By now you have probably heard the term “Cloud Computing” or “The Cloud”. Heck, even Microsoft talks about it in their latest television ad campaign.
But what is The Cloud really? In its simplest terms, The Cloud is simply other people’s computers that you access over the Internet. These computers can be owned by Google, Microsoft or your uncle.
In fact, I bet you have been using The Cloud to check your email for years. Whether its AOL, Hotmail, GMail or Yahoo, you’ve been using cloud technology before it was fashionable to call it The Cloud.
So why this sudden interest in soemthing we’ve been using for so long?
Well, functions that you would have done primarily on your desktop or laptop computers in the past are moving to The Cloud. For instance, have you ever used Google Docs to edit, review or create a document or spreadsheet? That’s The Cloud.
There are many other functions that once were the sole domain of the desktop computer that can now be done in The Cloud. To name a few: Photo Editing (Picnik.com), Microsoft Visio style diagramming software (Gliffy.com), Sales CRM software (SalesForce.com), and many many more.
All of this is what is commonly referred to as Cloud Computing or The Cloud. Basically, take your data and software and let someone else host it, save it, update it and back it up for you.
And it doesn’t stop there. Companies are beginning to make available whole desktop computers in the cloud – through a browser – so that you can use any device to access your Windows desktop computer.
But why is this happening? Well think about how you access the web. You do it from home, your office, your mobile phone and your tablet. Cloud computing solves the issue of where your data lives. If it’s stored in The Cloud then you can access it using any of these devices without having to worry about whether or not you backed up your data and brought it to the coffee shop with you.
So tell me. How do you use The Cloud? Do you trust the cloud vendors with your data? Let me know.