Yo, what’s the cloud?

Explain the cloud like I’m 5.

Tech circles have been implementing cloud technology since the early 2000s.

But the cloud doesn’t exist. At least, not how you think.

The cloud works the same way companies have been running their company networks (the computers connected to run apps).

The difference is where the servers (larger scale computers) are hosted (stored).

Why does the cloud exist?

As technology advanced, large companies realized they could offer their servers to other companies. Then they charge for their services.

These large companies can provide service cheaper and faster than smaller companies can do it for themselves. It ends up being a win, win for both sides. The large company can pay for their technology and the small company gets better tech.

Are there different cloud types?

There are 3 cloud types. Public, private, and hybrid.

Public cloud is available for anyone to use. The biggest public cloud providers are Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. A public cloud is 100% maintained by the provider of this type of cloud.

Private cloud is set up by a company to use themselves. This type of cloud is located at a company-owned or rented property. Private clouds are maintained by the company hosting them. In most cases, it’s only available to the company owning it.

Hybrid cloud connects private and public clouds. This allows a company to have its services spread across multiple locations. This type of cloud works great in case of a failure or disaster.

What is the cloud used for?

There are many uses for the cloud. Companies use the cloud to save money or in case of disaster. You likely use them for your email, documents, and file backups.

Software services

This is the type of cloud you will be familiar with.

They’re called SaaS (software as a service) providers. They provide their software as a service to the customer. SAAS allows you to store your information on their servers or use their apps from the internet.

When your files are in the cloud, those files are on someone else’s computer. This doesn’t mean some random person, but the company whose app you’re trusting.

Google Docs, Gmail, Dropbox, Microsoft Office 365, Substack, and Notion are all SaaS products.

Infrastructure services

This is called IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).

IaaS enables a company to set up infrastructure (servers networked together). This is a benefit because the company doesn’t have to purchase expensive equipment or pay someone to maintain all of it.

This infrastructure takes knowledge to set up but fewer people to maintain. Another benefit is a whole network of servers can be set up in minutes instead of months. Company websites, email, and even apps can be set up using IaaS.

What does this mean for me?

The cloud gives anyone access to needed resources to take their ideas to market quicker.

You, the consumer, will have more of your problems solved using technology.

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