Monday, February 21, 2011

What is Cloud Computing?

So I have been thinking a lot about this week's topic and what my definition of cloud computing would be. And I believe cloud computing is very ambiguous, like many new terms used in educational technology today. It seems just when I think I might understand a term, someone uses it differently and changes my view of the term.

But when asked, I believe cloud computing is the ability to store data and access the data from multiple devices; it is the ability to host information away from the physical original equipment and then share it with others by sharing using an internet address. The data is not limited by software or operating equipment, but by the ability to access the data. Now that I have read it 3 times, I don't know if I did a better job of explaining the concept than the people interviewed in the video.

I know when I first heard this term several years ago, it brought to my mind an image of infinite ways of exchanging data that didn't require a physical presence, it only requires a device and access to the internet. Now with mobile wireless devices, physicality is no longer an obstacle to exchange. I can remember a time when collaboration required meeting in a physical location and an exchange of tangible items. But with the advent of the internet and the ability to send signals via airwaves, the process has moved into the air with the clouds. Just the thought of clouds brings to my minds eye infinite shapes that are not tethered or attached, but matter that floats freely and independently.

At one time, I believe I read that all software would be hosted via a server and not on our computers, everyone then would always have the most up to date version and usage would be easier. This does have its appeal, but I don't feel comfortable depending on the airwaves for everything, what if something happens to the server? Would all work have to come to a halt? It is frightening to put too much dependence on servers for everything, and more reasonable to believe that it is better for hosting, than complete dependence.

1 comment:

  1. Glenda, I think you communicated your definition well. I know how you feel about definitions though. It happened to me a lot too. On the software hosting... not sure about that. I'd have to be guaranteed 99.9% up time or something. Granted my Internet goes down now and then and I haven't been effected I'd hate it to happen when I'm on a schedule ya know. Anyhow, great post!