Computers used to work alone, inside a home or business. But thanks to the Internet, we can now use the power of computers at a completely different location - what we call "in the cloud".
To start, meet Lucy from Lucy's Lilies, a new florist. She is concerned about how to manage flower deliveries. Right now she's responsible for hiring drivers and keeping the vans running. But this scenario makes her nervous.
She's a florist, not a mechanic - delivery is a distraction.
And she's on a budget - maintaining her own deliveries costs a lot.
Plus, it's hard to know how many vans she'll need. Her business suffers when deliveries can't keep up.
Then she learned about a new kind of delivery company that has an unlimited fleet of drivers and vans that she can use on an as-needed basis - and she only pay for what she uses. Now she can depend on another company to handle the deliveries.
A few years later, her business savvy paid off. She now has a network of florists and new problems.
She has websites, servers and databases that all have to be maintained at headquarters. It’s a huge expense, and a big worry. Her business is constantly running out of storage space and fixing broken servers.
Then she learned about cloud computing, which works a lot like her deliveries. Instead of managing important technology on-site, she can depend on a new kind of company to help take away the pain.
They have all the computing power she needs and it's all secure, backed up at another location and accessible through the Web - what people call "in the cloud."
This means she can depend on a cloud company's computers to help her business run and focus her energy on fantastic flowers.
But that's not all. Cloud computing means computers don't have to limit her business. Because Cloud companies have nearly unlimited storage and resources, she can grow without worry. And because the servers are normally backed up in multiple locations, her information is safe.
But what she really loves is only paying for what she uses. If business is slow, her computing costs can go down too.
Cloud Computing also means she can use new kinds of services that live in the cloud and are only accessible through the web.
When she needs a new billing system, she has a choice: installing and supporting one on-site, or using a product that lives in the cloud and works using her web browser.
From email, to word processing or photo sharing - cloud computing also works for you and me. We can use products that live in the cloud, are always backed up, accessible from any Internet connection, and safe from spilled coffee.
Cloud computing means we have new choices. Businesses and individuals can spend less time worrying about technology and focus on what matters.
Using a simple story of a growing florist business, this video explains the basics of cloud computing: how it works and why it makes sense for businesses and individuals.
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