Cloud Computing: What is It and How Does it Work?

As technology has progressed over the last several decades the computer industry has developed many different ways to store information. In the beginning, the amount of information people could store in a single location was relatively small. As time went on, however, larger and more effective storage methods emerged. Today, we have a particular method of storing information that is virtually without limits: cloud computing, more simply known as ‘the cloud’.

What is the Cloud?

The term "cloud" refers to a network of machines owned and operated by third parties. When you have permission to use this network, you can store your files, applications and other data on these machines. The data you store is accessible from any location, and you no longer need to worry about running out of storage space on your own computers. You can also use cloud computing to run certain operations and applications, which is often faster and more effective than using your own machines.

How Does it Work?

When you utilize a cloud computing system, your computers connect to the cloud system via the Internet. Some cloud systems allow you to use your existing programs, such as web browsers, to access their resources, while others require the purchase and installation of specialized software. The cloud system to which you connect to is composed of servers, computers, and data storage systems that can include a variety of applications and programs. A central server that monitors interactions with clients to ensure that everything runs smoothly manages the entire system.
Many cloud computing companies offer security guarantees along with their basic cloud services. Such companies have measures in place to keep their clients' information secure, and they back up all of their clients' data to ensure that nothing is lost if the system breaks down. Most companies offering security guarantees are paid providers.

Cloud Computing Options

If you decide to use cloud computing for your company or to store personal information you will have many options to choose from. Some larger companies create their own private cloud to store the information from multiple operating locations. Creating a private cloud for your company often involves the services of a third-party cloud provider who helps you establish the cloud. Other cloud users subscribe to a public cloud that they share with many other clients.

There are advantages to both of these approaches to cloud computing. While private clouds are more secure, they may also be more expensive or difficult to operate. Public clouds, on the other hand, require less participation from clients, but they may not always offer enough security for client data.

When choosing cloud storage, you must also decide whether to purchase cloud space or use free space. Free cloud storage providers don't typically offer as much security or support to their clients. However, if you are storing information that isn't confidential, or if you don't need much technical support, free storage may be the best option. Paid cloud storage providers typically charge clients based on the amount of storage or operational resources they require, and most paid providers offer plenty of support to their clients. Thus, paid cloud storage is usually the best option for clients who need a secure environment and extra support.
Let us know your thoughts on cloud computing and if your business takes part in this new trend.