What is the Cloud Anyway?

There’s a lot of talk about “the Cloud” and “Cloud Computing” flying around. If you’re having some trouble figuring out what it’s all about, you’re not alone. Cloud computing is growing and with a little understanding you can reap substantial benefits.

First: a cloud is a server, a centralized computer or network of computers with vast storage capacity. Lightning speed internet connections allow today’s computers to access those distant servers with little or no delay. The most obvious benefit of these virtual “storage rooms” is the independence from computer memory and hard drive limitations. Large amounts of information (files, programs, etc.) can be stored on the cloud and accessed seamlessly via laptop, desktop, smartphone or tablet.

Second: Many people are already utilizing a cloud service even if they don’t realize it. If you use a web-based email such as Hotmail or Gmail, you’re on the cloud. These email programs are run by software applications on a Google or Microsoft server. Users control the program through personal computers but the processing and storing of email is happening on the cloud.

Cloud servers can run many different kinds of applications and store files of any size or type. This presents nearly limitless possibilities for the user. Through a cloud server it is possible to both run programs and save files. You can store or “push” all of your photos, videos, music and contacts on the cloud then access them from anywhere on any device.

The storage and sharing capacities are where many people and companies are finding the greatest benefit. Anyone with permission can access the data stored on the cloud. The potential for collaboration is huge. Online collaborators can view files, edit and save documents without emailing or tracking versions. These files can be edited from almost any device with an internet connection.

Remember, like any technology the Cloud is not a foolproof plan. Before deploying a cloud server solution, research the options and drawbacks. Cloud computing has great possibilities and should grow and improve with time.

Oasis will be discussing Cloud computing in-depth at our Annual Sage User Group Meetings. You can find more information about the upcoming Sage 100 ERP (F/K/A MAS 90 & 200) User Group Meetings or register here:

Louisville, KY September 13, 2012   8:30AM -12:30PM  

University of Louisville, Shelby Campus

Lexington, KY September 19, 2012   1:00PM -4:30PM

United States Dressage Federation Headquarters

Nashville, TN October 16, 2012   8:30AM – 12:30PM

The Tennessee Society of CPA Headquarters

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