Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cloud Computing - the Simple version

If you're reading this post, you have already heard about how the "Cloud" is going to revolutionize technology and business.  Companies are talking about how to incorporate the "Cloud" into their strategies.  If you read CIO.com, you may have seen how the "Cloud" might even make your job go away.

So what is the Cloud? (no more quotation marks, I promise)

Put simply, the Cloud is nothing more than a hard drive that you can't see, somewhere in the Internet.  It looks and feels like part of your computer (or iPad/smartphone/etc) because you are able to send and retrieve storage and run your programs.  But instead of using your own gear you're getting the same services from someone else's hardware.

The cool part about this arrangement is that you don't have to lay out the cash to buy a hard drive and you (usually) only pay for what you consume.  If you need more, you can get it instantly.  Very attractive to a business that has been paying thousands (or millions) for storage growth every year.  It's a great way to save money and time.

Of course there is a downside.  You are completely out of luck if your Internet connection goes down.  Also, your stuff is on another firm's hardware so you are trusting that they have the ability to provide you the availability and security that you need (oops, Sony).

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