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Saturday, July 16, 2011

What is Cloud Computing?

If you have not heard the words "the cloud" yet I want to know where you have been.  Even frequently run commercials are talking about "the cloud" as if it is a really good thing. But what is it?

"The cloud" is a way of describing a huge bank of servers somewhere that store data for you. It is not really a magical place, but it is a place that is hard to visualize. When you save something to your computer you know where it is. You might also have some files, or data on a thumb drive or a CD Rom. When your data is in one of these places you can put your hands on it. However, if your data is in one of those places and you are in a different place you cannot just pick up any computer and access the information.

"The Cloud" describes computers that are called SERVERS and are designed to store and "serve" huge amounts of data to other computers. This blog is on a server that Google's Blogger is on somewhere and so it is easier to say that it is on "The Cloud". If you do genealogy you can benefit by having your information on "The Cloud" so that you can learn from what others are finding and they can learn from you. Facebook is on "The Cloud" and so are many more programs and websites where you need to login for access.

So, "The Cloud" can be a good thing, but it also brings up lots of questions:
Who owns the data on the cloud?
Is my stuff that is saved on "The Cloud" private?
Is there a way that I can lose everything that is out on "The Cloud"?
Is this the same cloud where heaven is?

If you are interested in learning more here are some links that might help you:
InfoWorld-What Cloud Computing Really Means
20 Things I Learned about Browsers and the Web
Wikipedia Article on Cloud Computing

1 comment:

  1. A new article series in the Austin American Statesman talks about the amount of information that is out there about you and how it is aggregated (or collected). "massive database warehouse information about us culled from public records, marketing information (according to your Groupon history you enjoy deals on cookies and massage. Nice!) and everything you have ever posted online, readily available for anyone who seeks it out or who is willing to pay a small amount."