The world is always changing, and at the forefront of it all is technology. Almost every week we hear about a new gadget or service that is going to improve our lives somehow. The latest trend with tech companies seems to be cloud computing. Microsoft has invested tons of money into cloud services, Google has already been a huge supporter of it, Apple has dipped into it, and now everyone seems to offer some sort of cloud service. What does it mean for you? What will change?
This is a new scary world for a lot of people, even for those of us that fully understand what cloud computing means. In order to tell you what exactly cloud computing is you need to understand that it’s a massive idea that will encompass pretty much everything you do regarding computers and internet. It will even dive into entertainment purposes, but overall is an attempt to make things more convenient for you.
The fact of the matter is that you probably have already used cloud computing. The overall idea dates back to the 1950’s. Technically speaking simply being on the internet browsing a webpage is cloud computing. What cloud computing does is gather a network of devices and links them all together to share resources that are found on a remote client. What the resources are and how they are shared is what companies are changing.
A cloud could be an office, or classroom, full of computers that are sharing software. You would get a license to do this and the specific network would be allowed to use the software. Another example would be sharing files between them all in one shared folder. This folder that everyone can access is considered the “cloud” of these computers. Netflix is technically a cloud as well. You connect to their server and watch a movie that their server is playing, while your device is doing very little to stream the content.
The changes being made are these same simple tasks, but advancing them further. With clouds we have even more expansive sharing abilities. Instead of uploading and downloading files we can now instantly share files in a cloud. DropBox is a good example of this sharing technique as it’s a system of folders that several people can see and edit. Putting things in a cloud is also a great backup to computers. If your computer crashes then all your files are stored on a remote server and protected. You can then stream the content to your computer, or download it again.
When it comes to software is when things are changing dramatically. With the new changes in cloud services companies are able to instantly stream content right to your PC. This allows them to create services that run programs on their end, and stream the output to your computer. Essentially the entire program or task is running on a remote client, at more efficient rates, and then sending the end object to your PC. Your computer does almost nothing. No more buying software for each student or employee and ensuring they have computer capable of running it. All they have to do is connect to your cloud and use the program through it.
How does this benefit you? Well you no longer need a high end PC to run newer programs. Better yet you can utilize a cloud server to do major processes for you so the hardware demanding tasks don’t put stress on your machine. The gaming industry has utilized this in several ways that are perfect examples. You can stream modern games on low end hardware, and upcoming consoles allow you to connect to a cloud for added horsepower for demanding tasks. Software developers, such as 3D modeling companies, will be utilizing this to help render things and give themselves more horsepower when they need it.
Overall clouds can be looked at as an expansion to your computer. Everything your computer does can be expanded on and clouds do this. They connect to a server or computer with better capabilities and help your computer complete a task. The only drawback is the fact you need to be connected to the internet to utilize cloud features, but the world is already revolving around internet devices so it’s not that big of an issue.
How does this benefit the company? Well they can now stream content to you in new ways. Instead of buying a piece of software, you buy a service and keep paying for the same piece of software. Adobe has already implemented this with their Creative Suit. It also ensures that their products work as intended, instead of being held back by out dated hardware. The most important aspect for companies is that it creates a DRM barrier that will be extremely hard to break. The software is never given to the user; therefore it cannot be broken, unless they find a way to get it off the cloud service. Not to mention this piece of software now be compatible with literally any device that can connect to the cloud.
The entire computer world will be changed by cloud services. Microsoft and other companies have spent millions of dollars developing ideas behind it, and the services will grow every day. They might seem scary now, but the benefits will only get better as time goes on. Google’s Chromebooks would be a great introduction to anyone that would like to test the waters of cloud computing.