Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #122 10/12/2011

Question: What is the cloud?


The cloud is the new way of storing information with a computer. Basically you are storing it somewhere on the Internet but could be anywhere so we think of as the cloud.

Traditionally we have store stuff on our individual PC or starting with networking growth we moved in organizations to storing data on servers located in our organization. In this approach we knew exactly where our data is and we are responsible fully for it.

With the cloud your data is not stored locally but you store it on server farms somewhere on the Internet. Most of us are using cloud storage in some way now, for many storing pictures at Picasa or Shutterfly or other places. Many organizations are offering storage on the cloud now. Some advertise as that and some as just a spot for you to store.

The drawback to the cloud is you do not know if it is backed up and you are also dependent on the organization that has the storage that they are keeping secure and keeping people out of it. However advantage is that you can access your data from anywhere and not limited to a machine or a specific network.

The cloud is the future of storage, but traditional will be here too. You also have smaller clouds where you are storing on your network somewhere but not usually knowing where.

Next week we will look at ways you can use the cloud today.

Thanks Darlene for the question.