Questions and Answers about the Cloud Service

Learn how the cloud can help you spend less time under the desk performing shoestring repairs on your PC and free up more time for mission-critical activities, like generating leads. 


If you use Google Apps, YouTube, Amazon, Salesforce, Flickr, Facebook, Bittorrent, Skype, or any of a myriad of applications that let you access and share information quickly and connect with other people, you’ve already been in the cloud. Below are common questions and answers to get you up to speed on this technology.

What is a Cloud service?
Cloud service is used to build cloud applications using the server in a network through internet. It provides the facility of using the cloud application without installing it on the computer. It also reduces the maintenance and support of the application which are developed using cloud service.

Where is the cloud?
We asked Siri, and Google, that very thing. They agree “a cloud is a visible mass of liquid droplets or frozen crystals”. Silly Siri.

It’s all too complicated so why would I want to use it?
It’s not complicated and you’re probably using it already.

How much is stored in the cloud?
According to recent research by Nasuni, there are 1024 Petabytes of data. Or, as some people like to say, 1,0730,741,824 Gb. Or, as we like to say, a really big lot of stuff.

If I was to walk to my files stored on the cloud, where would I walk to?
Nowhere and everywhere. Cloud companies have “server farms” around the world, and you won’t know where they are and which ones will have your files. But, you know, have a nice walk.

Surely it’s all just a fad.
Surely you’re joking. And stop calling me …

I don’t have a cloud. I think.
You could be right. Or, if you have a Gmail account, such as a Gmail email address, then you’re wrong because that means you have access to storage on your own Google Drive space. Welcome to the cloud brother (or sister).

How do I access the cloud?
It depends remember, it’s not one cloud it’s simply a bunch of different services. If it helps, don’t call it THE cloud. Say “how do I store my photos so that I can access them on all Apple devices?” Or call it a wheelbarrow. Wheelbarrows are solid, easy to understand things. It’s just these wheelbarrows are metaphors, which means they’re much easier to move.

Shove your wheelbarrow up your metaphor. How do I store my photos so I can access them on all of Apple’s devices?
On your iOS device (iPhone or iPad), go to settings, iCloud, Photos then turn on Photo stream. When you take a picture on your iPhone, that photo will appear in My Photo Stream with any iOS device you have that is connected to the same Apple iTunes account. For more help, see http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4486.

Do I have an individual cloud or is all my stuff mixed in with everyone else’s?
Given the whole “cloud” thing is a metaphor, it depends. Let’s move away from the metaphor to help clear things up. Let’s say you keep documents on Dropbox or Google Drive. Those documents are store on a server (a big hard drive) somewhere it’s not floating in the air, it’s stored physically on a hard disk somewhere in the world. On this hard disk are other files from other users. So, sure, you’re sharing disk space with users. But it’s not like that means you need to send them a Christmas card. In most cases, your “cloud” is a personal thing the photos you shoot on your iPhone that are stored in My Photo Stream are just yours. But you can share them with others if you deliberately do so. Likewise, the files you put in Dropbox or Google Drive, for instance, are yours but you can deliberately share them. Let’s say you and a friend are working on a project you want to keep track of. One of you can create a spreadsheet in Google Docs, and you can make that a shared document with another Google user. That way both of you can have the file open at once and both of you can make changes to it.

How do I find out what’s in there?
Well, that depends. More specifically, that depends on which cloud service we are talking about. If you have store documents in Dropbox or Google Drive, when you access them online you will log in using a username and password (nope, I can’t help you remember your password) and then you will see your files. If, by the cloud, you mean documents you created in Numbers or Pages of your Apple device, you will find them by opening those applications on your Apple device or by going to www.icloud.com and logging in with your Apple ID.

Are there things I have forgot about that are in my cloud that I can’t remember I have like things stored in the attic?
Sure, you look like the forgetful type. Photos are a good example. Let’s say you had a few drinks, released some of those inhabitations of yours and took some photos of a, um, personal nature. You look like that sort too. After a few days, you’ve had a few regrets and deleted them from your iPhone’s camera roll. But they’re also in your Photostream, so your nephew looking at your iPad has probably been checking out your squidgy bits. Also, if you have Dropbox, you might have clicked yes at some stage to the “do you want to automatically back up your photos” prompt. So, that photo you regret is still out there. Really, you need to think about some of your life choices. And, if you’re going to drink to excess, don’t wear those daggy undies.

Is there an inventory list?
Are you asking is there a place that will tell you everything you have put on every one of the cloud storage services you use, in an easy to read one-stop-shop list. Good question. No there isn’t. But if you create one, let us know. We want to use it too. Until then, you have to remember these are separate services. If it helps, imagine your various cloud accounts as being files stored on different computers on different rooms in your neighbour’s house. You can find files on each but nothing connects all of them (at least not in this analogy it’s our analogy, come up with your own if you don’t like your neighbours).

Can other people see my stuff? If I live in a share house are all my friends on the same cloud?
No. Yes. Maybe. You really need to stop thinking of all these cloud services as one happy family. Let’s say you use Gmail, you’ve got photos on Flickr, you have an iPhone and store your photos in My Photos Stream and you sometimes share big files on Dropbox. Your flatmate is in the same situation. But you guys have different accounts, so your files are not in shared drives. He, or she, has his Gmail and Dropbox accounts and you have yours. Of course if you forget to log off a device, or leave a tablet hanging around, then yes they will see your stuff.

Will my cloud ever die? 
No company lives forever, so I’m not going to call the files you store on Cloud Service X eternal. But quite possibly you will die first. There’s a not very cheerful thought that might distract you from worrying too much about the cloud.

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