Well, in case if you have not noticed, things are heading to the cloud. Google have already released an open-source operating system for laptops. You don’t store any of the data on your PC. Instead, all of your data and applications stored on the internet. The data and these applications can be accessed from almost any computer. These applications include such as Google Docs, Microsoft’s suite of Office web apps and so much more.
This is all well and good, but what is the cloud? what is cloud computing? To understand what cloud computing is, we need to define what the cloud is. The cloud allows people like you and me to access software applications and data from almost any device with internet access. In fact, some people think of the internet as being the cloud as well as a world-wide publicly accessible network of networks.
To help us understand this and cloud computing better, it’s best if I use an example. Let’s say that I have my laptop. Everywhere I go, I take it with me. Whilst I am at home, I connect to the internet. However, this computer does not have any productivity packages(e.g. Microsoft Office) on it. It has a web browser on it. What I would do is open up this web browser and access an application such as Google docs. I would then open a new document and start to write my letter. It is then time for me to leave for work. I then go to work and log back into the same application from another computer and log into the same application. This application shows all the documents that I have stored online. I re-open the letter that I was working on to continue working on it. The important thing is, the document never touches my computer. It’s stored in the cloud.
Let’s also look at how cloud computing would work for gaming. Again, I power up my laptop to play a game through OnLive. However, I needed to go to work, so I save the game and take my laptop with me. After a hard days work, I come home power up my laptop and launch OnLive. I go into my game and find the game save I made earlier and then load the game save up(just like a playstation 3/xbox/wii game) from there I am able to continue the game where I had left off. The point is, the game is stored in the cloud and the game save is stored in the cloud. Once again, nothing touches my computer.
These are just two of the many great things you can do thanks to the power of cloud computing. Of course, there are also cloud backup solutions such as DropBox and Carbonite. They are cloud solutions because all data that you store can be accessed from almost any computer in any location, so as long as you have internet access.
I don’t think that cloud computing can be used for video editing. Sure, you can upload videos to youtube, and add annotations. However, I believe that using the cloud for video editing can become impractical. This is because you can end up using up bandwidth that you don’t have.
Of course there other applications for cloud computing, but is cloud computing the future? In my opinion, the answer is both yes and no?
There will be some people who don’t care about the operating system they use on their computer, but will care about having an inexpensive computer that can access the web. They will just want to simply carry out the work that they need to do and get it done quickly. On top of that, they may want to keep nothing on their PC In my opinion, this is why the cloud and cloud computing is the future.
Of course, the cloud has some drawbacks. To work in the cloud, you will need these following things:
- A computer
- an internet connection that is always on
- A constant supply of electricity
If your computer stops working some reason, then you cannot access the cloud and cannot access your data. If your internet connection stops functioning, then you cannot access your data. If your electricity suddenly stops working, then you cannot access your data.
The other issue is security and safety. As with any system, the cloud is not secure or safe. Because you are storing your data on the internet, you have to make sure that you don’t lose any data. Of course, there have been many hackers being able to breach the security systems of companies such as Sony and websites such as wikileaks. In fact, some analysts say that it won’t be too long before most of the computing we all do is in the cloud.
On the software side of cloud computing, you don’t own the software. The companies providing your cloud computing solution are merely giving you the ability and the licensing you need to use the applications that are stored in the cloud. If you cannot connect to the internet, or your connection is too slow, you may not be able to use these software applications.
There is also a question of bandwidth. The internet service providers(ISPs) such as Virgin Media, Comcast, Verizon, Sky and many others have to be able to cope with the huge flow of traffic on their networks.
All-in-all, I think think that cloud computing is great, but it does have its drawbacks.