Cloud Computing

posted Sep 23, 2018, 5:57 AM by Viktor Zólyomi   [ updated Sep 23, 2018, 5:57 AM ]
Cloud computing is arguably one of the most significant advances in informatics in the 21st century. The ability to upload our data into the cloud and access it anytime on any computer anywhere in the world as longs as we are connected to the cloud is remarkably convenient, and even gives us piece of mind that our data is safely backed up. The technology, however, is difficult to grasp. A research group at the University of Con City has recently written a popular science article in which they explain, in layman's terms, how cloud computing really works.

`The first thing we must realize is that cloud computing relies on actual clouds,' says Professor van der Bishop, leader of the research group. `And I don't mean that as a metaphor. I mean that cloud computing relies on storm clouds up in the sky to store our data. That's why it's called cloud computing. Although in retrospect, it may have been a better choice to call it storm cloud computing, to make it easier to understand.'

The Professor's statements may sound baffling at first, but his article reveals the science behind the concept of using a storm cloud for data storage.

`As is common knowledge, storm clouds are filled with electrically charged particles,' the Professor says. `As is also common knowledge, computers are electronic devices that rely on electrons, which are electrically charged particles, to process and store information. With clever engineering, we can put the charged particles inside storm clouds into the exact same use as electrons inside silicon circuitry in a laptop. This is easily achieved with nanotechnology, which we use to make so-called Cloud Processing Units, or in short ClPUs, tiny processors that are light enough to hover inside storm clouds. These are powered by the electricity stored in the clouds and they regulate the flow of charged particles around them, and thereby store any data we upload to it. From there the only challenge is getting access to that data, which of course is achieved with the aid of a nanoscale wireless router attached to the ClPU.'

While storing data inside clouds in the sky is technically a simple matter, cloud computing is more complicated than that.

`Clouds disperse over time and therefore data cannot be stored in them forever,' the Professor states. `This problem, of course, is contrary to the whole concept of cloud computing, but it is easy to circumvent. There are countless clouds in the sky, and all we have to do is put every single one of them to use as a cloud storage device. That is why we now have a ClPU at the core of every cloud in the sky. These are all interconnected and synchronized through the wireless connection that links neighboring clouds, ensuring that numerous different clouds store the same data. When a cloud disperses completely, the ClPU within enters power save mode until a new cloud begins to form in its vicinity, then hovers into it and rebuilds the previously lost data storage unit through the wireless link to the other clouds. That is how cloud computing ensures that our data remains safe until the end of time.'

Yet the Professor warns that even with the synchronization and self-regulation of the Cloud Processing Units, data in clouds is at risk from a very real source of danger.

`Birds are a major threat to the integrity of cloud data storage,' Professor van der Bishop explains. `Specifically, birds of prey that fly high enough to reach the clouds. Their eyesight is good enough that they can spot the ClPUs within the clouds, and since they're drawn to shiny objects they are compelled by their very nature to take a closer look. More often than not, they swallow the ClPUs, which destroys the data in the cloud. And while you might think that the nature of cloud computing keeps our data safe in all the other storm clouds that are synced with the one that was lost, the reality is that, given enough time, a hungry eagle can just glide from cloud to cloud and devour the ClPU in every last one of them, irrecoverably destroying the data stored in the clouds. This is a very real danger, especially since birds can eat the ClPUs faster than we can replace them, and like the eventual and inevitable transformation of the Sun into a supernova, nothing in the world can be done about it. We can't just surround clouds with steel cages, after all. That would make no sense. So best to just keep a local backup of our data on a portable hard disk, just in case.'

If you would like to know more about the true science of cloud computing, request a reprint of the Professor's new popular science article, `Why choosing to store our data in storm clouds may have been a bad idea,' from the Department of Bullshitology - where Professor van der Bishop serves as Head of Department - at the University of Con City.