What is cloud computing: definition and its pros and cons

Olga Weis

Cloud is such an indefinite term… Where is it? How does it look like? Is it anything like a real cloud? These days everything seems to be in the cloud, maybe we are in the cloud too :). The term "cloud computing" is right about everywhere.

Cloud computing

Simply put, cloud computing means storing and managing data and apps via Internet connection rather than on your hard drive. Cloud is just a metaphoric name for the server infrastructure accepting connections and managing the data back and forth as it floats.

Defining cloud computing, in order to consider your connection to be one, you'll need to access data or apps over the Internet and it will be accessible to you from anywhere you are at the time. However, the cloud computing is not about your hard drive, neither it is about having a dedicated network attached storage (NAS) hardware or server in residence. It is just not the same, even if accessing NAS remotely you are using Internet.

One of the cloud computing benefits is the fact that it can be used in both individual and business areas. It is of course quite a different approach when it comes to personal usage than it is when large enterprises use cloud computing. Big companies can use things like software-as-service, or platform-as-service, or infrastructure-as-service to cover their needs for cloud computing.

Cloud computing services

Cloud computing technologies are everywhere these days, you may even use cloud services indirectly. For example, you may be using Microsoft Office 365 on your hard drive, which in its turn utilizes a cloud for storage - Microsoft OneDrive.

Google Drive is a pure cloud computing platform with online storage that can work with the cloud apps including Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides.

Other notable cloud computing services include Apple iCloud, Amazon services, and then there are hybrid services like Box, Dropbox, and SugarSync that offer synchronization with online storage as well as with local one.

Advantages of cloud computing

  • You are definitely getting your hands on the latest updates as soon as they are implemented.
  • You can do more with less, as companies can reduce the size of their data centers and IT costs altogether.
  • As long as you are connected to the Internet, cloud apps and services are always at hand, no matter where in the world you travel to.
  • Dispersed groups of people can easily collaborate.
  • With fewer data centers and more efficient collaboration, there surely is less of an impact on the environment.

Disadvantages of cloud computing

Well, there are definitely more pros than cons of cloud computing, but this type of computing may not be for every industry. Then there is a possible downtime, not enough customer support, as well as cloud computing security issues.

Cloud computing security

Cloud computing security

The latter can be resolved with the help of third-party software that offers the encryption of data stored in a cloud. CloudMounter allows its users to mount multiple cloud storages and web servers on Mac and manage them in Finder as external drives. Also CloudMounter makes sure all data you keep in a cloud is reliably protected. This app can encrypt data in Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Amazon S3 and the files on FTP/WebDAV servers.

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