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Cloud computing

Starter questions

  • Name two storage devices.
  • Name a couple of cloud services if you can.
  • What cloud services do you use?

Learning Intentions

  • Learn about what cloud computing is

  • Learn why cloud computing is used

Success Criteria

  • I am able to describe what cloud computing is
  • I am able to describe the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing
  • I am able to explain why cloud computing matters and why it’s become so important

The cloud

  • The term 'the cloud' within the computing context refers to the using someone else’s computer and all the services associated with it over the Internet.
    The nickname cloud makes sense because of the way we connect to it, being everywhere.

Cloud computing

Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user.

Cloud computing

Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user.

What is cloud computing?

So cloud computing is the ability to use the internet to access shared resources such as:

  • Processing power
  • Data storage
  • Computing resources

The most common form of cloud computing these days is cloud storage.

What is cloud computing?

  • Another major use for cloud computing today is providing processing power for another computer.
  • Google Stadia is Google’s platform for running games over the internet, utilising the processing power of their servers. This is another example of cloud computing. 


  • Infrastructure is our hardware and software that we are using, for example, the infrastructure in a classroom includes the school server, the desktop computers, the network itself as well as the software that runs on it.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a cloud service that aims to take all of that away and move it all to the cloud. In financial terms, this can be a huge saving for some small businesses.
  • IaaS is becoming more and more popular with more companies moving away from managing their own hardware

Advantages of cloud computing

The following is a list of advantages of cloud computing:

  • Cost – it’s often cheaper to buy processing power on rent than it is to buy it for yourself. For example, Google Stadia only costs $10 a month, but with that you can get a computer with a lot of processing power (don’t forget, computers with lots of processing power also use a lot more electrical energy and therefore cost more to run).
  • Flexibility – since it uses the Internet, you can use it anywhere there is an internet connection.
  • Stability – the systems are often installed by professionals who know exactly what they are doing. This makes the whole system more stable.

Advantages of cloud computing

  • Always up to date - software that is on the cloud server is always kept up to date
  • Software is usable on almost every device – take Microsoft Word, for a long time Microsoft Word didn’t exist on the iPhone, but because of the cloud you could use Microsoft Word Online.
  • Space required – since there is no need for a large computer within the premises, e.g. in the user’s home or their office, the amount of physical space required is much smaller

Disadvantages of cloud computing

The following is a list of disadvantages of cloud computing:

  • Cost – the flip side to the cost is that it may end up in the long run more expensive than a single payment to buy the hardware required
  • Availability – what if the cloud computer goes down just when it is needed?
  • Security – hacking is always an issue with cloud computing, since everything is hosted on the web
  • Precision of setup – it may be very difficult for the cloud provider to provide a perfectly tailored system or setup for everyone, for example, with Dropbox they offer 1TB of storage or 3TB of storage, but not 1.5TB, 2TB etc.

Disadvantages of cloud computing

  • Speed – the cloud will never be as fast as the physical hardware since it uses the internet.
  • Sharing – what happens if you share something with someone and they then spread it across the internet

Risks of cloud computing

The cloud isn’t free from hacking incidents:

  • In 2013 Dropbox was hacked
  • In 2018 Google was hacked
  • In 2020 Microsoft was hacked

These three companies offer cloud storage, and all of the data stored on it was potentially at risk.

Market share of cloud services

Checking your own accounts

  1. Complete the Cloud computing scenarios worksheet. In this there are three scenarios discussing how people use the computers. You need to decide, and justify, whether they should or could potentially use the cloud for each of them.
  2. Complete the second worksheet
  3. Go to and check your email address.
  4. Find three cloud services that are not offering online storage but something else (e.g. processing power). Create a PowerPoint about what they offer. 



  1. On Google Docs, open What is cloud computing?. Write down as many things as you can about cloud storage. You’ve only got five minutes to do this.

Presentation Overview
Cloud computing
© 2020 - 2024 J Balfour
04:52 | 22-07-2024
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