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You have probably started hearing about “the Cloud”. People talk about putting your pictures in “the Cloud”. Companies tell you how you need to back up your computer in “the Cloud”. Jason Segel said it right in the movie Sex Tape. After accidently uploading he and his wife’s sex tape to iCloud his wife can’t understand why he can’t delete it. He states, “Nobody understands the cloud. It’s a f—-ing mystery!” So, what is the cloud?

Explanation of the Cloud

When you first hear “the cloud” then you might think of big fluffy white things floating above your head. But, this cloud is not floating in the sky waiting to rain on you. Well, at least not rain precipitation on you. This cloud is a network of servers that have been established throughout the world. These are massive server farms (multiple servers in same place) that are housed in massive buildings.

Where Did The Cloud Come From?

The concept behind “the Cloud” has been around almost as long as computers. All you are basically talking about is a process for sharing files among different electronic devices. We have had networks in business for almost four decades. They talked to each other and allowed employees to share files with each other. In the 1950s, the first computer networks consisted of a mainframe computer and “dumb” terminals throughout the premises. The terminals simply gave employees access to the mainframe.

How Technology Built The Cloud

So, we had the basic components of “the Cloud” in the networks in our businesses. As we moved into the 1990s then networks in our homes started being seen. By the time we moved into the 21st century, it became almost crazy to see a home without a network.

Then high speed internet connections allowed files to quickly be moved around the globe. You could even move huge files like movies relatively quickly. It was this high speed data transfers that gave rise to this technology. With these higher speeds, there very large amounts of data could be easily and quickly uploaded and downloaded.

How Does This Help You

So, what is the point of building all these massive servers? These servers are made available by a variety of companies by software and apps to store your files on. You can store anything like documents, photos, audio files, presentations, etc. How much storage space you have available depends on which company that you are using. The goal of all this is for you to be able to access your files from any location and any device at any time that you want.

Well, Jason Segel wasn’t exactly correct. There are people that understand this technology and how it works. In fact, as you read through this, you probably realized that you knew more about it then you thought. You were already familiar with networks. This is simply the same thing on a larger scale. It is providing us with a life without a hard drive. So, you now know the answer to, “What is the Cloud?”