What is Cloud, Cloud Computing and Cloud Backup?

Are things actually kept in the white fluffy specs of smoke you see above or is there really another meaning. Let’s cut to the chase, no nothing is stored in the Clouds above us, it is just a term now so commonly used it does make the tech savvy of us question even our own insanity and frame of mind.

Think of this like a virtual word i.e. has meaning but not literally. In simple terms it is storing “stuff” from a business or home user outside of their physical premises. This could be data like office files, or machines like servers to make things more safer should the worst happen to the building for example, fire, flood or earthquake.

The sinister amongst you might think, well isn’t the same for example online backup why refer to as cloud backup. Yes, it is the same as data in this case is being backed offsite. In businesses some would want their entire or part IT Environment hosted offsite and would refer to this as Cloud Computing and would work from there. Take it as it says on the tin, Computing from the Cloud, not rocket science but still explains it better when looked at it like that. Just to clarify, sometimes online is referred to as Cloud and vice versa.

So now we have understood (just) about the terminology, where is the information/machines actually stored. In most cases the service provider will own or rent space in a secure Data Centre (DC) for this purpose, entry to the DC is extremely secure so no one can just walk in without prior permission. Information will be backed up from someone’s computer and go over the internet encrypted to this location where you will be able to recover should the computer blow up. Businesses that take on services from the provider that actually hosts their machines can remote log in to them and do their work.

Moving on from this, there are different Tier levels that DC’s have which would be more relevant for businesses when choosing who they would go for, for home users this wouldn’t matter as long as the DC has an independent verification i.e. an ISO 27001 certification.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg and for the common person as long as they know the principles of what this is about then that should be enough. Cloud is here to stay whether it is cloud computing, Cloud backup or Cloud XYZ, so it is best to embrace it rather than push it under the carpet. Of course depending on your situation it might not be your problem if something bad happens, but always good to be aware of the modern world and the different technological terms that are out there

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