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Basics of Cloud Computing

What is the cloud?

Cloud computing is a subscription-based service where you can obtain networked storage space and computer resources.

How can you use the cloud?

The cloud makes it possible for you to access your information from anywhere at any time.

The cloud removes the need for you to be in the same physical location as the hardware that stores your data.

Your cloud provider can both own and house the hardware and software necessary to run your home or business applications.

This is especially helpful for businesses that cannot afford the same amount of hardware and storage space as a bigger company.

Small companies can store their information in the cloud, removing the cost of purchasing and storing memory devices.

Additionally, because you only need to buy the amount of storage space you will use, a business can purchase more space or reduce their subscription as their business grows or as they find they need less storage space.

Con of cloud computing

One requirement is that you need to have an internet connection in order to access the cloud. This means that if you want to look at a specific document you have housed in the cloud, you must first establish an internet connection either through a wireless or wired internet or a mobile broadband connection.

Advantages of cloud computing

The benefit is that you can access that same document from wherever you are with any device that can access the internet. These devices could be a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone.

This can also help your business to function more smoothly because anyone who can connect to the internet and your cloud can work on documents, access software, and store data. Imagine picking up your smartphone and downloading a .pdf document to review instead of having to stop by the office to print it or upload it to your laptop. This is the freedom that the cloud can provide for you or your organization.

Types of clouds

There are different types of clouds that you can subscribe to depending on your needs. As a home user or small business owner, you will most likely use public cloud services.

1. Public Cloud - A public cloud can be accessed by any subscriber with an internet connection and access to the cloud space.

2. Private Cloud - A private cloud is established for a specific group or organization and limits access to just that group.

3. Community Cloud - A community cloud is shared among two or more organizations that have similar cloud requirements.

4. Hybrid Cloud - A hybrid cloud is essentially a combination of at least two clouds, where the clouds included are a mixture of public, private, or community.
Choosing a cloud provider

When you choose a provider, compare your needs to the cloud services available.

Your cloud needs will vary depending on how you intend to use the space and resources associated with the cloud.

If it will be for personal home use, you will need a different cloud type and provider than if you will be using the cloud for business.

Keep in mind that your cloud provider will be pay-as-you-go, meaning that if your technological needs change at any point you can purchase more storage space (or less for that matter) from your cloud provider.

There are three types of cloud providers that you can subscribe to;

1. Software as a Service (SaaS)

2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)

3. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

These three types differ in the amount of control that you have over your information, and conversely, how much you can expect your provider to do for you.

1. Software as a Service

A SaaS provider gives subscribers access to both resources and applications. SaaS makes it unnecessary for you to have a physical copy of software to install on your devices. SaaS also makes it easier to have the same software on all of your devices at once by accessing it on the cloud. In a SaaS agreement, you have the least control over the cloud.

2. Platform as a Service

A PaaS system goes a level above the Software as a Service setup. A PaaS provider gives subscribers access to the components that they require to develop and operate applications over the internet.

3. Infrastructure as a Service

An IaaS agreement, as the name states, deals primarily with computational infrastructure. In an IaaS agreement, the subscriber completely outsources the storage and resources, such as hardware and software, which they need.


The information housed on the cloud is often seen as valuable to individuals with malicious intent.

There is a lot of personal information and potentially secure data that people store on their computers, and this information is now being transferred to the cloud.

This makes it critical for you to understand the security measures that your cloud provider has in place, and it is equally important to take personal precautions to secure your data.

The first thing you must look into is the security measures that your cloud provider already has in place.

1. What encryption methods do the providers have in place?

2. What methods of protection do they have in place for the actual hardware that your data will be stored on?

3. Will they have backups of my data?

4. Do they have firewalls set up?

It is important to choose a cloud provider that considers the security of your data as a major concern.

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