Cloud 101

by Lynnette Nolan | Mar 28, 2011

Unless you live under rock, you’ve probably been hearing quite a bit about “The Cloud” lately. I thought I’d cut through the hype with a simple explanation.

"The cloud" is generally used in conjunction with web-based services that store content on remote servers that are accessed via the Internet. The most widely-used of these are webmail providers like Gmail, user-generated content services like YouTube and Social Networks like Facebook. The data that is stored on their servers is said to live in the cloud.

So, if millions of people have been using the cloud for over a decade how did it become the digerati’s buzzword of the moment?

 A number of factors have converged to make the cloud a hot topic including:

  • Cheaper storage
  • Increased availability of high-speed internet connections
  • Growing popularity of lightweight devices (smartphones, iPads, netbooks, etc) with limited onboard memory

The increased affordability of storage and bandwidth, coupled with the growing use of portable devices to access the Internet have led to the rapid adoption and expansion of cloud-based services. Then, Madison Avenue picked up on the buzzword du jour and next thing you know you’re scratching your head wondering what the "to the cloud" commercial you just watched is all about. That’s how hype happens.

One thing is for sure though. Regardless of what you call it – or how you spin it – the cloud is here to stay.

In the next installment of this series (Cloud 201) - CEO David Friend will share his thoughts on where the cloud is headed and what that means for Carbonite users.