You have probably heard this thing pop on in conversation, commercials, and ads all over the place. “Cloud storage.” You want it and there are people out there that want to sell it to you, by golly. So what is it, exactly? Allow us to break it down for you.
Once upon a time, in the dawn of computing and even during the birth of the internet, we had to save data onto hard drives within a computer or on this plastic, coaster-sized devices known as discs. Discs were fairly transportable and easy to use but had with them an inherent issue which needed to be dealt with time and time again. Storage space. There’s a finite amount of storage space. Floppy discs were fine at first, but as computer programs and files increased in size, floppies were no longer enough to handle the data, so we had to create a newer, smaller version that could contain even more data. That was good for a while, but the space issue came up again, so it was time for another upgrade.
This problem has repeated itself over and over again, resulting in the creation of subsequent zip disks, then CDs, then flash drives and memory cards, and then Blu-ray. As you might have guessed, none of these new means of data storage are going to be adequate for too long, and all those pesky files are eating up even more precious space on your hard drive as we speak. What to do? Enter “Cloud storage“, the new kid in the data storage block. Essentially, whenever you look up pictures on the internet, say on Facebook or on Instagram, you’re really looking at those images stored on “the cloud“. Those pictures no longer exist on your hard drive or on a disk of yours. Instead, they have been uploaded onto the web, floating about on the internet. Of course, that’s a gross oversimplification of what “the cloud” technically is.
“The cloud” is, in reality, an application hosted on a number of internet servers, also called server farms, which are generally owned and maintained by a tech or software company with interest in that sort of thing. Your files are now being stored on a giant hard drive in a large warehouse somewhere that’ s owned by Google or Apple for the expressed purpose of easy access to it via the internet.
That might sound a little scary but consider the benefits. Your files are no longer stored on just one device, so it’s no longer the end of the world if an electrical storm hits your house and fries your laptop. Your picture of Aunt Judy is safe, floating around between servers in “the cloud.” Also, you can access those files from multiple devices. You can show off that picture of Aunt Judy using your smartphone, your tablet, or your e-reader with just a few clicks of a button and a wi-fi signal. You can also save your files to “the cloud” using those very same devices. One more benefit? Less computing power is required to run games or programs on your devices, as part of the job is being done on another server and not just your own device. Pretty cool, right?
Of course, there are some pitfalls. If you don’t have access to the internet, you won’t be able to access those files. Ergo, you might no be able to show off that picture of Aunt Judy while on the plane. Also, some files or programs require higher bandwidth usage than others, so if you have a plan on your phone or internet connection that puts a cap on data usage, that may be something to be aware of. Pictures and emails won’t take up too much effort but watching movies, streaming music, or playing games very well could. Just be aware of your data usage. Lastly, because this information is going back and forth on a network that can be accessed by essentially anybody, it pays off to make special note of privacy settings and to keep your passwords up to snuff, lest hackers get to see all those pictures of Aunt Judy in those embarrassing shorts.
Clarus Communications is a comprehensive technology services firm that is committed to helping our clients improve upon and achieve their technology objectives. Trusted by businesses and partners nationwide, the team are experts in telecommunications, IP Phone Systems, and Cloud technologies. Clarus has relationships with over 60 different providers and the technical staff to ensure the right technology is in place for your company. This allows our clients and sales partners to have the best combination of price, value, connectivity and innovative services offered in the marketplace. The company is headquartered in St. Louis, MO. Visit Clarus Communications here or call us at 855-801-6700 to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff so we can work with you on finding the right service for your business at the most affordable rates