On thinking about cloud computing, the very first thing usually coming to the mind is the typical applications like the Dropbox, the Google Drive, or iCloud; but apart from these, there is much more to cloud computing than one can even think of.
First and foremost, one must understand that what actually cloud computing is all about! To put it briefly, cloud computing is – saving and recollecting your personal information/data or professional data/information from your little space that you own over the net. In cloud computing, no data will be saved on your local hard disk drive and all that data would be easily accessible from any of the locations, any of the devices and at any time whatsoever you want to access it.
If all the above sounds too much imaginative, farfetched and implausible, then just for a minute, thing about the email applications you might be using already like Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo etc. You must be very well aware that none of these email applications that help you in sending and receiving emails on a daily basis actually do not take up any space on your local hard disk drive, instead, they store your email data on their own email servers; this is precisely the basic form of “cloud computing” only.
Take this exemplum ahead, take into notice that you can easily log in and very comfortably access all your emails from any computer system, any laptop, and even from any Smartphone too. This can only be made possible through cloud computing.
Many users, however, do not realize that in spite of the data being stored in the “cloud”, it still required to be stored physically on a device at some place; be it on flash or the conventional hard disk drive, as the companies that are providing this particular service are still in the need of having massive servers devoted to store the data. These huge and massive places where the data is stored are often referred to as “server farms” and these are primarily the vast warehouses that are usually packed with data servers that run 24X7X365.
This discussion further raises multiple questions in the mind of a cloud user, which are as follows:
For the questions that how and where the data is actually stored, you must know the fact that you cannot truly know where it is stores unless and until you do some digging into it. The cloud service provider might be based in, say, United States, but its data servers may be in, say, UK or China. This is because many cloud companies tend to outsource their “server farms” to different satellite locations for reducing the costs incurred. So, for you, it would be a little difficult to know where your data is actually being stored, and sometimes, even the cloud service provider also refuses to disclose this information to you.
Who can access your data?
This is another question to ponder upon. Cloud data storage providers have good security systems for ensuring that you, and only you, can access your data, and no one else.
Safety is yet another concern here !
Most of the cloud data service companies of good repute usually replicate the data multiple times on various servers so as to ensure the data safety in the events of some catastrophe. This does not mean that your data will be safe and 100% secure; some unplanned events like nature’s disasters, fires etc cannot be necessarily avoided.
Remember that server farms are not fully unvanquishable; as storage media fail, large companies get hacked, and data gets destroyed on these servers too as it can happen on your own system, so be cautious while storing your crucial as well as confidential data files in the cloud.