It’s well into the year 2011 and almost everyone is familiar with the Internet, computers and the new methods of communication they provide. Children, parents and even grandparents all use email, Facebook and twitter–albeit with varying degrees of understanding about online etiquette. However, the digital age is far from over and new technologies are continually being developed and refined. One such technology is called cloud computing.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing allows its clients to connect to a vast network of computers, usually over the Internet. It can be helpful to think of cloud computing in two parts. The front half is what you actually use, which can be almost any computer with Internet access. This computer connects to the back half, or the “cloud” of linked computers, through what is called a “middle ware” program.
Most of the heavy data processing is handled by the cloud, meaning your computer only needs to be powerful enough to run the middle ware, which is usually very basic.
Advantages Of Cloud Computing
Obviously there are huge potential advantages to having access to the processing power of a large network of computers, particularly for large businesses and research universities, which sometimes require calculations so intricate that it would take a normal computer years to complete.
However, there are still some excellent reasons for small businesses and families to be interested in cloud computing as well. For example, the cost of starting a business is significantly reduced if it only needs to buy streamlined computers. Businesses also benefit from a service called, “software as a service,” which is when a program or application is stored on the cloud allowing anyone in the business access to it.
Not only does this make it easy to set up a new hire with what they need to do their job, it saves the manager the headache of dealing with purchasing new licenses. Also, streamlined computers break less frequently and cost less to fix.
Everyone from businesses to individuals can benefit from another service called, “storage as a service,” which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Information can be saved to the cloud, which then automatically creates a back up file, effectively securing any important information.
Cloud Computing Concerns
Security is the biggest issue facing most cloud computing companies. After all, how can you be sure your information is safe if you don’t have a copy in your hands? And what if the cloud is hacked? The first question has already been answered in this article–the cloud automatically creates a backup of whatever its clients store. However, the second question is a little harder.
The only real response is that cloud computing companies trade on their reputations for security; it’s essential for them to have the very best Internet security available.
One of the exciting things about technology is that it’s constantly evolving. Like social media, cloud computing has the potential to revolutionize what the average person, or business, requires from a computer.