Advertisement
Columns

IT Trends: Free as a bird in the cloud

Advertisement

Many people are already using cloud services in Malawi but they do not see it as such. So, what are “cloud services?” Very simply, this means services made available to users on demand via the internet from cloud computing providers server farms, rather than for the company’s own on-premises servers. Clouds services are not revolutionising the corporate market; however, it has been quietly in use for a few years now for personal users.

If you use Gmail, ICloud, Dropbox or a Microsoft account, for mails or data storage and transfer, you are theoretically using cloud services. You have already joined the revolution. Most people use these for their emails, and the transfer of large data files. The main drawback with these generally is that you are dependent on being connected to the internet to be able to access your mails. Unless of course you also store your mails on your device, in which case the Microsoft Office 365 range of products stand out from the cloud.

Very simply, for an annual fee, Microsoft provides their latest Office Suite (currently 2016) which can be downloaded onto five different devices including Android and Apple equipment dependent on the actual product you purchase. You also have the choice of setting up a free Microsoft email account, same as the other providers but Office will only be available to you as on online service

Advertisement

The advantages are clear. For the same amount of money that you will pay for a legal copy of their latest Office, you will receive the Microsoft Office Suite for about three years on this subscription. Costs are reduced drastically and this version will be updated and upgraded to the latest release whilst your subscription runs.

One common and very useful service that all these service providers offer is free data space allocated in the cloud to your user account. Apple calls this ICloud Drive, Google calls it Google Drive and Microsoft calls this One Drive. I know, not very imaginative, in my opinion. The point is that they wish users to perceive this service as a free backup and data storage option which also enables the sharing of data without having to send emails to countless recipients.

How much free space exactly? Apple offers 2.0GB, Microsoft now offers 5.0GB and Google offers the most at 15.0GB. Dropbox, which is widely used but not an email hosting service, also offers 2.00GB. If you exceed this space, you are required to pay an additional subscription. However, Office 365 subscribers are given 1.0TB of space which is usually larger than most device drives.

Advertisement

Why use it? For a start, hard drives larger than 500GB, unless you buy specialised drives, tends to be slower to read and write, and search, data – increasing boot up and search times. These devices are heavy with users now favouring mobile, light devices when travelling. Sold Stare Drives (SSD) are lighter, faster and smaller than the standard Hard Disk Drive (HDD). HDDs use a magnetic coating and require moving parts to work. SSDs on the other hand use flash memory chips to store data. Very simply SSDs are faster, lighter, smaller, but more expensive than HDDs. Therefore, many mobile devices now come with a smaller capacity SSD – example 160Gb vs a 500GB HDD.

Being able to now store a lot more of your data in the cloud, means that you can carry around a lightweight fast mobile device, and still access what you want when you want dependent on your internet service of course. Very simply this is a mindset change that you must consider if you wish your technology to stay modern and effective.

Using your cloud space to back up essential data, transfer information speedily and secure your data in the event of hardware theft are other areas you must also consider. Take advantage of it now, but do consider increased bandwidth costs that accompany this.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!
Advertisement
Show More
Advertisement

Related Articles

Check Also

Close
Back to top button
Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker