Up until recently I only had a vague understanding of what people meant when they said their data was being stored in ‘the cloud’. From the time I heard the saying until I started here at Dominion, I always just assumed the meaning of the cloud (and really my explanation of it made no sense).
So, if you’re still wondering what exactly we mean when we say the cloud, take a seat and I will gladly elaborate.
How It All Came to Be
Before we coined the term ‘the cloud’, we were working with what IBM called VM (virtual machines). Virtual machines presented the ability to connect multiple computers to the same processing environment. In short this meant that even though each device possessed its own memory, processor, and hardware, its resources could be shared by others .
The internet was made available to the public in the 90's which led the way for cloud computing. The early 2000's birthed companies that pioneered cloud storage services; Salesforce.com and Amazon are just two of the companies who found value in cloud storage early on. Since then many companies have adopted this cloud-based model and found great success in doing so.
What is Cloud Storage?
Individuals and businesses alike are turning to cloud storage as a way to store and protect their files. Instead of storing information onto your computer’s hard drive or an external hard drive, you can store it in the cloud. The cloud is a remote database (a database that is located elsewhere) that stores your files for later use. You may be wondering what the difference is then between storing your files locally and storing them remotely.
Why Use the Cloud?
Well, the cloud has some significant advantages over traditional data storage options.
A few examples are:
- Information is accessible anywhere you have an internet connection.
- Cloud storage is more cost effective.
- Files are less likely to get lost due to backups of original files.
You can see how the cloud can have great benefits over storing information on a single database. Many people use software that is stored on the cloud because it creates flexibility and it allows for multiple people to use it at one time.
Examples of the Cloud
Many of us use cloud storage, but don’t even know we are using it. If you rely on email services such as Gmail or Yahoo, you are using the cloud. If you use DropBox to store files, you are using cloud storage. Other examples of cloud storage are social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram. When you think about it that way you can see how many people may be using cloud storage without even knowing it.
What are some ways you use the cloud? Share your answers in the comments below!