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[–] jackofdiamonds 1 points 36 points (+37|-1) ago 

I don't see why it couldn't be a whole bunch of computers. If one goes down, the files are locally stored on each individual one, at separate geographic locations, so no natural disaster or act of vandalism can take the cloud down.

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[–] tchovanak 0 points 16 points (+16|-0) ago 

You're right, it should and often is replicated to other servers/datacenters so that if one goes down you can still access your site/files assuming that they have DNS traffic management in place to send you to the other datacenter if one goes offline. How this is actually implemented however varies between companies and services.

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[–] tchovanak 2 points 67 points (+69|-2) ago 

However, as an IT guy I've been hearing this frickin term for 15 years and hated it for a good 14 - the reality is, the "cloud" is just somebody else's server or servers instead of your own. Cloud providers can add value but it's not the magical solution to everything.

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[–] jawsgst 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

typically it would be a server cluster (multiple servers working together for redundancy and load balancing) places like amazon usually have an offsite DR (disaster recovery) site that they can fail over to in the even that the main server cluster goes down due to any reason.

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[–] A012 2 points -1 points (+1|-2) ago  (edited ago)

Sure Amazon has a lot of datacenters but you/your company still have to design services availability and DR yourself; AWS just makes it easier.

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[–] tribblepuncher 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I don't think you're understanding the point, at least as I see it.

A lot of people think that when they send something to "the cloud" it goes to some mythical place on the Internet where some hand-wavy entity stores it in perfect safety and reliability. The reality is that it goes to someone else's system which is managed in such a manner that one does not have to worry about the complexities. This can be as simple as a single hard drive connected to the Internet that you can use (e.g. "personal cloud" NAS hard drives) or larger, more complicated systems which allow for processing power and storage space to be distributed between thousands of redundant machines working in tandem, often for many customers.

The main take-away here is that your data is not going off to that mythical place, but to a hard drive that is probably thousands of miles away and can be accessed by whoever is in charge of the system (or for that matter intercepted, if it's not encrypted). You are trusting your data to a hard drive owned by someone else.

As such, many are understandably concerned about this. Furthermore, those who do not understand this likely need to be aware of precisely what it is that they're actually doing.

Additionally on more pragmatic grounds, one should be aware that "clouds" can and do go down, and go away when their owners do - so if your cloud service provider goes belly up unexpectedly and you have no backup plan (or backed up data, for that matter), you are very seriously SOL for putting your faith in something that is by definition deliberately amorphous.

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[–] Gracchi 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago  (edited ago)

That's the root problem. That EU has understood that just because I choose to store my data on other servers, it doesn't mean that becomes their data. The US can't quite get around that. Too many financial interests that want all our data.

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[–] bobsaguet 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago  (edited ago)

You are missing the point. I host servers. Tons of them are for "cloud" services. Really, it's just a bunch of computers which the people who rent them have full access to.. and so does all the admins here.
Thanks for your data!
 
Edit: When I say "I host", I mean the company I work for.

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[–] ToOnMaN 1 points 27 points (+28|-1) ago 

Ive been telling people this since the term became popular. Sure, its kind of a cool term IF people understand the concept.

[–] [deleted] 2 points 14 points (+16|-2) ago  (edited ago)

[Deleted]

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[–] ToOnMaN 0 points 16 points (+16|-0) ago 

I cant really disagree but then again the definition of a cloud isnt just water vapor in the sky. A collection of small particles is also considered a cloud, electron cloud for example. Information can be broken down to 1/0's, they are pretty small but the medium they are stored on isnt.

Now im all up in the air on this one..

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[–] Trip 0 points 13 points (+13|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I always thought it was called the cloud because of the way the data is streamed up and down to and from it.

Similar to how it's called a "torrent" because it's a "Torrent of data."

I just always assumed the cloud was sort of the same thing, you can upload to and download from cloud storage. The data is like rain/evaporation, especially since uploading is normally slower than downloading (just like evaporation takes a long time but you can get soaked from rain in seconds.)

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[–] RandomNumberGod 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Can confirm, my computer has daemons in it and they've made me commit the deadly sin ira many times.

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[–] Riobe 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

To devil's advocate:

Term Analog
Cloud (A very large amount of small water droplets not necessarily staying in one geographic location) Either the servers the data is on, or the servers themselves, that may not stay in one geographic location. The servers or chunks of data themselves being small compared to the whole.
Water vapor evaporating to the cloud Uploads
Rain Downloads

Just another way to think of it. ^.^

[–] [deleted] 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] Drenki 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

And it covers a lot more services.

