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The Cloud: What Is It?


Ever heard an IT person mention the cloud and wondered what they were talking about? We're here to clear things up.

The cloud is a term referring to a collection of network servers that each have a different job. Some allow you to store and access information, while others provide online services. The truth is you're already utilizing the cloud if you're a social media user or you use online data drives such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive to store information. These services function solely through Internet connection instead of your computer's hard drive.

Here's an example: you take a selfie on your cell phone. That picture is stored in your phone's internal memory, but when you upload that photo to a social media site like Instagram, you are delivering it to the cloud. The majority of cloud services can be opened in web browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox, and some companies even offer mobile apps with cloud-like features. A few examples of cloud services include iCloud, Netflix, Yahoo Mail, and Dropbox.

Advantages of Cloud Services for Businesses

Cloud computing refers to the products, services, and platforms that give both businesses and customers complete access to resources delivered to them through the Internet and other types of networks. The cloud offers companies a variety of benefits, as it allows one to access their information on any device with a stable Internet connection. It is what allows a person edit a document in one place and begin where they left off on another computer. It also allows multiple people to work together on the same document in real-time, making collaboration easier and more efficient.

A little over a decade ago, computers began securing reliable, high-speed Internet, with mobile devices following soon after. Experts soon realized that because of constant online connection and faster data transfer rates, practically everything could be stored online. Data distribution across many servers has also lessened the load on web-based applications, allowing them to run more smoothly. Furthermore, since the cloud servers are continuously updating, there are always backups prepared in case one of them crashes.

The cloud has significantly helped both business owners and private users. It has assisted businesses by letting them pay only for space they use on an as-needed basis rather than having to buy data storage equipment of their own that may or may not be enough, thus saving them thousands of dollars each year. 

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