Everybody talks about using cloud storage, but I would be willing to bet that very few know exactly How Cloud Servers Work.
We put things into our cloud storage and we have great faith that the information stored in the cloud cannot be lost, but are we sure?
And do we truly understand why we are so sure that our data is safe?
Cloud storage is a relatively new concept.
It was first conceived in the 1960’s, when MIT developed a way to allow two people to use a computer at the same time.
It didn’t develop into its present form until 2006, when Amazon first offered Amazon Web Services.
This was the beginning of cloud-based computing as we understand it today.
The beginning of cloud-based computing offered data storage to businesses.
This quickly developed into cloud-based applications like Dropbox, Pinterest, and Amazon Web Services, as well as thousands of others.
Cloud-based computing works by having banks of servers in different areas all connected to the internet.
The servers to work together to give users – who are also connected to the internet – the ability to use the power of a huge number of computers, instead of just the one they have access to.
Businesses develop software that runs on the internet, and their customers connect to the web-based businesses and use their programs, either free, or for a fee.
The result of all this is a gigantic virtual marketplace for consumers.
We can do everything from storing photographs and important documents, to buying their groceries and shopping for clothes.
Bye Bye Lost Data
Cloud computing uses many servers from widely different locations.
It is highly unlikely that data stored using all these different servers can be lost off all the servers simultaneously.
Even if one batch of servers was destroyed by a fire or a natural disaster your data would still be stored on multiple other servers.
This is like Automatic Data Backup.
The downside to storing your data on multiple banks of servers is that each bank of servers has people who have physical access to the servers for installations, repairs, maintenance, and even security.
While my data is not easily lost, it may be somewhat more vulnerable to unauthorized access than if I stored backup files myself.
If you don’t use the cloud for storage, you can store data on CDs, flash drives, or external hard drives and ensure that few, if any, unauthorized people have access to them.
Even if that happens, you can password-protect everything so that even if your storage device was stolen, the thief would still have to get past the password to access your data.
This system is less vulnerable, but not as convenient as the cloud.
I keep my data storage devices in one or at most two locations.
This is mostly based on what is convenient for me.
This also means I generally keep the storage relatively close to each other.
I feel that this means both can easily be affected by the same natural disaster.
The cloud is more vulnerable to hackers, sabotage, and crime than it is to physical threats.
Understanding How Cloud Servers Work allows me to choose the right solution.
Cloud Storage Drawbacks
There are some unexpected drawbacks to using cloud computing and storage.
The company providing the cloud-hosting service may not own the banks of servers that they are storing data on.
The Servers can be simply lease space on the servers of other, larger companies.
This is very common, and has a lot of advantages.
Servers there are that are connected are faster and more efficient.
But businesses based on the web can be short-lived.
The platform will prove to be a viable business when you and I choose to use them.
I choose Cloud Servers that meet my needs.
My needs are most often both Performance and Price.
For Companies that fail to deliver they are far more likely to Fail.
When this happens my data could be lost when the company loses its storage space on the servers.
This tends to lead to a catch-22 situation.
Smaller companies have trouble growing.
We are less willing to trust them with their data in case they go out of business.
But they are more likely to go out of business because they lack customers.
Customers have enough notice of a business closure to move their data elsewhere so it would not be lost.
Large Cloud Servers
The big companies that own the huge cloud-based applications are ones like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, and IBM.
These companies owe a large part of their success to their early adoption of cloud-based computing concepts.
They all appear to have every intention of improving their platforms and increasing the number of ways that cloud-based computing can be used.
They have taken the concept of cloud computing and made it into an integral part of how we live our daily lives.
I am willing to bet that that won’t change any time soon.
You will make better choices when you understand How Cloud Servers Work