The cloud or cloud storage is a network of computers owned by a person or most commonly, a company. Its main use is the storing and archiving of data. Data stored locally vs data stored in the cloud is very different. On a personal machine, data is being stored on a hard drive, located inside the machine, wither a personal computer, laptop or the very limited storage of a mobile device.
The cloud, however, is not a cloud, but a network of different physical storage devices located in many different locations around the world. For example, if a person has data stored in the cloud, the physical location of the storage drives may be located in separate locations around the world. To give a general idea, parts of the stored data may be located on a physical server in New York, while the other part maybe somewhere in California. Cloud computing is the idea of sharing data between these servers which can be accessed by an internet connection.
Due to the nature of the hardware, over time it degrades, the data fills up space and in worst cases, fail, causing all of the data to be lost. Alternatively, saving data on the cloud, or off-site server grants a level of protection to people’s data, without worrying about failure. On the major risk of using the cloud for data storage is data confidentiality and the ever-present possibility of a hacker to get a hold on this data. The anonymity of personal data within a cloud service was and continues to remain sketchy, this is since all of our data is being entrusted to an entity which only gives users their word as the only insurance of our data being secure.
Businesses and a Reliance on Cloud Computing
Today, companies and businesses rely heavily on cloud computing to be productive. Remote access and the storage of any important work data. There are a total of three models of cloud computing: PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service).
PaaS can be accessed via any internet connection and can be used to develop an entire application in the browser. The environment is not hosted locally, making it possible for developers to work on it from anywhere. This gives the possibility for a team that is spread across multiple geographical locations to collaborate on a project without the need for traveling. PaaS lightens a load of the business’s IT department by relying on PaaS providers to host key services such as Java development or application hosting.
Instead of creating from scratch the infrastructure required for an application, developers can redirect their entire focus on the creation of the application itself. Additionally, to make a developer’s job easier, most PaaS products are geared towards software development and delivers all of the necessary IT components that are needed for an application. Components such as servers, operating systems, databases, support and scripting environment.
SaaS is the most widely used cloud service, with software mainly used by businesses. Business apps such as Google Apps and Dropbox, as well as email services. SaaS is the one providing the software to the end-user while PaaS offers developers the environment to build applications over the internet, made available in the cloud and accessed by the user via a web browser.
One of the major positives of using a PaaS provider is that they provide faster scalability, meaning that if an application is under severe stress due to an increased workload, PaaS providers can combat this by adding additional servers and sync load balancers so the application continues to run efficiently. With SaaS, organizations need no longer install applications on their systems which eliminates the headache of acquiring additional hardware and maintenance.
The risk associated with SaaS is the reliance on the service providers to run at all times to have non-stop access to the application. Because of this reliance, businesses that use SaaS are expected to give up a level of control to the accessibility of these platforms.
Gaming Companies Looking for Cloud Solutions
No one is exactly sure who coined the term cloud computing, however, many point to Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt. Regardless of who coined the term, the technology is gaining more acceptance every day with businesses and now we can be sure that more companies, especially companies that develop online casino games will be adopting cloud-based solutions for their games. Most online casino gaming developers use similar programming languages when developing their applications and as mentioned before SaaP (Software-as-a-Platform) providers can make it easier for developers to create these casino apps by providing the tools and infrastructure.
Online gambling has always been at the forefront of adopting new technologies, however, the adoption of cloud computing has been relatively slow and there are good reasons for this. As mentioned before, security in the cloud is sketchy at times and having an on-premise system solution provides higher security by always having access to their data center and not entrust a third party with sensitive information.
Not every major technological advancement can benefit casinos. Adopting technology for the sake of technology is a bad idea unless the benefits outweigh the negatives. Most businesses have benefited greatly by using the cloud and has certainly made life much easier for many people who make use of it. The most concerning factor that is still present is the privacy issue and not knowing where exactly the information is being stored and not being able to control the data once it leaves the premises, an issue which will probably be solved with time.