What is cloud storage and the cloud?

You may not know this, but by using Facebook, Linked In, etc, you are using a cloud storage service. To keep things simple, the cloud is essentially a server somewhere in the world that stores your data and documents, and is accessible only to you anywhere in the world at anytime via the internet. Usually the user has the ability to share data and links of their files and folders to other users at their own discretion.

PC Manufactures are now bringing out computers with embedded wifi and 3g, with cloud services providers as standard to store your documents and data. The process of setting up a cloud, is usually signing up, logging in with a username and password, and downloading the sync app for your device.

There are free cloud service providers, however, they normally only give you a small amount of data for free to experience their level of service, before signing up for their package.

You might think that cloud services are expensive, however, the damage that may be caused due to loss and theft of your device, without any form of backup maybe more costly then the actual cost per month of an online cloud/backup solution.

There are three main cloud storage models:

  • Public cloud – A public cloud is a model, in which a service provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to the general public over the Internet. Public cloud services may be free or offered on a pay-per-usage model.

  • Private cloud – storage services , such as Digilogic Cloud Storage Services provide a dedicated environment protected by SSL Encryption and IP Firewalls. Private clouds are great for long term back and file syncing for extended periods of time.

  • Hybrid cloud storage is a combination of the other two models that includes at least one private cloud and one public cloud infrastructure. An organization might, for example, store actively used and structured data in a private cloud and unstructured and archival data in a public cloud.

What is the difference between Facebook and the cloud?

Facebook is the cloud, however it is aimed towards social media and marketing, whereas a cloud provided by a service provider is private and is meant for long term storage of personal/business documents.

Other Uses?

The cloud is being used in the financial sector in the form of an online accounting package called My Business Online from Sage Pastel. The user can access his/her quotes, invoices, banking, all from their mobile device anywhere in the world at any time. No more worrying if the accounting computer is stolen or lost, all data is safe online and in the cloud.