Amazon or Facebook; however, according to this infographic, the cloud can store about 1 Exabyte. An Exabyte of memory can hold the same amount of data as 4.2 million Macbook Pro hard drives. That’s a lot of storage.
Benefits of the Cloud
The business decision to move to the cloud is often financially motivated. Before the cloud, businesses would have to purchase their own storage hardware. But now with the cloud, companies only have to pay for what they use. This makes it easy to scale their use up or down – maybe saving a company thousands of wasted dollars. Working on the cloud allows your company to be quick, efficient and cost-effective. If your company is in need of more or less resources, they can easily upscale or downscale resources. Because of this scalability, the cloud’s elasticity is often compared to that of a rubber band.