What Is the Cloud and How Does It Work?

Many companies use the cloud to deliver services and for internal uses, but the cloud is a concept that is a little tricky to understand. This is especially true if you are not really knowledgeable about technology.

If you will use the cloud or want to hire services from a company using it, then it is a good idea to make sure you understand what it is and how it works.

Basic Definition


In simple terms, the cloud is a bunch of servers. According to Microsoft, they operate on a global network and each has its own specific function.

One of the reasons why it is hard to comprehend is because the cloud isn’t a tangible thing. The servers are remote and everything operates virtually.


There are four different ways companies can use the cloud:

  • Public
  • Private
  • Hybrid
  • Community

The public cloud serves the public. It operates using shared resources. Everyone can share it. A private cloud does not publicly share services or resources. It uses a private network. A hybrid cloud has some public and some private clouds. A community cloud is for a specific organization or institution where members only can access it.


According to Vox, the cloud allows you to access information and files from anywhere at any time as long as you have a device that can access the internet. The cloud will store the information you save to it and show real-time updates if you or someone else makes changes to files.


The cloud has many benefits and uses. Probably the biggest benefit is that you can save information so that you or someone else can access it whenever you need it without having to have a specific device. Since you don’t save information or files to the device, it is always there to access.

Using cloud services also allows you to avoid maxing out storage on your device. You can save hundreds of files, pictures, or videos without any worries about storage space.


There are some concerns with the cloud since it is virtual and accessible online. Safety is always something about which to worry, but this is when the type of cloud becomes important. All services provide security measures to protect your information, but using a private cloud will give you the best protection since access has strict limitations.

Businesses, such as core banking platforms, will use highly secure cloud systems to keep your private information safe. That doesn’t mean that public cloud services are not safe. Google, for example, has a fairly secure online cloud.

There is also a downside to needing internet to access the information in the cloud. If you do not have internet service, you cannot get your files or information. This is typically not a huge issue due to the wide availability of internet access.

Bottom Line

The cloud may seem like some sci-fi concept, but it is very popular. It allows for more portability and collaboration. Many businesses are starting to understand how beneficial it is and implementing its use either internally or in products offered to customers.


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