What is Cloud computing?

Beware the rainy season

If you've haven't been living under a rock in the past five years, then you probably heard of the term cloud. Everyone and their grandma is talking cloud these days. Google tells you you have 100GB of cloud storage. Every SAAS company tells you about cloud computing. You don't know what it is, and you don't need to know because it is all in the cloud anyway.

Like many developers when this trend started we were pissed.

Why do you call it cloud? As if it is a new technology. Just say Server dammit!

Even the (ex)CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison, was all pissed about people using the term cloud computing.

Larry Ellison on cloud computing — YouTube

Orange is the New Pink, [...] We won't fight this new trend, we will all make orange shirts.

I won't turn this article into a rant, I am sure there are too many of those you can found on the web. (Rightfully so).

Today, if you are one of the people who genuinely doesn't know what The Cloud means I will explain.


Cloud computing offers to do the heavy lifting of your work. For example, if you have a tasks that takes a long time and lots of machine power to run, you let it compute in the cloud. What is the cloud? The cloud is a server with large enough resources that can compute your work in a fraction of time compare to your poor laptop.

Imagine you just bought a giant office desk at Home Depot. You can by no means put it in your car, bring it up the stairs, carry it to your office by yourself. And not only that, you are very bad at following instructions from a manual. The solution to that is to hire those three guys standing outside of Home Depot to do the work. That, my friend, is cloud computing.

Is this a new thing that we couldn't do before? Is this something that was invented in 2008-2009? No. Cloud computing is the very concept of the internet and was around the first day we plugged in the cable to connect 2 computers.

You are reading this blog on your computer. Is it saved in your computer? No. It is saved in a server that I rent and can access anytime.

But what about drop box? When I save my files there it saves it in the cloud right?

Yes. Dropbox owns a lot of servers. When you save a file, a copy is sent to their server, a rectangular box that lives somewhere in a data-center. The thing I didn't tell you is that my same server where I host this website can do that too. I just have to configure it.

In other words, cloud is synonymous to server. But I have to admit. The word cloud is more sexy then server.

Imagine a server bringing your order. Now imagine a puffy cloud doing your bidding. Which one of those sounds more high tech. So naturally only the Ol' timers like me still use the word server instead of cloud.

Don't forget that cloud is a marketing term invented for the sole purpose of selling you more of something. In the mean while I will be using using Wave Computing to save this article on my blog which is Ocean Powered... Ok that's not funny. I mean I host my blog on DigitalOcean.com.


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