Cloud Computing – Future of Computers

Welcome to the next phase of the computing world. Imagine a world where you can access all of your own data from any computer that has a connection to the Internet. This will soon be reality because cloud computing is about to really take off.

Think of cloud computing for exactly what it is called, a cloud. This cloud is where everything you own is stored on servers where it can be accessed by you at anytime while on the Internet. You most likely have been using cloud computing for awhile now and not even known it. If your email account is with a web-based email service like Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, etc. then you’ve been utilizing a cloud. Instead of opening an application on your computer, you log in to your email account remotely through the website and your Inbox and everything else is stored on that website. Another example is Google Documents. You will log in to your Google account and then access your Document which has been stored on their server and not on your computer. Applications will no longer be run through your computer. They will be run by the cloud, which frees up your personal computer for important tasks as well as having less moving parts making it cheaper and more durable. The workload will move from the local computer to the network of computers of the cloud. The only thing the user’s computer will need is interface software to run the cloud, which would more than likely mean something as simple as a Web browser (Safari, IE, Firefox, etc.)

So, what’s the network of computers that makes up the cloud? Well, first we should split the system into two sections: the front end and the back end. These two sections are connected together through a network, usually (if not always) the Internet. The front end is the client’s computer and the application required to access the cloud. The back end is comprised of various computers, servers and data storage systems and is what is referred to as “the cloud”. The cloud could include any computer program that the user would want to access, from data processing to video games.

What the cloud computing system can offer is practically limitless. Anything, like I’ve said, that the user/client wants to do with his or her computer can be done through the cloud. Here are a few reasons cloud computing is beneficial.

  1. Clients would be able to access their applications and data from anywhere at any time.
  2. Hardware costs would most likely drop. Client side computers would no longer need complicated hardware to ensure they had the fastest computer with the most memory. The cloud system would take care of those needs for you, which would allow the client to only need an inexpensive computer terminal including a monitor, and various input devices (keyboard, mouse, etc).
  3. Businesses that use cloud computing would have company-wide access to all applications to achieve their goals together. The company would no longer have to buy new software and hardware for each new employee because the cloud would have it all.
  4. Servers and data storage take up physical space. The cloud allows you to use someone elses space to store all of your stuff.
  5. Cloud computing could be used as a grid for sharing knowledge. Since some applications scientists use are too complex for one computer to process, they can tap into the cloud and piggy-back on the computers in the cloud by using the processing power of all available computers.
With anything good, comes bad. The biggest concern is the security and privacy of the cloud. The thought of turning over all your important data to another person worries some. A counterpoint to this is that if a company is offering cloud computing services the only thing they can grow is by having a good reputation. Once a system gets broken into and data is stolen, that company would lose all of their clients and would go out of business so it’s in their best interest to protect their clients’ data. Most of the problems with cloud computing are more philosophical in nature. Does the user or company subscribing to the cloud computing service own the data? Does the cloud computing system, which provides the actual storage space, own it? Is it possible for a cloud computing company to deny a client access to that client’s data? What happens when there is a service outage? These questions will be debated until we reach a conclusion on each.
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About dunkoftheday
I love movies, girls and podcasts. Also, basketball. As well as comedy. And tea...

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