There is no secret that large corporations want users to take on cloud computing. Among the most prolific proponents of cloud computing are the big software companies like Microsoft, Apple and Adobe.
Why use cloud computing when your own system works just fine?
The pros of Cloud Computing stand out quite profusely when you understand just what it offers. Cloud Computing offers the user an easy way to run their software and access their data from anywhere.
What is in the cloud? Well, anything actually. Cloud computing is no mystery really; it is merely the running and storing of data on a remote server using the Internet to access the data and software. In other words you use the server resources of the remote server to run your software and to store your data. Obviously this is a service that can make it easier to run software and get to your files without using a home or office computer.
What is the benefit of running software on remote cloud computers? The software is always updated and kept free of virus and attack. Microsoft and other software providers have spent over two decades to get this idea off the ground and find consumer acceptance of buying, or renting, their software on their own centralized servers. The cost benefit is easy to figure into your budget, as you will be paying a monthly access to the software rather than putting a large chunk of cash out to buy the software for your own computer. Having the software always updated to the latest version saves a lot on upgrading and maintaining that software your self.
Allowing a software manufacturer the right to rent you their latest software has a lot of downside. The most obvious is you own nothing and have lost control over your domain. If the Internet or the company go down from various reasons, be it from pirates, hackers, hack attacks, denial of service attacks, you will not be able to access your program in the clouds. Even if your local service provider goes down you will no longer be able to run that software, as it is unavailable. Everything is dependent on outside forces and you have little control. You also will pay a lot more in the end for the software you use.
What is the benefit of keeping your data on a cloud computer? You can access this data from anywhere in the world that has Internet connections. The data will be backed up and protected, for the most part, by the company running the cloud. The main selling point of cloud computing is access your data from anywhere there is Internet connection.
Cloud Computing will make it easier for hardware manufacturers to offer some real space age computers. They will no longer need storage devices to store data or software and will become small thin display cases, which will have components to connect to WiFi or LAN and amazing graphics and sound. This will make boot up in seconds and very easy lightweight computer units, probably with large touch screens and good sound systems. The costs will drop since no miniature hard drives, electronic drives or even keyboards will be needed.
What are the downsides of Cloud Computing? Now we get to our beefs about cloud computing. The costs in the long run for renting software on the cloud will far surpass the normal usage of a software package. While you may not get the latest version of software when you buy the package you are able to keep it upgraded from the manufacturer and if you are like me you will use this same package for over 10 years or more. Most software, like word processing, database, spreadsheet, and email can be used for many decades without problems. You may not get the latest bells and whistles along with icons for the latest social networks, but you have the basics of everything you need.
Using a cloud means you must have an Internet connection. With all connections there are problems. The most prolific are the periodic downtimes and inability to connect where you will be left without your software or your data if it is on remote servers. This is probably the number one problem of Cloud Computing.
You do not own a running copy of the software on Cloud Computing. The whole idea being pushed by Microsoft and others is that you will always have the latest software on the Cloud. While this may become reality right now it means you cannot do your work without a good Internet connection that is always up and never down – a real impossibility. Never is a big concept.
Your data on a remote server is never yours either. Your data will belong to whoever hosts it and access to it will not be reserved to you or the company hosting your data. Laws in the USA make that data available to whatever authority wants to see it. You have lost control. A company runs the remote server and while they may be especially vigilant they are vulnerable to hacking and other problems including government scans of it. Even the CIA cannot keep all their servers and records from being hacked so how will anyone else?
To sum up Cloud Computing is a dream of software manufacturers and is just a repackaging of server based software and data storage with a not so new exotic name. Rather than owning a software package you can use for decades you will be forced to pay monthly maintenance for the software and data storage. These monthly costs will well exceed the purchase of packages offered now over a decade. Companies and the government who have already placed laws that they must share all information with each other will control your software, your data, and your access. The law makes your cloud data open to scan and reports instantly if certain keywords appear in your data to many government agencies.
For large corporations running your own server based software and data storage makes some sense and is nothing new. Allowing third parties to host your software and data, even if it was the likes of Microsoft, leaves your data in hands where there is no safety or control over who really can see it.
All in all Cloud Computing is just remote server hosting with a new name claiming to centralize your software and data while opening a lot of doors to access that data by other corporations, government agents, and your competition. Hosting your own data and software where you can exert the control needed to safeguard your information can eliminate most of the downsides.