Social media is everywhere – you use Facebook and Twitter to market your business, you use LinkedIn to find new employees, your kids use Snapchat to connect with their friends. Have you ever thought about what makes all this technology possible? Hint: It’s the cloud.
Social Media and the Cloud
The cloud is really just a network of servers that stores files or delivers software. By storing your applications and data in the cloud, you can access them anywhere. You can also have more capacity than you could if you had to house your own servers (unless you want to build a warehouse just for your hardware).
Social media takes up so much ‘space’ that it would never have reached the level of popularity it has today without the cloud. With 1.23 billion active daily users on Facebook as of December 31, 2016, and about 6,000 tweets sent per second, it’s easy to see how much ‘space’ social media takes up. It simply wouldn’t be possible without the cloud.
The cloud also impacts data security. Companies can back up their data to the cloud,, ensuring that there is a full data set available should a disaster befall their facility. This can include a cyberattack, making the cloud a good option for companies that need to be back up and running quickly if their system is ever breached. This is a serious concern for businesses as cyber-attacks become more common and more difficult to prevent.
Where Does the Cloud Go Next?
A lot of the potential of the cloud has yet to be realized, but already engineers are trying to figure out what else the cloud can do.
Personal secure clouds are one possibility. Personal, or private clouds essentially bring the data back to you, but they have the capacity and security of the cloud. There are several home cloud solutions on the market which consumers can use to store their media, files or applications.
Small businesses can benefit from personal clouds as well. With a personal cloud, a business can retain better control over their data by having it physically on-site. The personal cloud can connect with various devices, so it’s different from storing your files directly on your PC. And personal clouds add an extra layer of security so you’re better protected from an attack. You can still access your data anytime from a mobile device, just as you would if it were stored in a public cloud.
Bigger, Faster, Better
A corollary to Murphy’s Law says that ‘stuff’ will expand to fill the space allotted to it. This is true for data as well. As more and more applications and files are stored in the cloud, more and more cloud space will need to be made available.
Likewise, the ability to access the data will need to be optimized so that users are still able to find the data they need instantly, even as the amount of that data increases exponentially. This will lead to new technologies like cloud-within-a-cloud and Big Data-as-a-Service (BDaaS).
Cloud technology is constantly evolving, and the goal is for it always to be one step ahead of the demand for it. Watch for the cloud to become bigger, faster, and better as it answers the challenge presented by increasing use of social media and other software applications.