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What Is the Cloud?

Posted by ATSI Content Team on Oct 26, 2018 1:04:48 PM
ATSI Content Team
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Businessman working with a Cloud Computing diagram on the new computer interface“The cloud” is a popular term used in the tech industry. You may have heard tech companies saying data is in the cloud, or someone can work in the cloud. They are not referring to the beautiful, white, fluffy formations seen in the sky. The data is not actually in the natural clouds found in the sky, but in terrestrial places.

Meaning

"The cloud" is a term that means software and services that are operated on the worldwide web, rather than on your local computer. A majority of cloud services are accessible via a web browser like Chrome, Firefox, Bing, etc. Some tech companies provide dedicated apps.

Apple iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Netflix are examples of popular cloud services.

Advantages of the Cloud

  • The cloud allows you to access your data using any device that has an internet connection. For example, you can edit files in Google Docs on your desktop at home, then continue editing when you arrive at the office.
  • A cloud service like Amazon Cloud Drive allows you to store and peruse through your gallery collection without being afraid of maxing out the internal storage capacity of your laptop, smart phone or desktop.
  • Remote servers are the ones which handle most of the computing and storage. Therefore, you do not require a costly, high-end computer to do your work.


Disadvantages of the Cloud

  • Without access to a proper internet connection, you cannot reach the data stored in the cloud. Also, if there are technical problems in the cloud servers, you are locked out of the information.
  • Your information is out there on the internet, therefore there is always a risk of malicious people accessing it. Cloud companies have placed security measures to guard your data from getting into the wrong hands, but there is always a risk when digital data is involved — whether it's on your hard drive, mobile device, tablet or the cloud.

How Does It Work?

First and foremost, you need to be connected to the internet to access cloud systems. A central server is in charge of managing the cloud computing system. The users can access cloud storage and download information onto any electronic device like a laptop, smart phone or tablet. Cloud users can edit their documents at the same time with other users, making it easier for colleagues to work away from their physical office.

To understand how cloud computing operates, it's better to look at it in 2 parts: the front end and the back end. Those parts are connected via a network, which is the internet. The front end is the user while the back end is the part of “the cloud.”

The front end is made up of the user’s computer network, which includes the application required to reach the cloud computing system. Cloud computing systems do not need to have the same client interface.

The back end consists of computer servers and storage systems which make up “the cloud.” A cloud computing system may be inclusive of a computer program, data processors, video games, etc.

Get In Touch

To find out how your business communications can benefit from the cloud, get in touch with ATSI.

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