What is the Cloud?

KTLA News Los Angeles recently aired a segment about cloud computing featuring ABS Internet. Here is a video of KTLA's Dave Malkoff, along with Clayton Weise and Rick Eiberg of ABS Internet, answering the question: "What is the cloud?"

Here is a transcript of "What is the cloud?":

Anchor1: It is becoming one of the world's most important pieces of technology, and you can't even see it.

Anchor2: It is so popular, in fact, Apple is now staking their claim, so what exactly is the cloud? Here's Dave Malkoff with an explanation.

Dave Malkoff: The next time you hear someone talk about the cloud, don't think here, think here; a real place beyond this giant door.

Clayton Weise: Well, we're in a data center here in Agoura Hills, with ABS Internet.

Dave Malkoff: Across the country, around the planet, these huge rooms known as data centers are running, collecting and churning your pictures, your video, your life, around the Internet.

Clayton Weise: Servers run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Dave Malkoff: Clayton Weise works in what looks like a regular office building, but inside is what you've heard even the late Steve Jobs refer to as The Cloud.

Steve Jobs: Now some people think the cloud is just a hard disk in the sky

Clayton Weise: A lot of people don't know what it is.

Rick Eiberg: The beauty of it is they don't have to.

Dave Malkoff: Rick and Clayton work in an invisible industry. You may never come here, but if you've ever gone to a bank, if you ever gone to a hospital, if you use things like:

Rick Eiberg: Flickr and Google, and...

Dave Malkoff: The cloud runs a big chunk of your life. What happens when I take a picture and upload it to Flickr or Facebook? What is that?

Clayton Weise: Sure, so these are a bunch of servers that are actually grouped together in a cloud. That photograph is taken and sent to these servers here; so we take that and make a copy of it.

Dave Malkoff: The copy spreads all over the data center, so if one computer crashes, your photo doesn't go away. The cloud uses massive amounts of power. This 6,000 square foot facility whirs on 1.2 MegaWatts of electricity

Clayton Weise: There is enough power in this room to run over 1200 homes

Dave Malkoff: Facebook's brand new facility in Oregon is 50 times larger than ABS' place in the valley.

Clayton Weise: We're looking at one rack here. They might have hundreds if not thousands of racks.

Dave Malkoff: It's not only loud in here, but it also feels like the meat section or the freezer section of the grocery store.

Clayton Weise: Right, so servers generate a lot of heat

Dave Malkoff: The more you at home do on the Internet, the hotter these computers get

Clayton Weise: In a data center like this, air conditioning is always on.

Dave Malkoff: The cold air never stops, even in a power outage, to keep it running:

Clayton Weise: This is essentially a wall full of batteries

Dave Malkoff: There's battery backup and two diesel generators

Clayton Weise: We named them Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison

Dave Malkoff: ...out back.

Clayton Weise: There's about 1200 gallons of fuel underneath your feet

Dave Malkoff: As more people start using the cloud, Internet companies like ABS and Facebook are looking for ways to do more with less power. Part of the reason why Facebook is in Oregon. It's already cold up there, so they can use less A/C.

Dave Malkoff: It almost feels like I'm up in the cloud, because I'm getting my hair blown and my tie and everything

Clayton Weise: I guess it is, right? this is really the cloud isn't it?

Dave Malkoff: So, the very next time you upload something to the cloud, you'll know what that is

Clayton Weise: Pull the cover off. See how these drives here, these are the hard drives inside of the system.

Dave Malkoff: Hard drives, in a chilly box, inside the ABS cloud. Dave Malkoff, KTLA 5 Ne ws.

Anchor1: Who knew?

Anchor2: Now we do.

Anchor1: Now we know

Anchor2: Absolutely, thank you Dave.