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  You have probably heard a lot about something called “the cloud”.  You may have some understanding of it or a general definition.  But just in case, here is the breakdown of how cloud computing works.  You should also probably know now, it isn’t really a cloud—or all your information floating in cyberspace.

Jonathan Strickland from HowStuffWorks explains the process.  If you are a small business owner, you probably bought a bunch of computers for your employees.  Before cloud computing, software programs were bought individually for each computer.  But now, you can just buy one program and each employee can access it on their computer through the cloud.  The cloud stores the log in information, the programs, and access points for your business.  The cloud will be accessed by a machine in another location, owned by provider, like Tanaza.

The individual computers no longer have to work as hard because the cloud machines do all the work for them.  The only thing your employees need to access the cloud is a specific interface software like a web browser.  With Tanaza, you can work with your Local Area Network (LAN) to open Tanaza’s web based Dashboard.  The Dashboard also makes it easier to change the passwords of multiple WiFi access points all in one place.  And since it is cloud-based, you don’t have to spend money on hardware.  The new trend emerging is managing your cloud from your smartphone or tablet.  You can access our Dashboard from these devices soon.

If you access your e-mail online, like through Gmail, you are already using one form of cloud computing.  You didn’t download an e-mail program like Outlook and instead accessed your e-mail online.  The information stored in your online e-mail isn’t stored in your computer but rather the provider’s cloud.

HowStuffWorks says there are two large components of cloud computing: the front end and back end.  Usually these two ends are connected by the internet. The back end is the “cloud” and the front end is the user of the cloud.

The front end includes the user’s computer or device and the application is used to access the cloud.  The back end is more complex; it includes all the equipment and systems storing your information in the cloud and keep it working.  A cloud can include virtually any program you download from word processors to video games.  But each program usually requires its own separate server. There is one central server that follows directions and organizes all the other servers.

Most importantly, cloud computing companies have twice or three times the amount of servers and equipment because they back up all of their client’s data.  The central server then can access all the information from the backup devices.

There are many benefits your small business can take advantage of when moving towards cloud computing.  You can save money on buying less hardware (computers) and software.  Most of the kinks in cloud computing has been worked out and the software application is better than ever before.  For now, the cloud is endless.