“When I look to the sky, something tells me your hear with me” was the popular band Train singing about information and data? I think not, but because of cloud computing when we all look to the sky we know our data will be with us wear ever we go….at least as long as we have internet connection.
What exactly is cloud computing? Well cloud computing is not browsing the Internet at 30 thousand feet in a plane. Although you could technically use cloud computing up in the clouds which would be kind of ironic. To describe what cloud computing is though, we can actually compare it to a cloud high up in the sky. Just look outside your window from you office find a cloud. Now if you leave your office building and run down the street and jump into a Starbucks and look out the window the cloud is still with you, you can still see it high up there in the sky (given there is not much wind). Next you can travel to your house and look out of your houses windows and that cloud is still there. Basically the point here is the cloud is always with you where ever you go and that is what cloud computing is, it is having your data with you wear ever you go.
The basics of cloud computing is, storing your data weather it be word documents, video files pictures or music in the cloud so you can access it from anywhere. In a little more technical terms you are storing all your data in a server in which you can access from anyplace in which you can connect to the internet.
The benefits of cloud computing are quite obvious, the ability to have your data unlocked from the clutches of your computers hard drive and be accessed anywhere is convenient in millions of ways. Other then just having access to your data almost anywhere in the world cloud computing is also extremely beneficial because space and storage capacity is not a problem. Think of it this way, you have a desktop at home with a terabyte of hard drive space (for you non-technical people out there that is very large amount). On that large desktop hard drive you have 300 megabytes of music, and your smart phone has a memory capacity of 4 gigabytes. Even if you not understand megabytes versus gigabytes one can easily see that 300 megabytes of information can not fit into a 4 gigabyte space.
This is exactly where cloud computing can be great. You can take all 300 megabytes of music with you even if your smart phone can only hold 4 gigabytes of music. Since your not listening to 300 megabytes of music all at one, heck you can only listen to one song at a time, which is like 9 maybe 10 megabytes each, so that is really all the space you need. Cloud computing downloads to your device what you need when you need it. So if you want to listen to “When I look into the Sky” by Train your phone will download the song from your list of music in the cloud, and when your done it will dump it off and get the next song you want to listen to.
Luckily computers are fast and can do multiple things at once, so your device can actually start downloading the next song while your listening to one, so you will not have a long pause in between each song. This process not only works for music but any kind of data, video pictures etc.
The downside of cloud computing is obliviously that if you have no connection you have no data and therefore can not access your files. So if we go back to our previous example of listening to music from the cloud on your smart phone, if you go into a tunnel or out into the middle of the woods wear there is no cell service then you are out of luck and can not listen to any music. To try and combat this most programs will try and download as many songs or as much data as it can fit on your device so when you are in a dark spot you still have at least some music to listen to until you reconnect.
Cloud computing not only can not be accessed from everywhere but it can also get expensive. Cloud computing over the years has been getting cheaper since storage prices have been dropping with better technology but you will still be paying a monthly fee to store any significant amount of data in the cloud.