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Monday September 29, 2014

Infographic: The Future of Cloud Computing for Students

This is a guest post from Russel Cooke, a business consultant and journalist newly based in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on Twitter.

What can cloud computing do for you? Where is it going in the future? While scores remain ignorant of the exact specifics of what it means, anyone working in a high-tech or social media-related field would be making a mistake if they weren’t up-to-date on what cloud computing is, where it’s going, and how it can benefit both personally and educationally; whether you are a student, teacher, or administrator.

Cloud computing is seen by many as the future of computing. Instead of focusing on creating tiny, powerful computers such as smart phones, cloud computing allows the user to access some of those advanced capabilities remotely. This allows computers and smartphones to be cheaper, smaller, and easier to build while still letting the user experience the benefits of powerful computers with huge storage capabilities.

There are several types of cloud computing broken down by what service is being offered: IAAS allows users to access raw computational power and storage remotely, SAAS allows users to remotely access advanced software, and PAAS is a type of fusion of the two. However, the most visible and common form of cloud computing is a simple type of IAAS: remote storage, or “storage in the cloud.”

Microsoft Office 365 is an example of one of the most popular cloud computing software tools used by students. Not only does it allow students to access their documents from home or university, they can also use Office applications on multiple devices. University students can get access to cloud storage for as little as £52.98 with Microsoft Office 365 University while up to 5 family members can store their files in the cloud with Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium for just £69.99. 

Cloud computing is a broad term. When most people think of it, they think of public clouds, where the data is processed and stored over the internet and travels through public channels. This is the most popular, but also vulnerable to intrusion by hackers. There are also private clouds, where the data is processed in private servers, these are much more secure but also less flexible and accessible. Some hybrid or community systems combine the public and private clouds in different ways to achieve different results.

However, with the advent of cloud computing comes security problems. And it is indeed a large problem, with many recent high-profile leaks of celebrity and government data that had been carelessly stored in the public cloud. For example, the recent hack of 101 celebrities private iCloud accounts has caused Apple to tighten their security. If you're worried about your computer security, take a look at our Kaspersky Anti-Virus and Internet Security software options to protect your devices.

Despite the drawbacks, cloud computing is clearly the way of the future. It allows students to save a vast amount of data which can easily be accessed from various locations and referenced in years to come. There are numerous benefits for students and the education sector other than saving large volumes of data; it's a low cost option, students and teachers can collaborate and you don't need to carry around your devices.

How are you using the cloud?


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