Thursday, December 26, 2013

Using the cloud is not as complicated as it sounds

One thing that you can count on in the online world is the use of buzzwords and buzz phrases, which are nothing more than a kind of shorthand to explain a subject or a concept in just a few words. When used by people who both have a common understanding of what those words and phrases mean, it enhances communication. When only one side in a conversation understands the concept, or worse, if no one understands the concept and someone is just spewing hype, then real communication may be difficult.

One area where this has taken off in recent months is in the area of cloud computing. While definitions vary, one way to think of cloud computing is as follows. In the early days of personal computers, all your programs had to be in that computer, so if you wanted 10 computers with the same capability, that you had to have 10 sets of identical computer programs. With cloud computing, that capability is in some remote computer or remote computer network, and those 10 computers are sharing that capability.

Want another example? If you use Gmail or one of the other online email services, you are using cloud computing. You can log into your email account from any computer with a browser and an online connection. While Google is known for offering Gmail, Blogger, and other cloud-based services to the public, companies like Zoho offer business related services in the same way, allowing simultaneous access to the same resource, for example a database, from multiple locations around the world. Zoho Support is a service that comes with their cloud offerings, with the amount of support depending on the kind of service and the number of users in an account.

With cloud computing, the key things to remember if you are considering using any cloud service are the following:

  • Cloud computing is not a mysterious subject, and you are likely using it even now.
  • Cloud computing could be used to perform most functions traditionally performed on an individual computer or on private networks.
  • If someone is using cloud computing type buzzwords to convince you to spend your money, treat that person like a seller of used cars and do your own independent research before you reach any agreement.

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