Cloud storage here and data from the cloud there – „the cloud“ is on everyone’s lips. But what is cloud storage? In fact, the concept of the cloud is not as new as most people think: the first ideas in this regard were already being put forward in the 1950s.
But back then, the technical requirements for cloud computing were still lacking. At the end of the 1990s, the technology was finally ready, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) was now possible. With SaaS, an IT service provider operates software that the user can use on their own computer via a web browser without installing it. The user therefore does not have to worry about licensing or updating the software.
Cloud technology today
Parallel to the ever faster bandwidths and better technical equipment, the cloud concept also developed further. More and more IT service providers are offering storage space on their servers and online services for a fee. The stored files are always accessible online, which means you can access them from anywhere. This is practical if you want to access photos, documents and other data at home, in the office or on the road. An example of cloud services can be found at Digitalnibbles.
Where does the term „cloud“ come from?
- What does Cloud actually mean? The term cloud comes from English, it means simply „cloud“ translated into German. The cloud was used by information technicians in structural drawings of networks to identify systems that were part of their own network but operated externally.
- The structure and function of these external systems was irrelevant for their own network.
- Today you store files in a place whose exact function and structure is also irrelevant, the cloud. Nevertheless, the term tells you how the product works: Data is distributed to different servers and can be accessed online from any location – all you need is Internet access.
How does cloud technology work?
Now that the question „What is a cloud?“ has been answered, the next question arises: How exactly does it work? The basic principle can be explained in this way: A service provider makes its servers available to customers in the form of a virtual data center. Many servers are interconnected so that the data is no longer stored on just one server. The storage resources can be called up as required; the user has online access to the cloud at any time, in which he can store any number of data.
What forms of cloud computing are there?
Cloud technology comes in different forms. You are certainly already using the SaaS cloud computing mentioned above in the form of a browser-based e-mail service such as WEB.DE FreeMail. The virtual data center offers storage capacity and application programs that you can use to their full extent via a browser – even without installation. Another form is cloud computing via Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), which provides programming environments with adaptable computing and data capacities. Users develop their own software on this platform. Finally, there is Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), where users access hardware resources such as computers, networks and memory – you can rent your own server.
What makes the cloud so popular?
Anyone who has ever been annoyed about irrevocably deleted data will appreciate the convenience of a cloud. If you use cloud storage to back up your data, you won’t have to worry about broken hard drives, lost USB sticks and corrupted files. Your data is always safe in the cloud. You can access it anytime, anywhere over the Internet. Your data stays private: You decide who has access to your cloud. If you want to share certain data with others, it takes just a few clicks. Share your holiday photos with family and friends in seconds or set up a folder for your colleagues that’s accessible to everyone. Many cloud offerings are free with little storage. This storage can then usually be flexibly expanded at a reasonable price.
What should be considered when choosing a cloud provider?
Cloud technology is a forward-looking technology, which is why more and more service providers are offering this solution. If you are convinced of the benefits of cloud computing, you need to find the right provider. Some – including WEB.DE – offer their customers free online storage with several gigabytes of storage capacity. This free solution is usually available for a monthly or annual fee.
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