Think Out Cloud: What is Cloud Computing

Think Out Cloud: What is Cloud Computing

Life Before Cloud Computing

Remember the days when Dropbox or OneDrive still do not exist. Don’t be nostalgic, just recall what you were using back then as your data storage platform. If the punch card comes first to mind, one thing’s for sure – you’re in your 50s! Just kidding. ? But seriously, punch card seems to be the oldest data storage means made commercially available. The platforms that followed are not new to our generation.

Whoever says they do not know floppy disks or diskettes are great pretenders, we should say. We’ve all experienced using it at some point in our lives. But if indeed you don’t know anything about it, we suggest you stop reading this article at once as you may be too young for this. Grab your toy instead and play with the other kids in your neighborhood.
Then there was the compact disk (CD). Widely used in storing digital format of media files like music and movies, this device is not alien to us, unless you came from a different planet. Next was the USB drive. If this is something new to you, from what civilization did you come from? If you haven’t seen one, then grab one (Tip: CD-R king sells it at a really cheap price a piece, just don’t expect it to last though).

All these devices were used to handle small data volumes, most of the time for personal use. But if we’re talking about huge volumes of data, like company data and transactions, these devices just won’t suffice. You either store it in a personal computer or a server. This has been what companies are traditionally doing. Lately, however, more and more people and companies are resorting to a not-so- new technology for their data storage. Regardless of the use, personal or business-related, you now have the option to store data in the cloud. Let’s be clear. When we say cloud, we don’t mean the white puffy structures you see up in the sky. Rather, we talk about a new technology that revolutionized the way people and companies do things.

Cloud Computing Defined

Cloud computing is simply the process of storing and accessing data and programs through the internet instead of your USB drive or your computer’s hard drive. The cloud in fact has become a metaphor for the internet. When you hear a company saying they’re moving their systems to the cloud, it’s the same as saying they’re moving their systems over the internet. In concrete terms, this company doesn’t need to buy a server to store and access their applications but instead have their applications hosted in a data center, the access to which is through the internet.

Common Uses of Cloud Computing

Other than for data storage such as Dropbox and OneDrive, the cloud has a lot more to offer. Would you believe if we tell you you’re on cloud right now? If you’re reading this, then you certainly are. Every bit of information contained in this website is stored in the cloud. That aside, you may also be checking on the tweets of your favorite celebrities on Twitter or stalking your crush on Facebook at this moment. All these social media applications which you use to get in touch with your friends and build networks are cloud applications. Cloud also plays significant role in today’s communications. Email applications such as Google’s Gmail or Microsoft’s Hotmail are also on cloud. Businesses can also take advantage of the cloud through business management software on cloud. Coupa e-ProcurementNetSuite ERP, and SAP Business One Cloud ERP are some examples.

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