All about cloud computing – A new way of storing big data
Have you ever wondered what happens to the large amount of data that is generated on an everyday basis on WhatsApp, Facebook, other social networks and different websites? Where is all this data stored? Here comes the concept of cloud computing.
First, let us understand what is big data.
Big data is the term given to large and complex chunks of data. This data has to be stored somewhere for backup if required in near future. It is a big challenge to capture, analyze, transfer, update, and store this large data. And then cloud computing comes into the picture, a technique which is a used to store and give us the facility of retrieval of this big data as and when needed.
Previously, the data was stored in relational databases and data warehouses by the organizations. These are all physical storage devices to store data. The data was of about 30-40 years, used to make a trend and analyze that trend for future predictions. But as the amount data started growing, the need to switch from these physical servers to virtual servers arose to store this huge dump of data.
The term ‘cloud’ here has nothing to do with weather.
Here, ‘cloud’ means off-site storage of data by third-party data centers, instead of storing data to your system’s hard drives or some external storage drives such as pen drive or compact disks. The internet would provide a connection between your computer and these virtual servers.
The advantage of storing data in the cloud is that you can access that data from any location with the help of an internet connection because it is a reliable source of data storage. Hence, you won’t have to carry the physical storage devices and your system where you have stored the data with you all the time. You can also transfer and update the accessed data.
Hence, organizations can focus on their core business rather than invest their time and efforts on computer infrastructure and set ups. Cloud providers are the companies offering these services and they charge the users based on the usage of storage space offered. This is like the electricity bills paid by us.
We often use online services to send mail, edit documents, listen to music, watch videos, storing pictures, playing games, and storing large files. In all these tasks, we use cloud computing without realizing it. Cloud computing is working behind the scenes. The first cloud computing services are barely a decade old, but now different organizations—from tiny startups to global corporations, government agencies to non-profits—are embracing the technology of cloud computing for all sorts of reasons.