The word cloud has just been popping up more and more. Everyone has one. It’s cool! But do we all know what it actually is, and why so many people say it has so much potential? I’ll explain it plainly and simply for you.
The cloud just means that all of your files are backed up, and you can access them from any device that can connect to the internet. You can use your file storage space as you need it, and when you don’t need it it is out of the way. That’s the “good enough” answer. Here’s more in depth if you want it.
More in depth:
When the internet was invented it was pretty much created to be able to put a file that was originally on your computer somewhere else, that could be accessed in different places by other computers. That is how we use it now as well. A website name (like indivox.co) is just a place that lets you access the files and folders for this website. So when you have a “personal cloud” it’s like you have your own personal website just to be able to access your own files. Just as long as you have something connected to the internet you can get to them.
Business: Why it’s such big deal
Websites are just a group of files (just like any file or folder on your computer.) Website files still have to live somewhere physical, just like the computer you have at home. The computer (or server) where they live is connected to the internet. When you go to the website, the files are accessed from their computer (server) to be shown on your screen. Okay, are you with me so far? Time for round 2. Websites take up space, or memory, again just like any other file you have on your computer. But it also uses memory whenever someone visits the site. When a website doesn’t have enough space, and too many visitors it will crash. It doesn’t have the memory required to serve all of the users. So the traditional options? Permanently buy more space. This starts getting expensive. Then that permanent space would often go unused, because sites often have inconsistent levels of traffic. Think of it like this. You have a website that is about doing your taxes last minute. I mean, this website is made to do your taxes on Apr. 15th only! You’d likely get a ton of traffic on April 15th and have to buy extra server space to accommodate that, but what about in June when everyone is playing in the sun? With traditional hosting it would just be kind of a “tough luck” situation because you are likely to want to hold onto that server space just in case you get another spike in traffic. Plus you’ll need it for tax season next year.
So what does the cloud allow you to do?
The cloud allows you host your website normally, but easily and effectively “rent” the server space only when you need it. So that way on April 15th for your tax website you’ll be able to handle all of the traffic, but in June you won’t have all of that expensive extra server space on your hands. The cloud also stores your site on multiple servers, so that way if one of them crashes, the others will be able to back it up without skipping a beat. So there you have it! That’s how the cloud works in the 21st century! Aren’t you glad you know what you’re talking about now? Thanks for reading
Cover Photo: Daniel Spiess
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