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Sunday, July 10, 2016

1724. What is "the Cloud"?

We often talk about using the cloud for data and storage and I wonder if some people understand what we are talking about.  Can you take a moment and explain what we mean when we talk about the cloud?

A big white puffy... Oh you mean the computer related cloud?

The first thing you should understand about the cloud is that it is not a physical thing. The cloud is a network of servers, and each server has a different function. Some servers use computing power to run applications or "deliver a service." Some store data.  Some provide deliver information.

For example, Adobe recently moved its creative services to the cloud. You can no longer buy the Creative Suite (PhotoshopInDesign, etc.) in a box set. Instead, you must pay a monthly subscription fee to use each individual service. That's why it's now called the "Adobe Creative Cloud" instead.
Other servers in the network are responsible for storing data.
For example, when you take a picture on your smartphone, it is stored on your phone's internal memory drive. However, when you upload the photos to Instagram, you are uploading it to the cloud.
So remember: "The Cloud" is a network of servers. Some servers provide an online service, like Adobe Creative Cloud, and others allow you to store and access data, like Instagram or Dropbox.
Chances are, you encounter the cloud daily. From Google Drive to OneDrive to iCloud to Evernote, any time you store information without using up your phone's or computers internal data, you're storing information on the cloud.

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