For those who remember Amy Poehler’s Best Buy commercial from 2013, you may remember the scene where she asks a few questions; “What’s the cloud?”, “Where is the cloud”, “Are we in the cloud now?”. All of these questions are frequently asked for those who aren’t the most tech savvy people out there.
The word “cloud” use to simply mean that fluffy thing in the sky that was made of water particles. Now, you may hear the word being used as something that people use for computer storage, programing, and apps. However, most people are still confused on how it works, ABC News wrote an article in which explained the cloud in simpler terms, “But today, you might be looking at a photo that’s on Facebook or Flickr or listening to music on a service like Pandora. You might even watch a movie on Netflix or Amazon. And if that’s the case, well, that photo, movie or music isn’t on your computer; it’s someplace else. And that place is called the Cloud” (par. 4).
Although the cloud goes into much more detailed then explained above, this can give people a better and general sense of how the whole thing works. According to Crystal Nichols, there are six types of cloud computing:
- Web-based cloud services. These services let you exploit certain web service functionality, rather than using fully developed applications.
- SaaS (Software as a Service). Providing a given application to multiple tenants, typically using the browser.
- Platform as a Service. This is a variant of SaaS. You run your own applications but you do it on the cloud provider’s infrastructure.
- Utility cloud services. These are virtual storage and server options that organizations can access on demand.
- Managed services. Include anti-spam services, or even application monitoring services.
- Service commerce. These types of cloud solutions are a mix of SaaS and managed services. They provide a hub of services which the end-user interacts with. This includes expense tracking, travel ordering, or even virtual assistant services.
The cloud is a very complex thing that can often confuse people. In addition, many people are often against using cloud computing because some cloud storage has very little privacy and virtually anyone can get to it. Personally, I am a fan of the cloud. It is easy to share pictures with friends and family, save documents that I can retrieve on any device, etc… Now that the could is constantly growing, everyone should be aware of what it does and how it works so that they can one day use it wherever they may be.