What Is Amazon Cloud?by Andrew Tennyson
The term “Amazon Cloud” could refer to up to four services and applications offered by Amazon: Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon Cloud Player, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud and Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader. All four products make use of online storage environments called clouds. Each product differs in terms of design and intended use, despite their similarities in name.
Amazon Cloud Drive
Amazon Cloud Drive is an online storage application that offers 5GB of free online storage space that users can access as often as they like from any computer or Internet-capable device, except for Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Users simply upload files to their Cloud Drive accounts as if they were using an external hard drive. If the free 5GB quota isn’t enough, users can purchase additional gigabytes of storage space starting at $10 per year. The service is compatible with most major file types. File sharing is not permitted between accounts, and Amazon offers no security or privacy guarantees.
Amazon Cloud Player
Amazon’s Cloud Player is an application that allows you to download and stream audio content from your Amazon Cloud Drive account. You upload your songs to your Cloud Drive account and the Cloud Player functions like standard audio jukebox software, allowing you to listen to your music from a variety of different devices in different locations. It is available as an in-browser service for applications such as Google Chrome and Firefox, and as an application in itself for devices such as Android-powered smartphones. The Cloud Player supports MP3 and AAC audio file formats.
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud is part of the company’s Web Services division. It's what is referred to as a virtual computing environment designed to allow companies to build enterprise-class applications. Elastic Compute Cloud's features include elastic IP addresses, automatic scaling, multiple location functionality, elastic load balancing, high-performance computing clusters, virtual machine image importing and Amazon’s CloudWatch service. The CloudWatch service gives users the ability to monitor cloud applications and resources remotely.
Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader
The Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader is a Web-based application that allows Kindle e-reader owners to store their e-books online and access them remotely. It is essentially an online storage service, just like Amazon Cloud Drive. The Kindle Cloud Reader is compatible with most major Web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. It is also compatible with mobile devices, including Apple devices running iOS 4 or later.
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