The History Of Cloud Computing


In our fast-paced twenty-first-century business world, staying up to date can be the difference between a successful business and a business that falls behind. Staying up to date can be hardware as well as software. If you run a business, you have probably noticed that business has become more streamlined, faster, and more complicated. In the past, you could operate in a very small way, devoted to delivering the best service to a small pool of customers in your area. It is possible that you advertised using billboards, fliers, banners, and local radio commercials. Television commercials are also effective means of advertising.

These days, however, you are not competing in a small cloistered environment anymore. In the world of brick and mortar stores, you are forced to compete with other businesses because the process of starting a business has become more streamlined and more readily available. In addition to more brick and mortar stores, you have to deal with a more versatile and competitive challenge from the big box stores that can supply goods and services at discounted rates and increased speeds. You might find yourself having a hard time competing. Also, you have to compete against the same big box stores which operate online as well as stores that only operate online. Some of these larger companies are essentially just networks of warehouses and computer banks that quickly and efficiently ship to your location almost immediately. How can you possibly compete with that? You have to learn how to be as flexible and quick as you can be.

Cloud Computing

One way to become a faster and more effective business is to utilize cloud hosting from a business such as Cloud hosting is the process of storing your business’s information online so that a group of different computers or different users can access the information from just about anywhere. The information is stored in an online database called a cloud that allows you to keep your information available wherever you are. This might feel like a twenty-first-century idea because the Internet has only been around since the 1970s and has only been in widespread use for the past twenty years or so. However, the idea of cloud hosting and cloud computing is as old as computers themselves. If you think of the idea of warehouses or libraries, then the idea of storing your information somewhere that different people can share and access it, then cloud computing is an incredibly old human idea.

The Term

No one is quite sure where the term cloud computing comes from, but it seems to be fairly old. The term “cloud” has been obviously used to mean a conglomeration of objects such as a cloud in the sky is a bunch of water vapor. Some people theorize that classic programs were drawn visually with circles around the servers and overlapping programs creating overlapping circles that looked like a cloud. Also, in the early 90s, the Internet was described as resembling a cloud of information. The term “cloud” had come into use at least as early as 1994.

The 50s

The concept that would one day become cloud computing probably predates anything involving electronics or electricity. It is likely this idea of sharing and networks of information is as old as the idea of roads or bartering. In essence, a library where information is stored and arranged operates on the same principle as cloud computing. Libraries are thousands of years old. However, the idea of cloud computing as we understand it began around the 1950s. The massive mainframe computers were growing in prominence and many felt that they were the future of computing. These computers operated by running very large mainframes that contained information and processing power. They were usually only available in wealthy schools and powerful corporations. These powerful mainframes were accessible using terminals, sometimes called “dumb.” These terminals had no processing power of their own. They simply accessed the mainframe. They were eventually optimized to allow multiple terminals to access the mainframe at the same time. This was the first instance of computing as a shared, communal experience. These were also some of the very first computers. So, you can see how computing has always been considered a shared experience.

The 70s

In the 1950s, terminals that accessed the same mainframe at the same time through different terminals were said to be time sharing. In the 1970s, this practice was no longer called time sharing but was instead known as Remote Job Entry. This was pretty much the same idea. Multiple terminals were able to access the same operating system at the same time. IBM was known for popularizing remote job entry by use of their 1972 operation system called VM. VM stood for virtual machine.

The 90s

In the last decade of the twentieth century, many companies operating in telecommunications fields would offer networks that were private. These virtual private networks were direct point to point circuits. Each computer accessed the server on a network, which would then be controlled based on bandwidth needs. When traffic increased, more bandwidth would be devoted to that network. This is not cloud computing as you might think of it, but it is shared computing over a network.

However, it was during this time that developers began to attempt to make power available to more computers by optimizing time sharing. This would lead to cloud computing.

The 21st Century

The first open source software that truly operated on a cloud the way we think of it was a NASA program called Open Nebula. The European Commission funded the RESERVOIR project that became the first true cloud.

Now, in the 21st century, businesses prefer to keep their information on clouds so that the information is accessible from just about anywhere there is an Internet connection as well as secure. When the information is stored in a cloud, it is not susceptible to physical damage. The information is always backed up on a reliable hosted server.