August 8, 2012

What is the cloud?

It’s fair to say that cloud computing is definitely the biggest thing in information technology at the moment. However despite its rapid rise to glory many are still in the dark as to what it actually is.

The first thing you have to get out of your head is the fact that the cloud is not a physical place.

Lots of companies try to sell you the idea that you can do all of your work in the cloud, making it seem like ‘the cloud’ is some magical place full of computing power floating in the ether somewhere.

In reality cloud computing is based on datacentres.

Datacentres can come in all shapes and sizes but boiled down to their common denominators are groups of large computers called servers grouped together.

Recently datacentres have started to resemble huge ‘data farms’ where information is harvested rather than crops. One example is Apple’s latest centre which was built to support the iCloud scheme. The structure occupies over 500,000 square meters and cost over $1bn to build!

The term Cloud computing simply describes the process of accessing these datacentres using an internet connection. Thanks to this service you are given access to cutting edge computing power without the need to buy, house or maintain your own server.

Plus because you are using the Internet to access the service it means that you can use any piece of technology that can log on to the web to work on from any location that has a wireless or 3G connectivity.

So there you have it. The cloud in 200 words. If you have any questions or want anything clearing up then just whack it in the comments box below and one of our boffins will get back to you.

Steve Ward

Steve Ward

Communications Officer at 404 team Ltd

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