There’s an awful lot of discussion about the benefits of cloud computing – and not a whole lot about what it is, exactly. So how can you know if this technology is something that will actually be useful to you, if the very definition of cloud computing is as nebulous as its namesake?
If you’ve ever asked yourself “What is the cloud” then this is your lucky day. The following information was compiled to help readers understand the most basic elements of Microsoft cloud computing, and the advantages of taking to the Cloud.
What is Cloud Computing?
You are probably already familiar with it – if you use Gmail, Yahoo or AOL for your email. The cloud is a term used to describe the online networks where you work and play. In other words, the cloud is the place that holds all of your stuff – things like calendars, pictures, music – so that you can access it at any time. If you use social networking sites, you’ve already discovered the benefits of cloud computing for personal pleasure.
How Does The Cloud Work?
Actually, it’s pretty simple. A computer user subscribes to a cloud-based storage company, and then “sends” the information to that company. So instead of saving anything on your own personal computer, you’d save it on the online network run by the storage company. (One the benefits of cloud computing is that your own computer stays uncluttered, because all of your information is stored somewhere else.) Then, when you wish to retrieve that information – as in, you wanted to listen to your music or look at pictures, or you needed a particular spreadsheet or document – you’d either A) have the information sent to you from the storage company, or B) access the information on the network yourself.
Are there economic benefits?
Absolutely. The economic benefits of it are especially clear for business owners, because it can almost completely eliminate the cost of software. Owners who use computers not only have to purchase the actual physical machines, but also the software programs that run on those computers. With cloud technology, an owner can use the network to run applications that normally have to be purchased. This can save an owner thousands of dollars, while allowing for additional choices in terms of providers.
What Can IT Do for Me?
In a word? EVERYTHING. The basic tenet of Microsoft cloud computing is that multiple networks are faster, stronger and better protected than the average computer. And one of the great benefits of cloud computing is automatic backup. Cloud computing technology ensures much larger areas for data storage, so anything you save on the cloud will be saved in multiple spaces, guaranteeing that you’ll always have it around.
So does that mean you should never save anything on your physical computer? No – important things should be saved whenever and wherever they can. But now you can keep them safe and access them wherever you are. It’s kind of like taking your computer with you wherever you go, without the hassle of actually lugging around the desk top.
It has revolutionized the way we think about data storage, the way we treat our information – the way we work and play online. When people ask “How does cloud computing work for me,” they’re usually not thinking about the massive changes it’s caused in both the public and private sector. Some of the benefits of cloud computing are so subtle that we don’t even notice them – like improving the efficiency of IT responsiveness while lowering the cost. So whether you’re a business owner or a college student, there’s an application through Microsoft cloud computing that will save you time and money every time you use it.