Although cloud computing has been around since the 1960s, the use of cloud computing in its modern context didn’t take off until 2006.
Cloud computing is the process of delivering computing services over the internet using a provider’s data services. Common public cloud offerings include Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
However, even though the phrase “in the cloud” has become ubiquitous in current technology, there are many things that are unclear for people, particularly for those who are exploring what the cloud means beneath the surface. Here are a few things you may not know.
No Specific Company Owns the Cloud
While it may be difficult to conceptualize, the cloud isn’t one by any single entity. Instead, it’s a collection of millions of servers – the bulk of which are owned and operated by major corporations like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.
In fact, in 2011, 90% of Microsoft’s budget was spent on cloud computing services and products.
You May Not Own Your Data
You own the data that you create, but in some cases, the cloud provider you work with has the ultimate end control – and this is outlined in fine print of many of the terms of agreement that you sign off on.
If you have any concerns about your data privacy, be sure to take the time to go through the conditions (with a lawyer if necessary).
High Level of Security
The cloud is much more secure than traditional methods of data storage. In fact, it’s more secure than keeping it local on your own computer. For instance, if someone steals your computer, or if someone hacks your computer, you lose access to all your valuable data.
Speaking of hackers; cloud-based applications and storage solutions make it very difficult for hackers to break into, thanks to its very high level of encryption.
Furthermore, for cloud providers, security is a full-time job, whereas with an in-house system, IT is just one of several ongoing concerns.
According to RapidScale, 94% of businesses that transitioned to the cloud said that they saw improvements in security.
There Are Deeper Levels of Security
A cloud access security broker is a security point between the cloud service consumer and the cloud service provider. Many companies use a CASB vendor to help enforce security policies, ensure compliance is being met and address potential cloud service risks.
Ultimately, businesses use a CASB to allow them to feel more secure about their cloud service usage and data protection.
Although cloud security is much stronger than alternative data storage solutions, CASBs provide an added level of security – especially during a company’s initial migration to the cloud.
Cloud Applications Save Consumer Dollars
There are major cost savings associated with cloud applications. Individuals pay for high amounts of storage that they wouldn’t have access to without high-cost external storages or high-value computers and servers. They also pay for ease of use and high level security.
Businesses, on the other hand, might pay a higher cost initially, but the savings are in the return on investment. Easy access to data saves time and money in the long run, and it also incorporates preventative safety.
The cost of fixing a security breach can easily run in the millions range, and in some cases, it can even cripple the business.
Cloud computing relies on shared computing resources. At any given moment, a cloud application is running on hundreds of internet servers across the globe.
This is a big reason why the cloud is so powerful; with so many computers doing round-the-clock work, the nature of the cloud is strong everywhere.
This virtualized pool of resources is available on-demand on an as-needed basis. For companies and individuals alike, this is a very effective way to scale and remain cost effective, as they only pay for the resources they need, when they need it.
Different Types of Cloud Computing
There are many cloud computing services available, but one of the most popular is software as a service (SaaS). With this computing model, applications can be delivered via a browser over the internet, accessible regardless of location.
Salesforce is an example of SaaS, as well as social media management platform Hootsuite.