If you read TidBITS, you probably have some sense of what’s meant when companies start batting around “cloud” terminology. But when marketers tout everything from word processors to TVs as being cloud-enabled, cloud-friendly, cloud-this, cloud-that, it’s hard not to wonder what they’re talking about. And we can only imagine how confused less technical people find all this cloud stuff. If you — or colleagues — are at all foggy on the topic or worried about cloud privacy and security issues, we have a new book for you.
Joe Kissell is fed up with such hazy claims, and he sets the record straight in the $10 “Take Control of the Cloud,” pinning down nebulous cloud concepts, helping you evaluate claims about cloud services, and explaining how to enhance your privacy and security in the Cloud. This approachable book is an easy read, clarifying what the Cloud is all about without bogging down in instantly obsolete step-by-step instructions. And as with all Take Control books, TidBITS members save 30 percent.
So what, exactly, is the Cloud, and how can you make smart decisions about which cloud services to use and how to set them up? Joe cuts to the chase with 18 FAQs to answer the most common questions, after which he helps you understand the major types of cloud services, explains the difference between cloud storage and cloud syncing, and looks at useful and popular cloud apps.
Then “Take Control of the Cloud” tackles the tough issues, explaining what you can do to enhance your privacy and security, how to evaluate different cloud providers, and how to back up your cloud-based data in case the provider goes dark.
If you remain uncomfortable with handing your data over to cloud services, Joe even walks you through the basics of creating your own personal cloud — it requires more work, expense, and maintenance, but you remain in control at all times.
Oh, and those FAQs? Here’s the full list that Joe answers in the book:
- What is the Cloud?
- Where does the term “cloud” come from?
- What is cloud computing?
- How is cloud computing different from good old-fashioned servers on the Internet?
- What are cloud services?
- What are the major types of cloud services?
- What’s great about the Cloud?
- What’s not so great about the Cloud?
- Will the Cloud mean I won’t need my own computer or software?
- Can I trust the Cloud with my data?
- Will I maintain ownership of data I store in the Cloud?
- What are the security considerations?
- Do I have any hope of privacy if my data is in the Cloud?
- Does the Cloud mean something different to developers and big businesses?
- What’s with the weird cloud-related acronyms like SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS?
- What is a private cloud?
- What is a personal cloud?
- How can I choose a cloud provider?