The Cloud

A while ago I talked about Online Data Storage (ODS) and referred to Online Data Backup (ODB). In the time since that post I have been testing offerings of both and have a much better understanding of how they work and what benefits they can offer us. But before I get into that I need to explain “The Cloud”.

Firstly a quick explanation and a bit of terminology (sorry about the jargon but you only need a basic understanding of this). You will be hearing a lot more references in the future to something called “The Cloud”. Briefly, The Cloud has been around for a long time and refers to services offered online (on the Internet). In fact if you have been using Microsoft Exchange services online then you have been using The Cloud. These services include data storage & backup and also software applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, email, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and even accounting. The provision of online software services is known as Software as a Service, or SaaS. You can even rent hardware services (Windows servers, etc).

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