A Brief Introduction To Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is more of a service as opposed to a product. It has become much more popular in the last few years with many large companies utilising such services.
The cloud works by storing information on remote servers, this can be user data, photos, documents and some services such as Google enable users to store music files. This can be a real benefit for some users as it grants extra storage space and your files can be accessed anywhere.
Cloud computing allows users to run and operate a software application which is stored on the internet. This is currently big in gaming. ‘Onlive’ offers a service where you can play top-rated games through your browser; this is available on many platforms including tablets. Because all computing is done on the cloud, high specification machines are not required. However it is recommend that you have a high speed internet connection with low latency.
Other services such as iCloud (Apple) can store Contacts, Reminders, Mail, Photos, Documents, this allows users data and settings to be synced across all apple devices. The user can back-up their iPhone/iPad and be able to restore all device information. Steam created by Valve is a PC based game client has a cloud service allowing user game data to be saved including keyboard, mouse and gamepad settings in case of logging in from a different location.
Anyway, enough of what the cloud is… is it safe?
They say it is impossible for the whole cloud to completely crash, as it is a lot like the internet where a single system isn’t reliant on one connection but many. However it is possible to lose information to disasters such as floods or earth quakes wherever the computing centre is. Although it is said that large companies have contingency plans in place for things like this such as backups.
Another big issue regarding the safety of information stored in the cloud is security. As technology and the internet are growing at a massive rate it has also put a lot more pressure on companies for keeping the information secure from potential threats such as hackers. Only a couple of months ago was Steam hacked and the intruders obtained copies of back up files of Steams transactions which included user names, email addresses, encrypted billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. But Jay Heiser, an analyst from technology research company Gartner, says the biggest risk when using the cloud isn’t confidentiality, but the possibility of losing data.