A cloud or cloud computing refers to the internet-based provision of computing power, storage space or application software provided in the form of a service. These infrastructure options are mainly used via programmes by the devices accessing the storage locations (these are often also referred to as clients) and via the available web browser.

The principle of online storage

Since the mid-1990s, as well as during the 2000s, a large number of companies began renting individual storage space in large IT data centres and also managing it themselves. This storage space was then connected to the internet using the dedicated lines that were also rented. However, the problem back then and now concerns the appropriate maintenance of the components of these systems. This repeatedly led to total outages of websites or workstation computers during the respective maintenance at the companies.

In 2006, Amazon, an online bookseller, started renting storage and computing capacity to companies. This led to the creation of the cloud as a rentable information storage facility for use on the internet with the Amazon Web Service.

The increasing number of services offered in the cloud has also ensured that companies increasingly outsource problems such as fail-safe operation and data connectivity to third-party providers. The data available there can then be stored redundantly (i.e., several times) at several locations. This means that the accessing devices, such as PCs, smartphones or laptops and tablets, essentially only need an internet connection and the access data assigned to them in order to access this online storage regardless of location (i.e., from anywhere in the world).

Therefore, online storage of this kind is already worthwhile for companies from the moment company data is to be made accessible from more than just one computer. This is especially true if, in addition to PCs, mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones are also used in the workplace on a daily basis.

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