What is Cloud Storage?
What is Cloud Storage?
Call it what you will, in its simplest form, cloud storage is simply remote infrastructure. It’s not some magical thing in the sky, or somewhere, where your photos, documents or whatever you load into the cloud are “just there” (Technically they are… but you really should have a little understanding of what it is). There HAS to be physical infrastructure, your uploads are physically sat somewhere just like when you save them on your own hard drive. What Cloud Storage does is take away the cost of that Hard drive for you. Put it is this way, rather than spending £80 on an external hard drive, you’re paying someone x amount a month to keep it stored on theirs. Only with Cloud storage you can remote access that server to gain access to your uploaded items.
Now you know how it works, I guess you’re wondering how safe it is? You’re paying someone x amount a month and you’d like to know all your data is safe right?! Well, this is where it pays to do research, go with companies you can trust and they will (should!) have a backup solution in place. Just like your hard drives, servers can fail at any moment.
Note, like most servers and electrical goods, maintenance is essential. A good Cloud Storage provider should also offer a 0 down time meaning you can access your uploads 24/7 all year long. The technicalities of this are probably far more than you’ll need to know. All you should care about is that your data is safe. On that note, if it’s really important to you, you should be looking into the level of encryption offered/used by your supplier.
The future of Cloud
Without preaching to the converted the future of Cloud computing itself is simply here and now. With many companies offering the services of Cloud Computing, what that means is you pay for a virtual server. Effectively, you are renting and you will never “own” the infrastructure but the possibilities of that are endless, with cheaper costs (no need to buy physical servers) and the fact you no longer need the space (large companies will need to host potentially thousands of servers in a Data centre) the saving there alone is ridiculous. Think Electricity, Air conditioning, Server costs, Maintenance, Engineering..
Of course, it comes with risks – it always does. I mean, if you can remote access your data…. Who else can?
- Just to add.
Those risks are absolutely and totally out weighed by the risk of not using Cloud and loosing all your data. Recently, I heard a case of this. For obvious reasons names have been changed.
Dave was due to get married next year, embracing technology, Dave’s whole life was pretty much on his phone. He loved grabbing photos on his phone along his travels and along his way, he would make quick notes about anything that popped into his head. He attended several wedding fairs, would grab a few snaps and take notes for future reference. It was great.
Sadly, Dave was a huge coffee drinker, he didn’t function too good in the morning without his coffee and this day was a particular early start for Dave. His alarm went off at 04:30. Barely functioning he crawled out of bed, he poured himself a bowl of corn flakes and then added in the Orange Juice…. Yes, Dave had grabbed the wrong bottle, his eyes were still blurry and he could barely function. He put the kettle on, poured himself a nice cup of coffee and sat down to catch up on his favourite Social Media platform. Scrolling through his news feed, there was nothing, it was boring. Dave’s eyes became heavy and Dave became more relaxed.
So relaxed in fact that Dave dropped his phone straight into his coffee. Despite the fact it came down with tremendous accuracy and created a huge splash. Dave was mortified… his phone was ruined.
Dave lost everything.
A Cloud solution would have prevented this. It’s not intended for Backup. You really need to have multiple copies for a better Backup solution but his data would have still been in the Cloud and the only thing lost would have been Dave’s phone (and his coffee).
Hindsight is a great thing, Dave didn’t need to hear any of this, but unfortunately, Dave thought it would never happen to him. We become a little to relaxed about technology these days and forget that these things do fail, accidents do happen and if it’s that important to you.. Back it up, don’t just assume it’s backed up, check and then check that you can restore from the backup and keep a copy offsite in a secure location.
If you’re a lover of making notes, jotting ideas down, etc. Maybe you blog, or have ideas for projects throughout the day that you mustn’t forget. I would highly recommended using EverNote.
I introduced Evernote into my workflow a few months back and it changed everything (ok, so not everything). But I can be out and about and grab a quick snap, think of a crazy idea, add it to my Evernote and its sat there waiting for me on my PC to pick up and continue when I get home.
My images taken on my phone are automatically backed up to DropBox every time I connect to a wireless network and here’s a scary fact for you. On an average week day It’s entirely possible for my phone to be connected to a wireless network at least 15 hours of a day. The only time it isn’t, is if I’m driving.
I go out for the day, pull onto my drive and instantly my photos are uploading to my DropBox.
Technology is great, but you need to treat it right and be careful about what you do.