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Clearing up the Cloud

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Wed, Jun 03, 2015 at 9:15AM

You probably hear the buzzword “cloud” quite a lot if you’re in business—actually, your business might even be using it right now! But how much do you know about the cloud… what it really does, how it works, and why you need it? We’re breaking everything down in today’s blog post.

First, let’s look at what we actually mean when we say “the cloud.” It’s not a branded, specialized portion of the Internet (that may seem silly, but many people really are in the dark about this subject!). Rather, the cloud is a collective name we give to networks of servers that allow us to store information, contacts, emails, photos and notes on such a server (as opposed to keeping this stuff on an actual computer). The benefits and usefulness of this in the workplace should be obvious by now—when working with many people and several computers, or even in different locations, the cloud will let you access the same files and information you need to get the job done, no matter what computer or office you’re working on at the time.

So how does the cloud work? Well, it’s not as complicated as it seems—in fact, if you use web apps like Google Docs or Dropbox, you’ve seen the cloud working in action! When you utilize cloud storage, you essentially send your files or information online to the cloud, a system of servers that will allow you to open up that file/info/note/photo (whatever it may be) on another computer with internet access. The cloud system takes advantage of something called redundancy, a process that ensures your files are saved on servers that operate on more than one power supply. The reasoning for this is simple… if one server’s power supply was ever to fail, you’d have a backup to rely on. This is just an added safety measure that makes sure your files are safe and accessible.

Now that the process and practices behind the cloud are cleared up, let’s talk about what you can use it for! The world of computer networking, file storage and backing up can scare a lot of people off… and while these can sometimes be tough concepts to wrap your brain around, they really are simpler and more sensible than they might at first seem! You can use the cloud (or maybe you already do) to store client information, important documents or forms, share photos with other employees to boost your social media presence… to name just a few! The more you’re aware of the presence of the cloud, the more you’ll come to realize just how often you really use it.

We’d like to clear up the misconception that cloud storage is any less secure than your traditional hard drive storage. You can still offer the same strictness or leniency to access files as you would if you were working on office-only computers; cloud storage just makes it a bit easier to get jobs done.

The best part about using cloud storage (and computer networks in general)? You don’t have to manage them! As your computer networking professionals, we’re equipped to help set you up and do all of the behind-the-scenes work… you just need to worry about running the office!

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