What is a cloud and how does it work?

In the world of computing, “The cloud” has been one of the buzzwords for some time now. However, its meaning is still unclear to many people and how it works.

Even if you have a smudgy concept about cloud, chances are high that you may have already used it many times.

If you have shared photos or videos through Google Drive, Instagram, or YouTube, they all use the cloud. Your Gmail or Hotmail, and even banking apps, all function on the cloud.

These days, many enterprises are shifting to the cloud platform and enabling remote access to their employees to information, business documents, marketing collaterals, and more.

Both cloud computing and cloud storage are easy and cost-effective ways for many enterprises to store their documents, images, and videos instead of saving them on hard drives.

What exactly is the Cloud?

The cloud is a blend of software and hardware infrastructure based on applications that can store large volumes of data on remote servers, which is accessible using the internet. The cloud is divided into front-end and backend.

In simple words, the cloud exists in data centres that you can access through the internet. A cloud network comprises various physical hardware and also software applications, such as Software-as-a-Service (Saas), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

A major feature of the cloud is virtualisation. First, after creating virtual machines with the help of software, there are subdivisions of the memory, storage, and computing power, which run their own operating system. Virtualisation allows users to share and allocate computing resources across the cloud.

Different Types of Cloud

As we mentioned earlier, that the cloud has three categories:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) allows using software via the internet.

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) on which major players like Google and Amazon rent out computing infrastructure to different companies.

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) is the online platform where developers design and develop online applications for specific users.

Cloud Computing vs. Cloud Storage

In cloud computing, users connect to remote computing infrastructure through a network, includes software, shared processing, and other resources.

Users do not have to constantly update and maintain their software and systems, and they can take the advantage of the fast processing power of a vast cloud network.

Cloud storage is about storing data on hardware in a remote data centre, which users can access from any device through the internet.

Users can send files to a virtual server of a cloud provider. A good example is Dropbox, which allows users to store and share files.

How does the cloud work?

The cloud system is divided into two sections -- the front end and the back end. They are interconnected through the Internet. The front end is the computing or user side. The back end is “the cloud” platform of the system.

The front end comprises the user’s computer/network, along with the necessary applications to access the cloud system. All cloud computing systems may not necessarily have the same user interface.

On the other hand, the back end of the cloud has various systems for computers, servers, and data storage that constitute the cloud.

A cloud system can include any computer programme, starting from data processing to games. Usually, each application has a dedicated server.

How safe is the cloud?

Now, the most important question that users may ask, “Is cloud safe?”Let’s try to find out the answer.

Currently, if you are using a trusted cloud platform, your data will stay safer there than it is on your system. Professional cloud service providers mostly offer more security layers and can keep your files secure even if your system’s hard drives crash.

A leading cloud service provider can help you store your confidential data efficiently. The service provider may even offer personalised and hybrid solutions across different platforms if needed.

Although the cloud is secure, you can still implement the following best practices:

  • Choose a strong password with an alpha-numeric combination.

  • Avoid using the same password in multiple devices and accounts and save it using a password manager.

  • Enable two-factor authentication.

  • Keep a backup of important documents.

  • Keep your systems updated.

  • Learn about various security measures to keep your system and resources secure.

It is also important that you choose a reliable cloud service provider. A reputable service provider will make sure you manage your data securely and seamlessly through various devices.

Closing words

Due to the increasing instances of cyberattacks, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, both personal and commercial users need to get robust data security. The cloud platform can help in that effort.

Realising the users’ needs, cloud service providers are improving their baseline security for both cloud computing and cloud storage to help users get foolproof security for their data.