The Value of Cloud Computing

We use our computers on a constant basis, that in the end involves some sort of cloud computing or storage; it’s become part of our consciousness, so to speak. The cloud synchronizes content through many social networking sites as MySpace and Facebook, or blogs and other online communities—these are all aspects of cloud computing, as so much information is inextricably linked together.

While the concept behind the cloud can be quite overwhelming to some, it’s actually made the experience of using the internet less cumbersome and more economically feasible, especially if you own a home based business and want to avoid using external servers or an IT staff.

Some Cloud History

Think back to the 1950s, when computers were the size of a house. One of the first ‘cloud’ prototypes were actual networks that used  mainframe computers, a fairly large (and expensive) data processing system designed for corporations and colleges.

As technology advanced over the decades, the cloud didn’t really come into fruition until the 1990s when telecommunication companies provided a VPN or virtual private network, which provided previously inaccessible networks with an ability to connect to one another via the internet. The use of the cloud was more or less used as a symbol to determine boundaries between networks and users.

This interaction has since been a valuable option for individuals, businesses, colleges and organizations, who have found it to be a more valid and streamlined approach to not only conducting business, but to storing data as well.

The Cloud Infrastructure

By using what could be termed as a computer grid, the cloud works collaboratively as a service-based architecture that provides access to data and software. The cloud’s accessible software design also allows for easy management of information without external hard drives, which has not only helped cut costs for many businesses, it’s basically eliminated the need to hire on-site IT staff. Some of the best online storage providers offer data backup through a specialized storage architecture that helps prevent data loss. There are different plans that are offered from different servers, based on consumer needs. For the most part, cloud providers allow users to execute backups automatically via the Internet or through your own network.

With the cloud, consumers are provided with a strong infrastructure, in addition to software and a viable platform. The cloud eliminates the need for purchasing expensive servers and storage systems, allowing you to work off-site and in cyberspace. Data can be accessed from anywhere in the world via laptops, phones, pads, etc., giving users the ability to share information with friends or colleagues anywhere at anytime.

Cloud providers usually offer a pay as you go structure, where you can set the amount of data storage you need and pay for that amount accordingly. The smaller the amount of storage, the less you’ll find that you have to pay, whereas larger amounts will generally increase based on desired need.

Security Issues

While the cloud has to some extent revolutionized how we do things online, there are still some doubts as to whether or not it’s entirely safe. Hacking and compatibility are among the top issues that regularly rear their heads.

Over time, cloud services have vigorously protected themselves against external threats, so any customer should have a thorough knowledge of whatever service they choose to avoid any possible risks. In the case of fatal errors, downtime or system faults, cloud computing should produce detailed event logs, or audit trails, a chronological record of sorts that documents all logins and user access to each service as a safety precaution that helps administrators and customers understand these very issues.

Cloud service providers have been consistently re-tooling and modernizing their platforms with such additions as upgraded hardware architecture, following management system requirements, providing green energy alternatives to save money and reducing the carbon footprint, as well as addressing any security concerns that may affect businesses, many of whom have or are considering making the transition to the cloud. A more secure cloud is, in effect, a safer cloud.

License: Creative Commons image source

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