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[–] Gracchi 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Honestly, it's awesome. Economy of scale means that a company that hosts these servers can do it much cheaper that each individual company or person. It's a great improvement in efficiency. The problem is that our laws haven't even close to caught up to this. If our laws provided protections and ensured that if I upload data to a server, that it's still my data, I'd be all about the cloud.

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[–] ToOnMaN 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

I have a 32TB network at home for the simple fact that if my network is cracked it is my fault. I just dont trust others with my personal information. I agree about the laws, look at what M$ is doing with W10.

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[–] kronal 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

The cloud used to be just an image to represent the internet or the part of the network you don't know or don't care to represent.

Like, you have your local computer, others on your local network, the router, which communicated to the internet (drawn as a cloud) and on the other side another computer on another local network gets your message, and so-on.

Some examples:

Sub-networks as clouds

WAN

Internet

Internet

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[–] escape 5 points 20 points (+25|-5) ago 

That's a very simplistic view of the cloud. The same could be said about the Internet. There is no internet, it's just other people's computers.

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[–] uncle_bob 5 points 8 points (+13|-5) ago 

The Internet is a long list of rules along with regulators governing names and addresses.

Cloud is however, is just unorganized access to someone else's computers. There is no rules, the point's don't matter, and next week we're changing the contract, to sell you all off for scientific experimentation.

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[–] escape 3 points 4 points (+7|-3) ago 

Cloud is however, is just unorganized access to someone else's computers

You might try a different cloud. All of the ones I use are very organized and they're servers, not personal computers. If you're just connecting into someone's computer, you're probably not on the cloud. You're probably just accessing someone's computer.

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[–] immibis 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

FYI: most of those "rules" are just conventions.

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[–] tomlinas 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I gotta say, as someone who works on a 1B+ cloud product, I really hope everyone continues to believe this. The longer they do, they longer it will be before they start thinking about what service fabric and physical agnositicism means, and the longer our product will continue to succeed in a largely empty competitive space.

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[–] dup-swap-drop 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago 

My organization is prohibited by law from using so-called cloud services in the US because privacy laws prevent us from downloading or sharing data with 3rd parties in another country. Our employees may not even use DropBox or Google Drive. That's not simplistic, just accurate.

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[–] glassuser 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

That does not necessarily mean you can't use cloud services. It just means you can't use third party cloud services.

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[–] taxation_is_slavery 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Sounds like you are a Canadian healthcare service provider. Canadian datacenters are still an option.

[–] [deleted] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

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[–] glassuser 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Tubes. It's a series of tubes.

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[–] escape 2 points 0 points (+2|-2) ago 

The internet is actually a small black box with a blinking red light on top.

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[–] immibis 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

In the context of storing data, "storing data in the cloud" and "storing data on the Internet" mean the same thing, but one is catchier.

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[–] Drenki 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

There's still a difference and it's pretty huge. Let's say you are "storing data on the internet" on your private server. That's fine when you are close to that server or if the hosting provider has a decent connection to your ISPs (you might use your AT&T phone or Comcast internet), if you travel, things may not be quite as fast. With a cloud service, you're likely to have a CDN to make access quicker everywhere.

Let's say your single server dies. Uh oh, you got a headache. With a cloud service, you would have built-in redundancies.

Storing data in the cloud is storing data on the internet. But storing data on the internet is not necessarily the same as storing data in the cloud.

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[–] Angry_fapkin 2 points 14 points (+16|-2) ago 

Technically, isn't it someone else's server?

I'll see my way out...

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[–] AxiomBreak 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago 

A server is still a computer. Had he said "PC" though, ohhh boy, that would've been one hell of a zinger!

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[–] diodepain 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

A server is a computer.

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[–] syn0byte 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Just like Rectangles and Squares.

All servers are computers, not all computers are servers.

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[–] Patranus 1 points 12 points (+13|-1) ago 

I just find it comical that there is this buzzword 'cloud' being used when in the 80s mainframe and distributed computing was the norm. Then in the 90s everything shifted to the desktop and now we are back to server farms but somehow it is this new amazing invention.

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[–] jawsgst 2 points 7 points (+9|-2) ago 

It is not a computer but a bunch of storage arrays that are connected to a server or server cluster. So REALLY, the cloud is just a bunch of hard drives. I work tech support for the cloud, in a way.

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[–] Kaukamieli 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

It's not just hard drivers, you can actually do stuff on the cloud, not just store things.

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[–] Bioreactor 1 points 6 points (+7|-1) ago 

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[–] rheiser 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

"There's a lot of caching." LOL

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