If you spend any time reading about online companies and services, it’s likely that you see the term “the cloud” almost every day. What exactly is the cloud, though — and how does it benefit you?
To understand the cloud, you must first understand that the cloud is not the Internet — it is a group of servers on the Internet. Also, there are many clouds, not just one. It’s likely that you use cloud-based services every day.
What Is the Cloud?
When you view most websites on your smartphone or computer, your device communicates with one remote server. Your device requests a page from the server, and the server sends it. In a cloud, many servers work together to run more complex applications, handle more traffic and provide greater reliability.
What Can the Cloud Do?
The Cloud Handles Heavy User Loads
When many servers work together, they can accomplish far more than an individual server could on its own. Suppose, for example, that Google provided search results from just one server. Google processes tens of thousands of searches each second. It’s a load that would cripple any individual server, so Google uses data centers full of servers that work together to handle the traffic.
The Cloud Stores Massive Amounts of Data
Cloud computing doesn’t only make it possible for web-based services to handle large user loads — it also allows many servers to combine their storage capacity. Services that store vast amounts of content — such as YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video — and allow you to access the content from one interface wouldn’t be possible without cloud computing.
The Cloud Prevents Service Outages
The servers in a cloud are redundant. Because no single server handles a service’s entire user load or stores all of the service’s data, the cloud can tolerate the loss of an individual server and continue operating. In fact, many major online services have multiple clouds in operation throughout the world. A service such as Google or Amazon can tolerate the loss of an entire data center. If one data center becomes inaccessible due to a disaster or Internet connection outage, another data center can immediately take over and continue providing services.
How do Cloud Servers Retrieve Data?
A cloud-based service may provide access to many millions of different files stored on multiple servers. Those servers may even reside in different data centers around the world. To maintain a catalog of millions of files, locate those files and deliver them to users on demand, you need a robust database solution that’s fast, secure and resists file corruption. NuoDB is one popular solution.
NuoDB is a distributed database capable of operating across several servers simultaneously. Since distribution is the essence of what makes the cloud work, NuoDB is a popular solution for developers that create cloud-based applications. Because of its speed and availability, NuoDB works well for storing the details of businesses’ day-to-day transactions. It also works well for analytics or storing the details of the way in which people use websites and mobile applications. Since NuoDB’s distributed design allows it to save and retrieve data extremely quickly, it is the ideal database solution for businesses that need to derive real-time insights from their websites, mobile applications, and marketing campaigns.
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