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A History Of The Cloud

A History of the Cloud

A lot has changed since the 1950s when mainframe computers the size of the Titanic were viewed as the wave of the future.  Our concept of Cloud Computing may seem current and modern; however it was in the 1950s that the concepts lead to an evolution of virtualization, service-oriented architecture and utility computing.   Most companies and developers of the time didn’t see the price tag as practical until the 1970s with time-sharing (CPU mainframe sharing).  In early 1970, a little known program developed by Intel engineer Ray Tomlinson would revolutionize the way businesses and individuals would communicate.  Now recognized as email, we would be hard pressed to function well without it.  By the mid to late 1970s, the US Department of Defense had been perfecting ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) into what we know today as the Internet.

By the 1980s and early 1990s, the client-server model (Email, network printing, and the World Wide Web) was beginning to take shape.  As computer availability became more prevalent, developers began creating virtual private networks (VPN).  This allowed telecommunication companies the ability to expand their offerings from point-to-point to private networks at a much lower cost.  By the late 1990s, the term “cloud” represented computing from provider to end user.  In essence, users were now allowed shared access without the need for individual connections and costly physical infrastructure.  The world saw a huge jump in connection to the World Wide Web for commerce and communication in the 1990s.  By 1995, internet traffic began seeing more robust graphics with sophisticated site presentation.  Companies adopted the commercial potential at a higher rate by extending their reach to the world rather than their own backyards.

Cloud computing, or “The Cloud”, was no longer a little know term but part of the world’s daily conversation by the 2000s.  Companies such as Amazon.com were expanding by offering cloud services (e-commerce) rather than developing typical store front chains.  

Another huge jump in Cloud Computing came in the form of remote applications through phones and tablets.  The Cloud allowed sharing documents, photos, and files as easy as visiting an online site such as Facebook and Dropbox.  It is all about storing data and a lot of it.  By the mid-2000s, the world had grown so accustomed to internet access and public sharing that it has become an almost essential part of our modern fabric. Just keying in the phrase, “Internet as a Necessity” in a Google search, will produce well over 100,000,000 results.  

The Cloud has grown up a lot since its infancy in the 1950s, which begs the question, “What is the future of Cloud Computing?”

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