10 Jul What is the Cloud? Where is it?
What is the Cloud? Where is it?
What is the cloud? There has been a ton of talk about the cloud. Cloud this, cloud that. It’s okay if you don’t know, most people don’t understand it and even some tech people tend to wave their hands towards the sky when trying to explain it!
Since it actually has nothing to do with the white fluffy things in the sky, let’s lay it all out:
Cloud computing is about storing and retrieving your data (personal or business) within your own piece of the internet. Access it from anywhere. Colleagues in different locations can even collaborate on documents in real time.
If that all sounds a bit futuristic, think about how an email service like Gmail works. Emails are stored on the Gmail server, not on your hard drive or device.
Your read/send/receive changes are applied instantly, remembered for next login. This is a form of cloud computing. So is Netflix, where you can stream movies and TV shows on demand. Video is stored on a computer somewhere else in the world, and sent to your device in tiny packages. Netflix remembers what you watched, where you got up to, and if you’re hopping from one device to another, it still has it all ready to go.
Where is ‘cloud’ data stored?
Good question. And it’s why the term ‘cloud’ causes so much confusion. Companies who offer cloud storage have huge warehouses dedicated to holding servers. By huge, we mean HUGE. In terms of location, the US and UK are popular server farm locations, but the company could also have copies of your data stored elsewhere in the world. This is so they can fulfill their redundancy guarantees – if disaster hits one location, the other still has a copy. Having additional locations and copies also increases the speed of access. With some companies, you can choose your preferred location. Data doesn’t have to travel quite as far across the world, increasing speed even further, which of course, saves time and money. Collaboration, security, redundancy, AND savings? We’d call that a win.
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