Cloud computing demystified

Friday, April 30th, 2010 | internet

For some people the concept cloud computing is as nebulous and difficult to grab hold of as a literal cloud.  But the idea is actually very simple.

Cloud computing has nothing to do with clouds in the sky.  In pictures explaining computer networks, a diagrammatic cloud is often used to depict the internet – over time a cloud became a metaphor for the internet.

The cloud represents the internet - you can access it from any part of the world

The cloud represents the internet - you can access it from any part of the world

To grasp cloud computing fully you must first understand how the internet works.  The internet is a worldwide network of computer networks.  Data is stored on servers spread across the globe – any server linked to the network of networks (the internet) can be accessed by anyone who has permission to use it.

The internet can be entered through:

your home computer

your mobile computer

your friend’s computer

a computer at your school

your cell phone (if it is web enabled).

You can store data on the internet in the same way that you can retrieve data.  Such data can be text, pictures or even video clips.  Much of the information storage space is available at no cost to you for personal use.

Cloud computing means that you no longer need to carry your information with you – it is stored in the internet cloud – all you need is an access instrument and a gateway into the internet.

If you are using Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, Google Docs, e-mail and blogs you are already practicing cloud computing.

With this simplistic explanation of cloud computing you can keep your feet firmly on the ground while reaching for the clouds.

For updated information on cloud computing, click here.

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6 Comments to Cloud computing demystified

David Mathe
Friday, 30 April, 2010

And many organisations are getting onto the cloud. It definitely has got a number of benefits for an organisation, some of which are:

-Reduction in costs since no additional hardware is needed to set it up.
-Automation of the work environment
-Mobility and access to information as and when one needs it. It allows individuals to implement telecommuting, working from anywhere.

-One is also able to get best-of-breed and bleeding-edge technology at negligible prices on the cloud as opposed to buying the technology.

Of course one will need to trust the cloud provider about security issues but i think the benefits far outweigh the concerns, which are being addressed.

Malcolm
Friday, 30 April, 2010

Another advantage of cloud computing is that your PC (or other device) needs less computing power because most of the processing gets done in the “cloud”. That is why cheaper netbooks have become so popular.

When you store your information in the cloud you can also let other people access your information. This way you can easily share information with students. I would like to encourage all teachers who haven’t done so to try out Google Docs. You can create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more in the cloud. E.g. you can create an online questionaire and get students to fill it in. All their answers will automatically be saved as a spreadsheet for you (and only you) to access.

Wow, the benefits!

Albie
Friday, 30 April, 2010

Cloud Computing means thus my ZETA BYTE HDD is “in space” and not @ home in my pc box. I feel sorry for a thief as he / she will only see the screen + keyboard + mouse(that will be in future a virtual setup),so…. He / she will have to go for the “shadow on the wall” cast by the virtual equipment if it is visiable !!

Just think of the safety measures physical and virtual, sustainability, accessibility any time + anywhere, mobility from and to “anywhere”, and best of all – NO MAINTENANCE and replacement cost of HARDWARE – I am just worried about “lightnig and thunder” in the cloud but I assume the HDD will be ble withstand any electrical surge !!

Albie the Cumulonimbus Clouder

(I just wonder what will happen to stores like Incredible Connections (still connected ??) and Computer Mania – nomore connections and maybe mania to sell equipment @ 100% discount prices). Maybe selling just ink for my HP printer !!

Albie
Friday, 30 April, 2010

Thanks Malcolm for Google Docs – I will from now on leave my collection of Flash Drives / Memory Sticks / Removeable Drives / Stokkies @ home with a peaceful mind – no more worries of “losing / forgetting” them @ home or @ a school. I will just follow the cloud and find my “water vapour” file and open it anytime + anywhere.

Albie

Mark C
Saturday, 1 May, 2010

I have recently changed my mind somewhat about cloud computing. Due to so many viruses contracted at schools, losing data and running out of hard disk space I can now see a value in having cloud computing. For me it can serve as additional storage space. As an Ubuntu user I have 1gb or 2 gb of space (on Ubuntu one) to save important files for later use. Any more space I have to purchase.

Also, where cloud computing helped me was the loss of documentation due to viral activity. These I could retrieve from mails (Gmail) I sent to to other people. Apart from this my activities such as blogging, twittering, facebook etc are all part of this. So, I feel better about using Cloud technology now. The issues around security and ownership of documents still bug me a bit.

As Malcolm mentioned about advantages of running it on low powered devices such as the Blackberry is cool (I think). The problem here just is the intrusion of getting mails, twitter and facebook reminders all times of the day.

Although cloud computing will become/or is ubiquitous, sometimes we need time out from these things–just switch off and……chill.

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