Cloud Hosting & Storage
Cloud hosting or cloud file storage is an obscure concept to many who hear about it. Most people imagine, someone launching servers or filing cabinets into the atmosphere, or at least that is how the cartoonists depict it.
The reality is that files that live in the cloud are as you may have guessed not living in an actual cloud but are available on multiple devices and not tied down to a machine like your computer or a server. Applications, files and websites that live in the cloud are actually on several different machines simultaneously this redundancy protects from data loss and downtime.
Remember when you used to go to the doctor, dentist or hair salon and they used to make your appointment on that desktop computer? That meant if the power was out their whole schedule was trapped on their machine and they were just hoping that the receptionist printed copies the night before! Now most scheduling systems are in the cloud and can be accessed from your phone, tablet or a laptop running on battery power even if that desktop will not turn on. The schedule now lives in the cloud where it can be accessed from anywhere.
A lot of online games multiplayer games are hosted in the cloud. Players from all over the world interact with each other and the game’s processes occur in the cloud not on the computers or gaming systems of any of the players. There is actually a whole industry providing gaming servers for these “epic” multiplayer games.
Programs like Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 have both local desktop versions where you edit files directly on your machine and cloud components that allow you to collaborate with multiple team members on a master file which prevents having multiple versions of the same file and overwriting changes. These programs also allow you to view and edit files from your phone or tablet while you are on the go making you a lot more productive with the ability to work on that presentation while you are home sick or waiting for that flight at the airport.
Cloud storage can be used to backup your computer and make sure that even if your computer gets a virus and crashes your documents and vacation photos can be downloaded on another machine. The Apple iCloud stores the photos from your phone so even if you lose it, you do not lose your pictures.
Cloud hosting and storage have brought us to a new level of connectivity and collaboration allowing us to access what we need no matter where we are or what device we are using.