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Have you ever taken a minute to gaze up at the clouds?
You might see a dog, a dinosaur,
or your data?
Okay, your data isn't actually stored in a cloud in the sky,
but it's easy to think so when there's so much talk about cloud computing.
So how does the cloud work?
The cloud is a global network of servers around the world acting as one massive hard drive.
Every time you sign into your Gmail account, watch a show on Netflix
or open a file from Dropbox, you're using the cloud.
Before the cloud, you might have backed up your documents, photos or music
to an external device like a CD-ROM or to your computer's hard drive.
Now, you can back-up all of that information to the cloud.
When I back-up my iPhone to the cloud, my files are sent to servers in Apple's data centers all around the world.
I can access those servers by connecting to the internet.
So even if I lose or break my phone, not that it's ever happened before, that data isn't lost forever.
There are a few obvious benefits to consumers from the cloud
besides giving you peace of mind if you lose your phone.
You can access your data anytime, anywhere if you're connected to the internet.
And you don't have to worry about using up all of the storage on your hard drive.
Meaning you might not have to pay as much for a device that comes with a ton of storage.
Businesses are also benefiting big time from cloud computing.
It's estimated worldwide revenue from the cloud will exceed $200 billion in 2019,
that's up from $145 billion just two years ago.
You've probably heard of the two biggest names in the market,
Amazon Web Services, known as AWS, and Microsoft Azure.
IBM, Google and Alibaba are also big players when it comes to providing cloud services.
It's not just big tech moving business into the cloud.
Smaller companies are buying in too as a way to grow their businesses.
Just think, instead of having to buy all of this hardware to backup your data,
you can store an unlimited amount of information online.
Many cloud services are based on a subscription pricing model.
That means customers pay, for example, a monthly fee for cloud services
and they can scale up or down as needed. And cloud providers are cashing in.
AWS accounts for roughly 12 percent of Amazon's quarterly sales,
but it generates more than half of the company's operating income.
Before we get too excited about the cloud, let's take a step back and look at some of the risks.
One obvious concern, if all of our data is online, what happens when the internet goes down?
That's what happened in 2013 when an AWS outage took down Instagram, Vine and Airbnb.
Cyber attacks are another big risk with research showing
around one-fifth of all files in the cloud contain sensitive data.
Finally, it can be tough for consumers and businesses to switch between different cloud companies.
I might have a hard time syncing my iCloud and Google Drive accounts.
That can give some big companies, that are already making big money on the cloud,
a lot of power over our data.
Hey everyone, it's Elizabeth. Thanks so much for watching.
Let us know if you have any other ideas for CNBC Explains and leave any ideas in the comments section.
Be sure to check out all of our other videos over here.
See you later!
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簡單解釋:雲端是什麼? (What is the cloud? | CNBC Explains)

440 分類 收藏
April Lu 發佈於 2018 年 11 月 27 日    April Lu 翻譯    Winnie Liao 審核
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