Cloud computing sounds somehow magical and mystical.
Promising limitless storage space and incredible versatility, it’s still mysterious to many users. The fact is that it’s actually very simple.
If you use web-based e-mail services through companies like Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail, then you are already making use of the cloud.
Here is what you should know about this technological marvel and how it can help you.
A restaurant has two major sections. Simply known as the front-of-the-house and the back-of-the-house, they refer to the functional areas were meals are prepared and the dining room where meals are enjoyed. The cloud is very similar. The front end of the cloud refers to the side users see and includes the client’s computer and the applications used to access the marvelous cloud. The back end refers to the collection of computers, data storage centers, and servers that work together to provide the cloud experience.
Just as managers run a restaurant and keep everything working smoothly, a central server runs the cloud and keeps traffic moving. It ensures client demands are met and information is properly handled. Following a specific set of rules known as protocols, it keeps the cloud working the way clients demand and expect.
Computers communicate with each other when they are linked in a network. Software known as “middleware” allows for smooth communication between the connected systems. Like a waiter delivering orders to the kitchen and working with other waiters, the middleware is essential for keeping the system working smoothly.
Reduced Expenses for Companies
There was a time when companies wanted their own hardware and software, but that is becoming an expensive proposition. Piracy laws dictate that software may only be loaded on specific computers. Attempting to load a program authorized for one computer onto multiple systems can land you in deep legal trouble. With the cloud, businesses don’t have to buy software for every user or pay extra fees. With one easy payment, all their employees can access the required software for business.
In addition to saving money on hardware and software, companies also save on storage space. With the traditional system, they had to store their own data. This meant investing in huge mainframes and storing them in special temperature-controlled rooms. With the cloud, they don’t have to waste any precious floor space on the computer systems.
Keep everything stored on your personal computer and you can only retrieve information from that system. This can pose a problem if your system crashes or if you are away from your computer and can’t access any of your stored data. With cloud computing, you can get the information from any computer with Internet access. Rather than carrying your laptop everywhere, you could easily access your reports and data from any other secured computer in another office or even at a client’s home.
Backing up data nightly is time-consuming and not entirely reliable. Subject to human error, the task might simply be overlooked and leave you exposed. With the cloud, your data is stored and secured on offsite servers and databases. Crashed hard drives won’t leave you frustrated, and computer viruses will no longer threaten to wipe out all of your data.
While the cloud will protect your data form viruses and crashed hard drives, there is still a legitimate concern regarding privacy. Some business owners worry that the people running and managing the cloud will access the information. However, there are several protective measures that prevent this from happening.
- Reputation – Cloud computing companies need their solid reputation to ensure that new customers will trust them. It benefits them to take measures to protect your privacy. Look for reputable companies who are willing to provide you with detailed information regarding how they protect your privacy.
- Authentication – Cloud computing requires users to have unique user names and passwords that are difficult to break. Train your employees to choose passwords that combine upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters to make the system more secure.
- Authorization – Look for a company that will allow you to set up limited access for each user based on job requirements.
There is no doubt that cloud computing is here to stay, and it does offer many benefits.
Help you company lower expenses and save storage space by investing in a trusted company for cloud computing. Take steps to ensure that your privacy is protected by choosing strong passwords and limiting employee access. With these smart moves, you are sure to benefit from the marvelous features of the cloud.
Henry Eudy is a freelance writer who blogs about the latest in technology, including cloud computing.