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What is “The Cloud”?

Today, cloud computing is becoming a standard part of our daily life. People use the cloud to sync their photos with multiple devices, listen to their music everywhere they go, or to have an Amazon Alexa notify them if their package has arrived on their doorstep. However, even though most people use the cloud for various services in their life, most people don’t know what it is. 

The cloud is essentially a vast amount of servers in data centers spread all over the world. These servers are interconnected both physically and with software. The software sections off portions of these servers (which are basically big computers) to be used by different internet connections or users.

Essentially, the cloud is made up of computer space that is being rented out to many different users. In the old days, if you wanted to build a website or an app you would have to buy the computers and connect them to the internet yourself. Then you would have to physically run these computers and the app on them. With the cloud, you would upload your app to a rented computer that mimics the functionality of the server you would normally buy yourself. 

This concept is the same for people who use the cloud to store their photos or files. They rent computer storage that’s spread out among multiple servers and their various devices can connect to the same servers to see their files instead of storing the same file on every device. 

This subscription based service model is the future and what we would consider to be “The Cloud” today. This industry is dominated by two main players right now, Microsoft with their Azure platform and Amazon with their AWS platform. Both of these platforms have similar capabilities and function on the premise that people are renting computing power and storage for a monthly fee that would be less expensive than maintaining their own servers. 

The cloud is not magic, all it is is large computers that you are accessing through the internet. 

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