May11

Where did it all begin?

Cloud computing has come on leaps and bounds since its inception and as we now move towards an age where cloud computing becomes the norm, we take a look back at how it all began.

An Accurate Vision

The concept surrounding cloud computing can be traced all the way back to the 1950s when Herb Grosch, author of Grosch’s Law, stated that the world would one day ‘operate on dumb terminals powered by about 15 large data centres’. Writing this article I indeed sat at one of those so called ‘dumb terminals’, whilst to even have the ability to read this article, you too are using a ‘dumb terminal’, be it a computer or a smartphone. The term ‘dumb terminal’ is thus rather oxymoronic if you are indeed using your ‘smart’-phone.

Furthermore, in the 1960s John McCarthy explained that “Computation may someday be organised as a public utility”. It appears both these men were right!

Inception and Development

The term ‘cloud’ has been used, quite generically, as a metaphor for the internet since the 80s. Throughout the 1990s, many telecommunications companies started offering virtual private network (VPN) services to their customers. They discovered that this allowed them to utilise their overall network bandwidth much more effectively and the famous cloud drawing was used to illustrate the system. Essentially, cloud computing extends such a system in order to cover servers as well as network infrastructure.

Following the end of the dot.com bubble at the beginning of the new Millennium, Amazon emerged as the leading light in the development of cloud computing as they modernised their data centres and found that the new cloud architecture gave a significant improvement in internal efficiency. In 2006, Amazon eventually launched Amazon Web Service (AWS) on a utility computing basis in order to provide cloud computing to its external customers.

Following this, in 2007, the real rise of cloud computing came to the fore and ever since the cloud has grown and adapted and it continues to be improved each and every day. Cloud infrastructure has come a long way, and soon it will be a necessity for all businesses and internet users.

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