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What it Means to be 'In the Cloud'

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An Original Mainframe Compute... An Original Mainframe Computer
Photo Credit: computerhistory.org
Once upon a time, computing was limited to businesses with enough money to afford big, centralized machines known as “mainframes.” (See image above.)

Today, even our smart phones are more powerful than those big mainframe computers of yesterday. During the 20th century, with the evolution of personal computers and internet, we became empowered with quick access to information and faster processes. In the 21st century, smart phones and tablets revolutionized and mobilized our internet and computer access.

Now we’ve entered the age of “cloud computing,” which is “a type of Internet-based computing that provides shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand,” according to wikipedia.org.

More simply, cloud computing means storing and filing data on the internet versus on your computer’s hard drive. So when you hear someone say a file or photo is “in the cloud,” they’re likely saying they’ve saved it within an online network that is connected to our computers and devices for easy information retrieval and file sharing – wherever you happen to be. By putting files in the cloud, you reduce the storage taken up on your hard drive and you gain the ability to pull up a document remotely from any device.

Before cloud computing became popular in business, we had to process information on our computers and on-site company servers. Many big companies like Amazon and Google have always needed big data centers with powerful computers. Technically, in the cloud those companies now have data centers, infrastructures, and computers connected to each other online.

Now that cloud computing is available, many content providers are moving into the cloud. For example, your accounting software might have been on a server in your office before cloud computing. Now software companies offer their solutions in the cloud so you don’t have to install it on the server in your office. In fact, they won’t charge you to purchase or download such software, but rather charge you a subscription fee instead, or charge based on your usage.

In the end, many businesses are now running in the cloud instead of owning the centralized servers and software. The benefit of being in the cloud is being able to use various applications and IT resources and have unlimited storage for files that are backed up and easier to share.
#PSPinc #Blog #CloudComputing #CloudTechnology #SmallBusiness #Internet

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