We hear about the cloud all the time. But what is the cloud and why is it called that?
To find the answer we must think back to the early days of network design. The role of the network engineer comprised of designing a network that would function properly. Time was dedicated to understanding what devices were on the network, how they were connected, managed, controlled, etc.
Some networks hooked to other networks or the internet. To illustrate this connection as part of the design the engineers needed a way to indicate that there was a network but also indicate that they weren’t trying to describe it because it was not relevant to the network being documented. That is, the engineer didn’t know (and didn’t need to know) the layout or details of the other network, they just knew it existed and that it did what they needed it to do. They landed on the cloud symbol as a metaphor for the internet. It was based on a cloud drawing used in the past to represent the telephone network.
A cloud in real life is also something that is there, but we can’t really touch, it moves around and we don’t mind where it’s going or where it’s been as long as it is still there when we need it.
This is a great description of cloud computing today. Our chosen cloud service is the same, be it Dropbox type file storage or Apple or Google Cloud storage for photos or even an Office 365 type Email service. We don’t know anything about the internal workings or layout of these networks, and we don’t need to know anything about them. All we need to know is how to connect to them and that they do what we want them to do in a secure and reliable way.
At the end of the day, a cloud service is ‘just someone else’s computer’. A (hopefully) secure network of computers at an unknown or even multiple unknown locations that we do not have physical access to. We put our trust in the providers of these services to keep our data safe and available at all times. So its important to carefully chose reputable providers.
At National IT, we only use well researched, proven solutions to ensure that all possible care and consideration is taken to keep your data as safe as possible.