The cloud is the big buzzword for 2012. It refers, of course, to an effective data storage system that can be accessed from remote locations. Instead of hefting the burden of running programs onto a limited number of local servers, functions are divided among an entire cloud network. Though many people (maybe even most people) have already been using the cloud through popular email services like Gmail, businesses have been slower to adopt the cloud.
The means of ensuring effective cloud computing will vary greatly from one project to the next. Each cloud application is best approached separately, allowing for maximum quality and efficiency. The following are a few of the most useful cloud computing applications for individuals and small businesses:
At one time, file sharing was a slow and burdensome process. Users would have to chop up large files to be able to send them via email, or take their chances on spotty and unsecure FTP servers if they wanted to do the transfer without physical media. The cloud, however, has revolutionized file sharing, making it easy for users to upload and share files from almost any setting. Syncing options allow access to the latest document for everyone across the board, eliminating the confusion and frustration that comes with 20 people in the same office all trying to collate their changes to a single document. Cloud-based file sharing networks also allow for the transfer of sensitive files in bulk without the constant fear of important information leaking out.
Photo sharing is no longer limited to social networking sites such as Facebook and Google+. With the cloud, users can securely share a variety of images, including personal photos. Photo sharing over the cloud eliminates the hassle of obtaining and maintaining physical storage for image files.
Videos tend to take up a lot of storage space, which is why, in the past, individuals and businesses avoided incorporating them into their various projects. Fortunately, with the unlimited storage potential made available on the cloud, it’s now easier than ever to store and share videos over the Internet.
Cloud storage is perhaps the most popular application of new cloud networks. This system often serves as a replacement for more traditional hard drives. With cloud storage, large amounts of data can be saved to off-site storage systems. This storage is maintained by a third party, usually in carefully protected data facilities. The offsite nature of cloud storage can be helpful for small businesses with limited access to other storage formats. Additionally, it’s a great solution for entrepreneurs who are always on the go. They can easily access stored files from any location that has Internet access.
A large part of the appeal of storing files on the cloud is that this system offers an effective backup solution in case of emergency. If a thief gets into a company’s physical storage center or if a natural disaster strikes, the presence of a cloud backup system may spell the difference between a minor problem and a huge calamity. Cloud services provide a variety of backup options, ranging from basic storage to the ultimate in security. Businesses and individuals will need to assess their specific needs when selecting a cloud backup system so as to choose the format that works best for the project at hand.
The development of cloud computing has truly revolutionized the business world. Instead of worrying about the security issues associated with physical storage, businesses and individuals can keep their data safe in an online storage center. Of course, not all cloud servers are made the same, so it’s absolutely vital that potential users carefully assess their options. The wrong choice could seriously derail a company’s progress. However, the right cloud server can give any small business a serious edge over its competitors.
[Image source: Wikipedia]