Happy New Year! I hope you had a good one. Mine was pretty tame – but then, with two small boys I wasn’t planning any late night wild parties (they might have been, but as far as I know they didn’t manage to sneak out in the night)…
It’s hard to believe it’s 2016… but then I’m not sure I’ve quite adjusted to the year starting with a 20 instead of 19 yet!
In fact I’ve been away from home for a bit until this weekend – staying down at Mum and Dad’s. I was still able to send the last email newsletter as I can do that from anywhere in the world, whether I’ve taken my laptop with me or by borrowing someone else’s computer.
That’s one of the advantages of “cloud computing”. Which made me think – has anyone ever explained exactly what “the cloud” is to you?
You hear it from time to time: cloud computing, cloud software, the cloud… but exactly what does it mean?
Well, it’s talking about a way of working where the programs you’re using and your data (documents, emails, photos… whatever it is you’re working on) aren’t stored on your computer. They’re actually stored on some servers (ie fast PCs) owned by the company whose system you’re using.
For example if you use Google Docs to type a letter, your letter is actually stored on Google’s servers. It’ll be stored on several, so if one has a problem, it doesn’t matter.
And not just the letter, but the program you’re using to write it is on their computer, too – you access it through a web page.
Cloud software is just programs that work like this – stored on a server somewhere.
The cloud is just all this data and programs that are stored on a server somewhere.
And cloud computing just means working this way.
In the case of my email newsletter from last time, I use a program that actually runs on a server somewhere else to write the emails – and the email is sent from that server. So I don’t need my own personal PC to even be turned on, I can use Mum and Dad’s or any other computer (or even a tablet like an iPad) to write it.
In a nutshell, the cloud is just stuff you store online and the programs you use that are based online, on someone else’s PC called a server.
So now when people talk about the cloud, you’ll know what they mean!