Today, the cloud is part of everyday life. It is your email, your file sharing, where you listen to music, how your business runs smoothly. So, why is it that we understand so little about it? In an age increasingly ruled by cloud computing, there are still many misconceptions floating around about what the cloud is, and how it works. Below, we tackle these once and for all.
1. The cloud is a place
You’ve probably heard someone ramble on about how the cloud isn’t literally floating overhead. You probably also tuned them out after that overused analogy and still don’t understand what it is.
Essentially, the cloud is not a place, it is a thing. The cloud is internet based computing, and it’s a flexible way to store and access data, as well as design and implement IT services without typical computer infrastructure.
That means the cloud can be a data center, Azure, iCloud, a colocation facility — or a mix of different locations. Applications that are run on the cloud can scale easily and run on any infrastructure, anywhere. Think of the cloud as how IT works, rather than where it works.
2. There is one cloud
While we refer to the cloud as a single entity, there are multiple cloud providers. Google has a cloud, as does Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle — the list goes on.
Each company provides access to their own cloud services and applications, and while you can work with multiple cloud providers across multiple cloud islands, once you need them to integrate or work together it can get tricky — as well as costly to maintain and manage.
But, working with multiple cloud providers does give you access to a competitive range of services and applications.
3. The cloud isn’t a safe place to store your data
Think about it like this: let’s say you have photos that you have stored on your phone. If you lose your phone, your can no longer access your photos. Maybe you backed them up on your computer, but if your computer crashes you’ve also lost access to those songs for good.
With the cloud, you can essentially access those photos so long as you have an internet connection — think Google Drive. Really, the cloud is a great, safe place to store your data. Plus, your cloud-based data is usually backed up in multiple locations, securing its safety.
And while there are concerns out there about hacking, it’s a misconception that there are no safeguards you or your business can put in place to add an extra layer of security on top of your data.
4. The cloud is unreliable
When you think of the internet you might be thinking of your home router — a black box with little light-up buttons flickering and dimming as a connection goes out. But you can’t think of the cloud, which runs on the internet, like that.
While the cloud can lose connection (you probably remember the buzz around Amazon Web Services going offline a few months back), overall the cloud is extremely reliable. The Information reporting, “Since the start of 2015, AWS has had a total of 448 minutes of downtime, 40% of which occurred in (March 2017’s 3 hour) episode.” So, over two years it’s been down for about 7 hours in total. When searching for a cloud provider, then, researching downtime is extremely important to keep in mind.
But, it’s also important to note many times you will work with applications that run across different clouds. So, if one application goes down temporarily, the others will be fine.
Finally, there’s no way the cloud could have become as popular as it is today if it wasn’t reliable. And that leads us to our next misconception…
5. The cloud is a fad
The cloud is far from a fad. In fact, it is being used by people and integrated into businesses big and small all over the world every day.
Many people who don’t understand the cloud don’t think they use it. But the cloud is Gmail, DropBox, Amazon, iCloud, your online banking, Salesforce for businesses — the list goes on and on. Today, the cloud is totally integrated into our lives and we don’t see it going away anytime soon.
Curious about integrating into the cloud, connecting your cloud islands or getting dedicated bandwidth performance? Stay tuned, because next week we are announcing our new cloud service!