A Leap of Faith into the Cloud
Cloud will take us and all these uncertainties pave the way for great opportunities in research in the same field, writes Twisha Jain.
Manipal Institute of Technology.
To saves time and effort in a world where these two things carry great importance.
Ever wondered when you save something on your Google drive, where does it actually go? No, it is not stored on your local device. Rather, a far away server called the Cloud stores it for you, providing you remote access to it from anywhere in the world via the internet. We all use email services – be it Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail. Our devices retrieve our emails from the cloud too. This brings us to Cloud Computing.
Cloud Computing is a term that refers to accessing of shared computational power, data storage, and other software applications over internet, often referred to as the “Cloud”. An example of a Cloud Computing is Google's Gmail. Gmail users can access files and applications hosted by Google via the Internet from any device.
Anyone would wonder though, why Cloud Computing? Why should I shift to the Cloud? How will I benefit from this? First of all, it can help us save money when we want storage or compute as it is shared by multiple users. It can be compared to using a cab. You pay for the ride when you need it and don’t have to spend a lot of money to buy the car. Moreover it makes data accessible from anywhere with only an active internet connection unlike a document that can’t be accessed on time because you simply forgot where you left your pen drive and it is no longer anywhere to be seen. Hence the fog clears and we learn the true meaning of cloud, an easier and more digital life. Convenience is key; it saves time and effort in a world where these two things carry great importance.
So yes knowingly or unknowingly, all of us have in one way or another made use of the Cloud. We no longer rely on the older methods of data handling. However doesn’t one begin to wonder if all this data including the personal information that one stores on the Cloud at a no or low cost, can be used against the very person who stores this data? I upload a very important article onto the cloud before it is published. What if someone else gains access to my article and publishes it under their name first? Can that happen? Well the answer is yes but the possibility can be very low if you take care of one crucial aspect that is security. One must be very careful of his or her username and password as that’s all which enables you to view our data and disables someone else from viewing it.
Next I would like to draw a parallel between banks and the Cloud. To those out there who worry if their data is really secure in the Cloud or not, I would like to highlight that we don’t think twice before depositing money in a bank or keeping important documents in a bank locker perhaps because it is a relatively older concept with a much higher acceptance rate as compared to the relatively newer Cloud. It’s like taking a step into the unknown where darkness prevails but soon there should be light. It certainly does seem like cloud is here to stay and maybe with time it will get safer and more secure. Like big banks, large Cloud providers have a lot at stake and hence they will invest in making sure that the data of their users and customers is secure.
However one must be aware, there are evidently two aspects to the entire situation. One can say that there is a difference between giving money and giving data to a third party. Money is returned to us when we want however technically speaking data once given can never be taken back as it will always leave its trace. We are simply taking a leap of faith to see where Cloud will take us and all these uncertainties pave the way for great opportunities in research in the same field.
Manipal Institute of Technology.
She is a first year BTech IT student.