The cloud is nothing more than a reference to services and technologies provided online over the internet.
The term “cloud”, besides being a marketing buzz-word, conceptualizes the internet itself as a cloud so as to avoid having to detail the reality of its massively complex interconnections. Even before the term “cloud” was popular in general use, network diagrams often used the image of a cloud to represent large networks.
Cloud computing is nothing more than using internet-connected computers to perform computational tasks.
Cloud storage is nothing more than data storage provided by online services.
Cloud services are nothing more than services provided by online service providers.
Naturally, all of the above can be intermixed.
“The cloud” is nothing really new: email has been essentially a cloud service since its inception. What has changed, however, is the ubiquity of internet connectivity, the increased speeds at which people are connected to the internet, and the fact that using online services is becoming more and more practical for more and more people than ever before.