The term “cloud computing” is becoming more mainstream (it’s on today’s Dilbert comic strip!). In the 90’s, it used to be that only IT professionals knew anything about building an infrastructure in a data-center, developing web applications and serving data over the web. For everyone else, the extent we knew about computers was to create word documents, spreadsheets, and maybe store photos. We always kept our data stored safely on our computer at home.
Today, more and more people are signing onto the Internet and utilizing platforms like Facebook or Twitter to communicate, Flickr to store photos, WordPress for online journals, eBay or Craigslist to sell items. With cheaper hardware, faster networks, tech-savvy entrepreneurs are building platforms where end users can easily upload their data to share with the world. Most importantly, these platforms are developed with simplicity so anyone can virtually use them. My grandmother, who didn’t grow up in a world with computers, very easily created herself a Facebook account. So every time you upload a photo to Flickr, send a message on Facebook, update your status on Twitter or write a post on your WordPress blog, do you wonder where it’s going? Many people don’t really know or care until their data is either gone or their information has been compromised.
When you hear the term cloud computing, this is the place where your data is going. If your data is important to you, it’s important that you know where your data is going. In some cases, it’s worth paying for a service to ensure your data is backed up and secure.
Here’s a a video CNN recently produced explaining cloud computing in it’s simplest terms. (I also encourage you to read the entire article):