Into the clouds
If you’re involved in the computer sciences field by any means whether you were studying, working, or even researching, then you are probably familiar with the Cloud Computing term. However, if you aren’t really a computer sciences enthusiast or even if you are and you’ve never encountered with such term, worry not! You are just about to be introduced to this very interesting topic within seconds.
First of all, No! The topic has nothing to do with clouds, not even a little bit. Nothing is happening up there; rather it’s just a metaphorical catchy name. So what does cloud computing really mean? In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet.
Let’s say you’re an executive at a large corporation. Your particular responsibilities include making sure that all of your employees have the right hardware and software they need to do their jobs. Buying computers for everyone isn’t enough; you also have to purchase software or software licenses to give employees the tools they require. Whenever you have a new hire, you have to buy more software or make sure your current software license allows another user. It’s so stressful that you find it difficult to go to sleep on your huge pile of money every night. Soon, there may be an alternative for executives like you. Instead of installing a suite of software for each computer, you’d only have to load one application. That application would allow workers to log into a Web-based service which hosts all the programs the user would need for his or her job. Remote machines owned by another company would run everything from email to word processing to complex data analysis programs. It’s called cloud computing, and it could change the entire computer industry.
. The main idea of social networking is to find people you already know or people you would like to know and share your information with them. Of course, when you share your information with these people, you’re also sharing it with the people who run the service.
The biggest cloud computing services are Web-based e-mail. As of January 2009, over 500 million people used Microsoft’s Web-based e-mail, Hotmail or Windows live mail. Using a cloud computing e-mail solution allows the mechanics of hosting an e-mail server and maintaining it to be taken out of your hands. It also means that your e-mail is accessible from anywhere.
The famous Google Docs that exists on the Internet allow you to keep and edit your documents online. By doing so, the documents will be accessible anywhere, and you can share the documents and collaborate on them. Multiple people can work in the same document simultaneously.
Applications like Dropbox, Google Drive (both offer free versions) make it easy to keep local copies of files on multiple computers synchronized while keeping a copy in the “cloud.”
Interesting, isn’t it? Cloud computing is everywhere in our lives and we aren’t even aware of it, but maybe you are wondering Why would anyone want to rely on another computer system to run programs and store data? Here are just a few reasons:
- Clients would be able to access their applications and data from anywhere at any time.
- It could bring hardware costs down. Cloud computing systems would reduce the need for advanced hardware on the client side. You wouldn’t need to buy the fastest computer with the most memory, because the cloud system would take care of those needs for you.
- Servers and digital storage devices take up space. Some companies rent physical space to store servers and databases because they don’t have it available on site.
While the benefits of cloud computing seem convincing, are there any potential problems?
Perhaps the biggest concerns about cloud computing are security and privacy. The idea of handing over important data to another company worries some people. Corporate executives might hesitate to take advantage of a cloud computing system because they can’t keep their company’s information under lock and key.
Privacy is another matter. If a client can login from any location to access data and applications, it’s possible the client’s privacy could be compromised. Cloud computing companies will need to find ways to protect client privacy. One way is to use authentication techniques such as usernames and passwords. Another is to employ an authorization format. Each user can access only the data and applications relevant to his or her job.
So is cloud computing the best choice we have? Well so far it is. Even though we never know what’s coming next in technology. We have given you just a glimpse of what cloud computing is all about, make sure you read more, get into details and find your way in this interesting topic!