Nowadays, “upload files to the cloud” or “it’s on the cloud” are expressions we hear almost daily. However, not everyone knows what this “cloud” is or even where it is and why everyone is talking about it. Today, we will discover what exactly this notion of cloud is and what it can be used for.
A simple definition of the notion of cloud
What is the cloud? What does it have to do with the internet? The term “in the cloud” can be defined as “a paradigm that enables computing services to be offered over a network, usually the internet.”
However, this definition is quite technical. To make it easier, let’s say that the “cloud” is an internet tool that allows us to use applications that run on a computer, better known as a server, which you can connect to using the internet by simply entering a username and password. In reality, we don’t usually use a single server, but a set of connected computers to form a server.
What is the “cloud” for?
You probably use numerous applications and services in the cloud everyday even if you don’t know it yet. And not only on your computer: the apps you have on your mobile phone are also an example. Gmail, Dropbox, social networks, Fonvirtual’s virtual PBX… are just a few examples.
Moreover, the cloud makes it possible for us to connect to services that would need a much more powerful computer because of the complex processing they require.
Many larger tech companies, such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, etc., recently have focused on bringing thousands of different cloud technology applications to the market.These services have now become one of their main sources of income.
Types of cloud technologies
The services highlighted above usually run in public clouds. Public clouds are basically servers that any user who registers will have access to. They are secure, but with a lower level of security than those that are private (for obvious reasons).
As previously mentioned, the public cloud is not the only type of cloud technology that exists. Many companies need a higher degree of security, protection, and control over stored data and user access. In this case, we are referring to a private cloud. This cloud is managed by the company itself, who controls and stores the servers, networks, security and resources. It is usually limited to the company’s local network to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing it and stealing information.
Then, there’s the notion of hybrid cloud. As you can imagine, these clouds have characteristics of both the private and public cloud. The company itself decides which parts will be private and which parts will be public. One of the most common uses of this type of cloud is corporate email.
We know the pros of cloud technology, so what are the cons?
The most notable con of cloud services is that users do not actually physically possess the data contained within the cloud. Furthermore, some argue that users’ freedom of choice is limited, since the server providers are ultimately the ones who decide which features are available to the public.
However, the reality of cloud technology is different. Cloud services have created a data revolution. It has become an online service that would otherwise have cost companies significantly more if data was still stored physically. For the same reasons, files were generally not easily accessible and took longer to search for.
The possibility of having gigabytes of storage without needing to buy extra hard drives, having services such as e-mail for free or allowing a simple application to manage all calls, are just some advantages that the cloud has brought to our daily lives.
Thanks to cloud services, people now have the ability to access files or other data from the cloud. They can be located anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection.