That Blue Square Thing

AQA Computer Science GCSE

This page is up to date for the new AQA 8525 syllabus for the 2022 exam.

Ethics - Cloud Computing

This area of Unit 8 links very strongly to parts of Unit 4 - Computer Systems: Data storage.

Cloud storage is used to store data in a remote, off-site storage system. These may be anywhere in the world and are likely to be run by another organisation. Data is said to be stored "in the cloud".

Cloud storage requires access to the internet to work effectively. The higher the internet speed the quicker data can be uploaded ot the cloud or downloaded from it. This makes cloud data reliant on internet speeds - especially if larger files such as videos are going to be transferred or streamed.

The storage facility that data is stored at uses very large hard drives or solid state drives to store data on. These require large buildings and serious amounts of cooling. The buildings themselves need to be secure - especially if sensitive data such as details of new products or finances is going to be stored in them.

There are a range of pros and cons to using cloud storage:

You can find out more about data centers, including their environmental impacts, at Wikipedia.

BBC "Dirty Streaming" clip - March 2020