Cloud Computing Simplified
Understanding the idea behind cloud computing is simple. Long before the term cloud computing was even invented, we had all been using some form of it. If you’re an online gamer playing games like WoW or Eve, the basic idea of cloud computing is used there. Their servers hold information (not that which is stored on your own computer), which makes the games you have installed work correctly. This is where the big difference is. You do not install any programs on your computer; they are rather hosted on a computer either at your company or a third-party provider.
Some of the old file-sharing programs that existed years ago were forms of cloud computing as well. Data, movies, pictures and music were hosted by other computers. You logged in and were able to watch, listen or view the data from the comfort of your own home, while someone else hosted it. But now cloud computing has taken off and gone to the next level—a system of computers linked up together hosting, serving and storing data so users can use that data without even needing to install or upgrade their own machines. This is a concept that many of us who have been using the Net for a while already understand and have been using to some degree, but now the cat is out of the bag, so to speak, and it has become the new “in” thing.
To better understand what you are reading, try out Google docs. This program, even if basic, is a prime example of cloud computing. They host the data (which at this time is spreadsheets and word documents) and the programs, and you are able to open, use, save and download the data as needed. Now, if you have an old computer system, some programs simply would not run on your computer. But with cloud computing, the age of your computer system is never an issue. Your computer becomes a keyboard and monitor only, as all the heavy lifting is done by the server computer.
Now think about that for a moment—think about 20 or 50 computers all linked together. That massive amount of computing power is all at your fingertips. Do you want to have every song ever recorded at your fingertips? Or every book… or every anything? You can! Facebook games are a similar idea to cloud computing; they do the heavy lifting, while you just sit there and enjoy playing the game. Pretty simple, right? Well, expand that idea even further. Think what your company IT department could do with that information—that ability. Think of the wasted man-hours spent updating each and every computer; think of the money spent to make sure each and every computer had the proper software. Now take that cost away; take away the man-hours. What could your IT department be doing right now? Developing new programs and ideas, and doing what you wanted them to do in the first place, before they were distracted by every issue under the sun.
By Emma Joseph
Visit CloudTweaks each week as Emma helps take the complexity out of the cloud…