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Week 3: Cloud Computing

What is cloud computing and why should we care about it? If you all didn’t know, cloud computing is basically storing your data over the internet rather than just your hard drive on your computer. Even with people who haven’t really heard of the term ‘cloud’ are probably still using it but they don’t realize it. The cloud makes it extremely easy to access your information anywhere else that is not at home. The only thing you need would be internet connection. These services also reduces cost of having to go out and buy any hardware and software to store all your files into.

There are three types of cloud services available:

  1. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS): You can rent servers and storage and networks from an external provider and pay as much as you’re using.
  2. Platform as a service (PaaS): services that provide an environment that will help with developing and testing web or mobile applications.
  3. Software as a service (SaaS): allows developing applications over the internet with a provided platform. Hosted in the cloud and can be accessed through the web browser.

Some cloud examples that most of you have probably heard or used are:

  1. Microsoft office 365 which uses OneDrive which is used as storage (this saved my life a couple of times). Microsoft also uses Office online which is online versions of Microsoft office.
  2. Google drive
  3. Apple icloud which is used for backup and storage and can be synced with all apple devices.
  4. Dropbox also offers online storage but they store another version of your files on local storage as well.

Why is it important?

In the age of the internet where everything is based online, it’s essential that everyone understands the different uses of these programs and services. Cloud computing is a huge deal especially as college students and as people going into the workforce. With google apps for docs, excels, and powerpoints and office online, many students utilize those services because it’s less time consuming and more convenient than having to work face to face. Everyone can contribute to the work whenever they are available.

Benefits of the cloud

Some benefits of using the cloud would be the flexibility in which you can use this service. It’s ideal for startup businesses as well because the cloud capacity you need is adjustable so you can scale up or down. As I mentioned, the collaboration with your teammates is made extremely efficient because you don’t need to meet face to face to get work done. This also means that you can work anywhere as long as there is good internet connection.

Cons of the cloud

Like every technology available, the cloud is also very vulnerable and unstable. Due to the cloud being dependent on your internet connection, that means you also have to be dependent on your internet service provider. Which means that if your internet is down, the services and all your programs and files will be inaccessible until your internet starts working again. It is also very vulnerable to security breeches and hacks as seen in the leak of celebrity pictures of the icloud hack. Due to this issue, the files you don’t feel comfortable sharing online probably shouldn’t be put in the cloud just for safety measures.

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