History of Cloud Compputing

Brief History of Cloud Computing and its Evolution – SurfCloudTech

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The History of cloud computing and idea of computing traces back to the origins of utility computing which was just the concept which was publicly proposed by a computer scientist John McCarthy. According to him, computers may someday be organized as a public utility in the same way as that of the telephone system as a public utility.

The evolution of cloud computing is through a number of phases including utility computing, grid computing, Application Service Provision (ASP) and Software as a Service. The word “Cloud” was used as a representation of internet and other communication systems as well as an abstraction of all the useful and underlying infrastructures.

In this article, you would be reading a full and brief history of cloud computing along with the future vision of cloud technology.

Origin of the word “Cloud”

Well, the origin of the word cloud computing is quite unclear. The concept of delivering computing resources throughout a global network is rooted in the late sixties. The word “cloud” is most commonly used to describe agglomeration of objects that visually appear from some distance whose details are not inspected in given context.

In the simple words, the cloud can be a collection of programs and services that drew network schematics and a cluster of servers in the network which resembles a cloud. The word cloud was used as a metaphor for internet and the shape like the cloud was used to denote a network on telephony schematics. Later it was used to represent computer network in diagrams. After the emergence of word cloud in the 1960s, the term cloud has been used to refer to platforms such as distributed computing.

Brief History of Cloud Computing

With the introduction of new technologies, these questions are common. When was cloud technology invented? or When did computing based systems emerge and what are the future perspective of cloud computing?

When we think of cloud computing, we think of solutions, product, ideas, and machines whose computing power is higher than human brains and all these ideas started in the 21st century. But this is not the whole truth eventually. The gradual evolution started in the early 1950s with the introduction of mainframe computing.

Mainframe computers were used to connect multiple users to a single central computer capable of accessing all the resources such as memory and processing from the central computer through a dumb terminal. The problem with mainframe computers was that the cost of these was quite high due to this, it was not practical for the organization to buy each of the employees.

The solution was to provide shared access to a single resource which was much convenient and is economical for a sophisticated price of technology. We would be seeing the changes in cloud technology according to a different timeline.

Early 1960s

The brief background of what we know commonly as cloud computing is the result of an evolution of widespread adoption of virtualization, automatic, service-oriented architecture, and utility-based computing. Many telecommunication companies offer only dedicated and point to point data circuits to their users. After some time around the 1970s, there was a complete change in the cloud technology as at that time virtual machines was introduced.

Early 1970s

With the introduction of virtualization software like VMware, it becomes more easy and popular to execute one or more operating systems simultaneously in an isolated environment. Some of you might be not clear with the virtualization, virtualization is creating a virtual- rather actual version of something. Virtual computers can be created on a single machine which in turn can run completely different operating systems.

Virtual machines change the future of cloud computing and took shared access mainframes to completely next level by providing multiple computing environments to reside on one physical environment. Virtualization is one of the most important evolution information technology.

Early 1990s

In the beginning of mobile computing and cloud computing, telecommunication companies offer single and dedicated point-to-point data connections. During this period, the word “cloud” was used to represent computing space between the cloud provider and end user.  The history of cloud computing takes a completely different shift during the second half of 1990s.

During the second half of the 1990s, many technical companies like Salesforce.com began to gain a much better and far understanding of cloud computing and the use of this technology to provide many superior solutions and services to the customers. Salesforce in 1999 became the first major moves in providing enterprise level applications to end users with the help of internet.

Most of these services were on demand basis and much cost effective than traditional means. Due to this, most of the companies used these applications to gain access to their data and applications from anywhere with the use of Internet.

Early 2000s

Google and Amazon become the key player in the Internet commerce marketplace. Amazon introduced its web-based retail services in the year of 2002 and cloud migration and data migration tools were more common. Today, most of the companies are shifting their services to cloud platform as it is much secure and cost effective which works on a pay per use model.

Evolution of Cloud Computing

The evolution of cloud computing can be simply understood by understanding the change in types of computing.

  • Grid Computing – With the help of parallel computing, it is much easier to solve large problems.
  • Utility Computing – Providing all the resources as a metered service and works according to pay per use model.
  • SaaS – Software as a Service
  • PaaS – Platform as a Service
  • IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service
  • Cloud Computing –  Anytime and anywhere access to the IT resources which works on a dynamic model

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) was introduced in 2006 which was the commercial web service which also allows small and commercial business companies to rent computers on which their own computers can run efficiently.

Eucalyptus was the first to open an open source AWS API in the year of 2008 which can be used to deploy private clouds, followed by OpenNebula wich brings first open source software for deploying hybrid clouds as well as private clouds. Later in 2010 and 2011 many companies emerged providing different services at a glance.

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