Before you begin reading, I am aware of technical zealots that are either for or against this emerging technology. At this moment I have in my pocket a Mobile PC that back in the late 60’s used to take up multiple floors. In a technical world you can’t just dismiss new technology. It’s counter productive against the very idea of technology. So if you don’t get how important cloud computing is or it’s your own personal bogey man please skip over this article.
Cloud Computing 101. The cloud referenced in the term is the internet. The term ‘Computing’ refers to the average use and interaction with your computer. A simplified explanation of Cloud Computing then is breaking free the tasks and services you use on your computers and moving them to the internet. Hope I didn’t lose you there!
I recall one of the first services I begun using online was emails. It was popular in college campuses known as HoTMaiL. This service extended our email accounts outside of the college mail servers (goodbye .edu email addresses!) and allowed portability of our services if we left the college for whatever reasons. This service proved popular and Microsoft acquired it in 1997. The next service I added to my net toolbox was Paintbucket. Now I can access and share pictures online. Next major service was Napster! Digital pirating made easy! Although downloading one song over a phone modem was pretty horrible. But we shared files and were merry. It This doesn’t seem much like a big deal these days. But Facebook, Twitter, even MySpace had to start from somewhere!
These days online services and applications (web apps) are much more evolved and refined. Common computer uses such as communications (email, contact management, calendars), office suite (word processing, spreadsheets), and file storage have moved to the cloud. What you will want to do is organize your computing activities using these online services efficiently. The trade-off, just like everything in life, is security. The most secure way to use computers is to never connect it online, encrypt the contents, and not just have one but multiple layers of passwords. You are opening a new way for people to attack your computer once you connect online on the world-wide level. More so if you use wireless networking. And if asked to move their information to online services a security minded person would explode!
So if you are using the free services provided by corporations such as Microsoft and Google, maybe it’s time to consider ways to organize your content and let concepts of Cloud Computing work for you!
You didn’t think that was the end, did you? More articles to follow-on ways to start the big move.