A beginner's guide to the cloud

A beginner’s guide to the cloud

“The cloud” – another trendy tech term many use but can’t clearly define? Or a useful resource that can benefit your business? The chances are you’re already using if you have any kind of social media profile or an online data drive.

In this beginner’s guide, we break down the who, what, where and why of one of tech’s most abstract terms.

What is the cloud exactly?

The first thing to note is that the cloud is not a physical object. Infact, it’s a network of servers each with a different function such as providing services. For example, in 2013 software company Adobe redirected it’s creative services to the cloud. This meant that users could no longer purchase the box sets of suites such as Photoshop and InDesign in physical form. Other servers that make up the cloud have the responsibility of storing data. For example, did you know anyone with the image and video sharing platform Instagram is uploading to the cloud?
If you are a frequent computer/tech user, the chances are, you encounter the cloud daily. From Google Drive to SkyDrive to iCloud to Evernote, any time you store information without using up your phone’s internal data, you’re storing information on the cloud.

What are the benefits to working in the cloud?

Often the business decision to make the transition to cloud technology is a financial one. Businesses and organisations previously had to purchase their own hardware equipment which gradually depreciated over time. Now, the cloud offers a ‘pay-as-you-go’ service allowing businesses to pay only for what they use. The cloud’s elasticity is often compared to a rubber band thanks to its ease in quickly and efficiently scaling use up or down. This is a key advantage to the cloud, not only will it allow you to upload your favourite #selfie, although that is important, but it’s also helping businesses save thousands of pounds each year.

How big is the cloud?

It is estimated that the cloud provides one Exabyte of data, equal to the same amount as about 4.2million Macbook Pro hard drives!

How secure is the cloud?

The cloud is great for storing non-sensitive information, like to-do lists on platforms like Evernote. But unsurprisingly, the idea of storing personal information somewhere “up in the cloud” makes many people wary. Google, for example, are incorporating encryption measures into paying cloud storage service users in response to people’s concerns.

So how do you use the cloud? Let us know in the comments section below.

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