In the real world, though, it doesn’t always work as well as advertised. Several major sites — including Reddit, Foursquare and Common Sense Media — found that out last month when Amazon’s East Coast cloud servers suffered what the company called “performance issues.”
As cloud storage options grow, the technology is edging closer and closer to the mainstream—and that’s creating some confusion. The abundance of options, combined with the general lack of mainstream education about the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, has a lot of people scratching their head.
Some have very public faces. Others operate in the background. But they all play a key part in this emerging field, which is just as important to less-than-thrilling business necessities as it is to your home entertainment. And a fair number of players have a foot in both ponds.
As Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo promote their upcoming hardware innovations and try to extend the life cycle of this generation of consoles, a burgeoning company called OnLive sits on the show floor of the video game industry’s trade show, sending out the message that dedicated game machines could be a thing of the past.
Think of the cloud as a central supercomputer that stores both data and applications. Instead of having to spend thousands on state-of-the-art hardware and graphics cards, you can hook into this machine via the Internet, both accessing programs and storing your files with no space limitations. It’s not without risks, though.