So, What is the Cloud Exactly?

Buzz words.  Everyone loves to use them, but few seem to know what they mean.  Today, I hope to shed some clarity on one such buzz word for our less buzzy readers.

It is hard, if not impossible, to go a day without hearing some mention of the term "the Cloud".  The word is used by professionals, advertisers, and people in meetings who want to sound smart, but it's exact definition is a mystery to the vast majority of people.  The funny thing is that you probably have experince with the Cloud yourself.  Have you ever use Gmail or Hotmail? If so, then you are a user of the Cloud!

"The Cloud" refers to any service that is hosted offsite on a number of servers as opposed to a server somewhere in your office building.  To explain this further, let's look at Gmail as an example.  Google hosts the email for all Gmail users on a number of servers and run the maintenance for you.  This is opposed to have a server that is in your office storing your email and sending it to you via Outlook.  

Another good example of the Cloud that many people use would be Dropbox.  Dropbox allows you to store your own files on their servers and, in turn, you can access them from any other computer or mobile device.  Again, since the service allows you to store information on their servers instead of your own hard drive this is considered part of the Cloud.

Between the increase of highspeed internet access, decrease in price of server hardware, and the current ubiquity of mobile devices and tablets usage of the Cloud has become very common place.  More and more companies are using Cloud applications to streamline business and increase profitablity.  Contact Sierra Ridge Networks to find out how you can utilize the Cloud and discover new methods of productivity.


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