A History of Cloud Computing

A History of Cloud Computing

History of Cloud Computing

History, especially if it deals with victories and defeats, is inherently flawed. No one knew this better than Winston Churchill, who was assured of his place in the historical tomes by his victory in WWII. As he put it, “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it”. Therefore, are we taking a leap of faith by trying to encapsulate the history of cloud computing technology in mere words? Is it a wasted effort?

Not really. In our opinion, the best time to trace the growth of any paradigm, whether technology or culture or any other human endeavor, is when it has grown out of infancy but not attained maturity. For it is then that prejudices will not be able to color our opinions, whether positive or negative.

Since cloud computing is gaining acceptability by the day, it is no longer a beginner in the IT infrastructure space. Again, since there are many who resist the technology citing several concerns like security and availability, it hasn’t matured either. In other words, there’s no time like the present in presenting its history.

The general idea behind the technology dates back to the 1960s, when John McCarthy wrote that “computation may someday be organized as a public utility.” Then, grid computing, a concept that originated in the early 1990s as an idea for making computer power as easy to access as an electric power grid also contributed to cloud computing. For a detailed look at the differences between utility, grid and cloud computing, look at “Cloud Computing vs Utility Computing vs Grid Computing: Sorting The Differences.”

The term “cloud computing” was most probably derived from the diagrams of clouds used to represent the Internet in textbooks. The concept was derived from telecommunications companies who made a radical shift from point-to-point data circuits to Virtual Private Network (VPN) services in the 1990s. By optimizing resource utilization through load balancing, they could get their work done more efficiently and inexpensively. The first time the term was used in its current context was in a 1997 lecture by Ramnath Chellappa where he defined it as a new “computing paradigm where the boundaries of computing will be determined by economic rationale rather than technical limits alone.”

One of the first movers in cloud computing was Salesforce.com, which in 1999 introduced the concept of delivering enterprise applications via a simple website. Amazon was next on the bandwagon, launching Amazon Web Service in 2002. Then came Google Docs in 2006 which really brought cloud computing to the forefront of public consciousness. 2006 also saw the introduction of Amazon’s Elastic Compute cloud (EC2) as a commercial web service that allowed small companies and individuals to rent computers on which to run their own computer applications.

This was soon followed by an industry-wide collaboration in 2007 between Google, IBM and a number of universities across the United States. Next came Eucalyptus in 2008, the first open source AWS API compatible platform for deploying private clouds, followed by OpenNebula, the first open source software for deploying private and hybrid clouds.

2009 saw Microsoft’s entry into cloud computing with the launch of Windows Azure in November. Now, suddenly, there were major players jumping on to cloud computing from left, right and center.

While 2010 saw the maximum number of companies entering this space, 2011 is expected to be even more eventful.

For a look at the possible future of cloud computing, read Where Is Cloud Computing Going? Up, Up And Away!

By Sourya Biswas

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Smart Umbrellas – Wearable, Portable and Stayable

Smart Umbrellas – Wearable, Portable and Stayable

They automatically open when it starts to rain. A rising tide lifts all boats. What does a deluge do? Lifts everything, docks, piers, boats and anyone standing in the way. IoT post the Consumer Electronic Show is no longer a rising tide it is a deluge. You can avoid a rising or surge tide unless…

Encrypting Your Cloud Data For Extra Protection

Encrypting Your Cloud Data For Extra Protection

Encrypting Your Cloud Data Encrypting data is one of the best ways of protecting your data as it moves to the cloud. The only thing better than encrypting your data, is not storing your data at all. Let’s first look at the case of using file sharing applications such as Dropbox. If you are the…

Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) And BYOD Security

Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) And BYOD Security

Cyber Physical Systems (CPS)  Technology has changed the world radically. But, to date, the world hasn’t changed as fast as technology to. There are a couple of concepts that are concerning as we head into the reality of CPS-deployed systems. The first is that standards don’t exist. Many companies are considering the Bring Your Own…

What Agency Can Benefit The Most From IoT/CSP?

What Agency Can Benefit The Most From IoT/CSP?

What Agency Can Benefit The Most? I was recently giving a talk to some students when one of them asked me a question I hadn’t heard before. She said “How does the Internet of Things really impact the government? What agency benefits the most from IoT/CPS?” I paused for a moment, it is a great…

Three Factors for Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Three Factors for Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy A few weeks ago I visited the global headquarters of a large multi-national company to discuss cloud strategy with the CIO. I arrived 30 minutes early and took a tour of the area where the marketing team showcased their award winning brands. I was impressed by the digital marketing strategy…

SaaS Freemium Models and the Hidden Cost of Free

SaaS Freemium Models and the Hidden Cost of Free

SaaS Freemium Models We’ve all been lured into sexy “try before you buy” freemium models that provide just the right amount of functionality to get you started. Yet, it’s not quite enough to complete the job. “Getting the job done” often requires stepping up to a paid or premium version that provides more functionality, capabilities…

Basic Cloud Risk Assessment Tips

Basic Cloud Risk Assessment Tips

Basic Cloud Risk Assessment You should worry about the risks of cloud computing. But don’t get too scared. With a few simple steps you can easily get a basic understanding of your risks in the cloud and even have a good start in managing these risks. If you are a large corporation in a regulated…

CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, infosec, big data and the internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Sponsor