Generally, when you hear the word “Cloud” outside the technology environment you would possibly think they are referring to the cloud in the sky. Nonetheless, some people still believe there is only one “Cloud” which is the one up high, however, there is also something called Cloud in IT, which affects our daily interaction and communication.
What exactly is this cloud?
The first thing you need to understand about this cloud (Ref. Information Technology) is that it is not a physical thing. The cloud is a network of servers, and each server has a different function. Some servers use computing power to run applications or “deliver a service.” Let’s quickly talk about what a server is because it would be mentioned many times in this article.
What is a server?
A server can be referred to as a computer program that provides services to other computer programs (and their users) in the same or other computers. The computer that a server program runs in is also frequently referred to as a server. That machine may be a dedicated server or used for other purposes as well.
Some servers in the cloud are responsible for storing data. For example, when you take a picture on your smartphone, it is stored on your phone’s internal memory drive. However, when you upload the photos to Facebook or Instagram, you are uploading it to the cloud. Always have it at the back of your mind that “The Cloud” is a network of servers. Some servers provide an online service, like Microsoft Office 365, and others allow you to store and access data, like OneDrive or SharePoint Online.
Most times the decision to “move to the cloud” is often financially motivated. Most organisations used to have to buy their own hardware equipment, the value of which depreciated over time. But now with the cloud, companies only have to pay for what they use. This model makes it easy to quickly scale use up or down.
That’s why the cloud is such a big deal; it doesn’t just let you upload that your beautiful pictures (although that is important), but it also helps companies save thousands of naira a year.
In the past, people would run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in their building, with cloud computing people now have access to the same kinds of applications through the Internet.
Working on the cloud allows your company to be flexible, efficient and cost-effective. If your company quickly needs access to more resources, it can scale quickly in the cloud. Conversely, if it needs to downscale or reduce resources, it can do so just as easily. Because of this scalability, the cloud’s elasticity is often compared to that of a rubber band.
How massive is the cloud?
No one knows exactly how much space can be provided by cloud-based services like Microsoft, Google or Amazon; however, according to an online report, the cloud can store about 1 Exabyte.
The question is how big is an Exabyte?
An Exabyte of memory can hold the same amount of data as 4.2 million MacBook Pro hard drives. That’s a mammoth storage.
Is the cloud secure?
The cloud is great for storing sensitive & non-sensitive information, like to-do lists on platforms like Onenote. But unsurprisingly, the idea of storing personal information somewhere “up in the cloud” makes many people wary.
Some companies, like Microsoft, are responding to this worry accordingly. For paid cloud storage service users data are encrypted online and optimal security is ensured.