Many people have heard the terms, “Cloud Computing”, “Cloud Storage”, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” but what really is this cloud? More importantly, how can this benefit you?
You may be surprised, but you’re probably using some form of cloud computing and storage already!
Do you have a Yahoo! or Gmail account? Surely you use Facebook? Dropbox? Google Docs? Or Flickr?
All of these services represent usage of the cloud, which in my layperson’s explanation is basically making use of other people’s servers that are on the Internet somewhere to store your data. It should allow you to access your data from as many devices as possible, so that you can always update and retrieve that information.
Here’s a practical example of how I used the cloud when migrating phones. I was given the opportunity to review the HTC HD7 mobile phone recently, as part of a Maxis initiative and it came with not a shred of my data.
After syncing my phone to get my contacts from my notebook, I proceeded to configure the most important services in my business life – email and my calendar. Configuring the settings on the HTC HD7 is very straightforward, and within minutes, I was already able to reply emails and see my schedule.
Aside from work, the phone is definitely slated for play. I do admit I’m a bit of a Facebook and Twitter junkie. Facebook works natively from the phone, but Twitter required a download of the free app from the Marketplace. It wasn’t too much of a hassle and within the half hour, I was up and running, stalking the news feeds of my friends.
The interface for both Facebook and Twitter is pretty glorious – especially with the HUGE screen that is really, really clear.
Cloud computing and storage isn’t so foreign now, is it? In simplistic terms, it is something many of us folks enjoy transparently, and it’s the way it really should be. I look forward to the day when my entire notebook can be on the cloud. All I need to do is log on from anywhere at anytime and have full access to all my applications and data, at high speed too. I’m sure it’s not too far off.
Using the cloud definitely has benefits, especially when the need arises to access data from a new device or if you’re traveling. It also serves as an avenue to backup your data to, in case your primary machine fails.