What is the Cloud Anyway?
Back in the "olden" days the Cloud was just a picture representing off-site resources, usually the Internet itself. Back then network diagrams included the workstations, servers, printers and other network equipment inside the building with specific icons and names as well as IP addresses and various other specific information. Also depicted on the network diagram was a nebulous cloud that represented unknown off-site resources. A standard network diagram looked like this:
Before some time around 2004 or so, no one considered the cloud to be anything other than a placeholder on a network diagram. It has evolved into a place or group of places and users are told that they should store their data on the cloud or use the cloud to do productive work. Of course, the cloud is still just a nebulous placeholder for something more specific hiding in the billowy puffiness of the cloud itself. The CLOUD is marketing hype.
So what is this "CLOUD" that we hear spoken of so often?
Here is the first point that you have to keep in mind: There is NO CLOUD! It is a silly marketing term that gets tossed around and really has no meaning. What is called the "cloud" is always some business service that is accessed through an internet connection from your computer or network (or your hand-held device). There is always a computer and employees of a business entity in that "cloud" that is the actual place where the data or programs are stored.
Now, this may seem obvious to many of you, but it is not always obvious to non-technical consumers of technological services. I also contend that by referring to the "cloud" in advertising and news pieces, the non-technological consumer is being misled to some degree. Ordinary people who hear about using the cloud think that it is their cloud and that it is somehow safe and secure; maybe like heaven or a heavenly sanctuary.
There are many service providers out there that are providing "cloud" services. My point here is not to somehow argue against the services that are provided off-site. However, the consumer of these services must keep many issues in mind when deciding to move their data and/or their programs to the cloud.
I will be elaborating on some of these issues in future posts, so check back every week or so, Here are some of the topics that I will try to cover using simple and easy to understand concepts and language so that you, my clients and general consumers of these services can have a more complete understanding of what this thing is that we call the "CLOUD".
- Major trusted cloud services providers
- Some things to keep in mind when using off-site services
- Cost of service
- Lock-in issues
- Limitations on what you can do with data and programs
- My recommendations for Best use case of off-site services
- The Hybrid approach
In the meantime, feel free to call me to discuss your options when it comes to off-site services versus on-site servers and software. My number is available on the Contact form. Also, please submit your contact information to receive updates and notices of service offers and discounts that are offered in the future.