The mankind has constantly evolved ever since it came into existence. Our ancestors used to travel by a cart, with continued efforts and manpower that cart has evolved into a Bugatti Veyron. And if the trend is to be continued flying cars may not be a farfetched dream. This was an example of automotive engineering. The IT department has hurled its very own flag altogether. From simple micro-chips to uber fast core processors, IT has embarked upon a journey that was unimaginable a few decades ago.
Cloud Computing is one such technology, that has put the mankind on the crux of innovation. But not many know how the concept came into existence? Who were the pioneers that made cloud a reality?
Sowing of the Seed
In the sixties the great J.C.R. Licklider devised the concept of intergalactic computer network or the ARPANET. The basic idea behind it was to connect everyone in the world and make every program accessible to everyone from any site in the world. This concept was the direct predecessor to the internet. Later the popular scientist John McCarthy proposed that the computational services should be provided as services.
Birth of the Micro-Chips
The success of cloud has been based on the rise of internet to the prominence. First microchip was invented in 1950’s. These chips could only carry out basic calculations. IBM saw an opportunity in this sphere and exhaustively researched on the subject. Those researches bore fruit in 1959, when IBM came up with 1401 model. This model became the cornerstone of computing for the years that followed. In the 60s mouse and keyboard came into existence giving computer a better user interface.
In 70’s Intel developed its first microprocessor and wrote a program that sent message from one computer to the other. This would later be known as the e-mail. So next time you are using your Gmail or yahoo mail, you know who to thank to.
Bill gates and Paul Allen rolled out Microsoft in 1974 and two years later two Steves founded Apple Computers and rolled out Apple II. From then on every year new innovations were made and computer was being transformed into what we have now.
A New Dawn
The ideas of two legends, Licklider and McCarthy could not be made into reality because of the technical limitations prevalent at the time. The major breakthrough in the field of cloud came when Salesforce and Google came into existence in1999. That event changed the face of computing forever. Both of these companies provided cloud based services, Google for direct consumers and salesforce for businesses.
The end of 90’s was the best time to invest in internet based ventures. Cloud had the right platform to usher into world as high speed connectivity, multi-tenant architectures and worldwide operability of softwares came into existence. Salesforce grabbed this opportunity and started delivering business applications from site.
The Bubble Burst
The internet boom was such that everyone with an idea started offering services through the internet. These companies were backed by seemingly limitless capital and confidence in the respective venture. The idea was to suffer initial loss and after the service becomes famous, charge for it. Even Google and Amazon took a hit initially, but their investment was in other places altogether. But as they say never trust anything which seems to good, internet boom didn’t last much. The major players like that of Dell and Cisco started selling off their stocks in March 2000 and the bubble busted. The exact culprit for the burst is a mystery but is attributed to factors like Y2K, anti-monopoly ruling against Microsoft among others.
Rising from the Ashes
Amazon launched its cloud AWS in 2002 with a view to store data and allow multiple users the access to same kind of information. Then Facebook gave the cloud a personalized feel and revolutionizing the way people interacts and store their personal moments. With its constant innovation mantra, Facebook is still ruling social media market and its acquisition of Whatsapp will only fuel the trend.
Since then the cloud has seen a constant upward trajectory. Amazon has since launched Elastic compute cloud and Simple Storage Services, providing different services. Along with that came the pay-as-you go model which is the pillar of cloud pricing these days. Salesforce have also launched force.com providing PaaS. Google and Microsoft have also rolled out Drive and Azure respectively, indicating that the cloud bubble won’t be bursting anytime soon.
The cloud technology has seen many ups and downs, but the time has come that the only way for the cloud is up. The strides cloud has taken have been massive as shown by the stat that 3 in every 4 companies have some of their operations in the cloud. So if you are not virtualized, its better you do.
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Josephine Clark is a Cloud and Mobile Technology enthusiast and an avid writer. Other than working at HostedQuickBooks DotNet, she actively participates in various forum discussions, writing blogs and articles on topics like latest mobile apps, updates of Operating systems, Cloud hosting services such as QuickBooks hosting, etc.