Is it good? Is it bad? Is it for you?
What is Cloud Computing anyway?
Cloud computing is essentially working and storing your data..in the cloud.
What is the cloud? Actually it is just the internet, which is a collection of tons of computers linked together. Big companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple as well as many others have setup servers on the internet that you can use to store your data and actually run applications like Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Docs and others. Online calendars and address books allow you to reach your data from anywhere and whenever you need it. You can upload and store your photographs and share them easily with others. You can access that data from any desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet… wherever you have internet.
“Your information available anywhere” might be a phrase to sum it up.
Having your data in the cloud can be very useful. If you are a traveler for example, you do not have to worry that you left that report at the office after you stepped on the plane. In addition, with new “syncing” services you can modify that report on the plane and those changes will be available to anyone on your cloud before you even reach your destination! If your laptop becomes damaged or stolen, the data is safe because a copy of it resides on a server in the cloud. You simply log in from another computer with your user name and password and the data will be made available to you instantly.
Syncing services such as Microsoft Skydrive, Apple iCloud, or Google Drive, store your data in the cloud and then download them to the devices you specify.
For example, let’s say you have a document that you wrote on your laptop. If you are connected to the syncing service, the changes you make to the document on your laptop will be instantly propagated to the cloud as soon as you save the changes. They will then be downloaded to any device you have set up sync with. So, the change you made to that document will also appear on your desktop, at work and at home if they are signed up to sync together.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Cloud computing provides mostly advantages as long as it is setup properly. Some people make the mistake of storing their data only in the cloud. This presents 2 potential pitfalls:
1. Your data is only available when you have an internet connection. If you do not use a syncing service such as Microsoft Skydrive, Apple iCloud, or Google Drive, you may not have access to the data at all times, say if you are on a train where the internet may come and go.
2. There is always the possibility although rare that even these big companies can lose your data. It rarely happens but it happens.
3. Syncing services can be great….unless you accidentally delete the document. Then that document will be gone from the laptop, the cloud and the work and home computers. So you need to be careful, which means also having a local backup of your data.
All things considered, cloud computing can be very beneficial when setup properly. At Intelligent Solutions, this is just one of the things we do, and we do it well. Intelligent Solutions can set you up to be cloud capable while also setting up local backup so that you are protected in a disaster and always have whatever data you need right at your fingertips.