When storing data on the “cloud” became a super big thing, I never really understood what the “cloud” meant. Was it just a supercomputer that handled massive amounts of data from companies, individuals, and other entities? Or was it more than that?
The term ‘cloud computing’ refers to the ability to offer many services — such as storing data, servers, networking, and intelligence — over the cloud or Internet. Cloud Computing is literally one of the BIGGEST services ever. Many companies, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure offer cloud computing support mainly in order to handle and store data and offer software applications.
Before diving deep into cloud computing, we should first learn about what the cloud is. What does the term “cloud” refer to? It would be really cute if it were an actual cloud lol, but it's actually not. I know, the term is very misleading.
The cloud is essentially a ‘bunch’ or “network” of servers. What does this mean? A server is a computer device that stores data and offers support for other software programs or devices called clients. An example of a cloud service is Office 365 or Google Drive. So whenever you are storing your data or information in a cloud service, you are storing it in the cloud, which basically leads to storing it in a physical server. So this is how communication between a client (aka your device, or applications in your device) and a server occurs. It is known as the client-server model.
Now, we know that data is all around us. For companies, every day, and every second of the day, some amount of data is generated. There is basically too much data to handle. So many companies have too much data to handle and store. This is known as big data. How do you store large amounts of data, and how can you handle, cleanse and protect it? These companies can store it in their own data centers or servers, but it requires a lot of effort and cost. Cloud Computing services can take care of all of that. AWS and Azure are just a few of the services offered to protect, handle, and store data from other companies or individuals. So essentially, other companies would buy the service, and pay per month, for the cloud computing service to store, handle, and protect the company’s data in their servers. These are just some of the few services offered by AWS and Azure. There are many more.
Now, all of this sounds very good. Companies with vast amounts of data can go to a cloud computing service and purchase their plan in order to store all of their data on the service’s servers. However, there are some potential risks. Privacy is a huge concern for these companies. They are basically trusting the cloud computing services to protect their data and not leaking it to other competitors and companies. There will definitely be mutual agreements about privacy between the companies and the services. But, privacy is still a concern, and the data in the servers and in the “cloud” needs to be secure, protected and monitored. Even though there are a few risks, cloud computing makes accessing data much faster and efficient. It is a great technological lead in this industry.