Cloud Computing; New Term, Old Concept

05/02/2013

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Using a network or remote server to store, manage and process data – rather than a local one – is not a magical and mysterious practice. The reality is that we’ve all been cloud computing junkies for decades. Simply put, cloud computing is the hosting and retrieval of data on hardware you don’t own. Anyone with a Gmail, Yahoo! or AOL email address has certainly used cloud technology to send a message, download a file or manage important aspects of their professional and/or personal life. Those who use LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, Google Docs or the App Store on a smartphone are already cloud users as well.
Cloud computing really is no different than the television we’ve been watching since the ’50s: Your favorite movie isn’t hidden somewhere on an internal storage device housed in your television; Netflix is sending it straight to you from their hardware.

These forms of cloud hosting have facilitated the perfect segue into modern virtual desktop services that grant users incredible benefits, such as:

  • Eliminating the usual prerequisite for extra processing power, hard disk space and software (most cloud applications are completely free), which means lower computing costs.
  • Banishing the need for bloated, expensive or ad-driven software overwhelming your computer’s memory. Plus, instant software updates means constant access to the latest versions with no upgrade fees.
  • Limitless storage. You never have to quickly assemble intricate hardware upgrades to meet the shifting needs of a new initiative.
  • Keeping your information safe, sound – and accessible. Even in the unfortunate event of hard disk failure, an operating system crash or the loss or destruction of hardware, your important information still exists, completely intact via remote backup services on the cloud.
  • Universal access for easier group collaboration. There’s no need to keep current document or spreadsheet versions on hand, and users will never be tethered to a single device, network, file format or software edition.

The benefits of having a virtual desktop speak for themselves. And when you think about it, it’s really quite amazing that the enhancements they provide are built on the more than 50-year-old idea of a central database that is accessible to many. Indeed, we have been using the concept of cloud computing all along, curating a wealth of both individual and professional user content like high-definition video, photo galleries, presentations, financial information and collaborative endeavors.

How are you harnessing the power of cloud computing today?

 

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