The evolution of cloud computing

September 22, 2015 | by Helena Hernandez

In Azure, Cloud Services, Office 365

We’ve been talking a lot about cloud computing in this blog. Of course curiosity hit me, and I wanted to go right to the root of what we call cloud computing today.

How did cloud computing arrive to this point? 

Let’s find out where cloud computing comes from and the different phases of its evolution.

Early Stage

These were about the early stages of cloud computing

Back in the 50s there were giant mainframes installed in schools or large corporations because they were the only places that could possibly house them. It became a normal practice to develop “dumb terminals” that allowed multiple people to access the necessary resources. This is the same principle as modern virtualization and that is how this story begins.

Internet Precursor

Licklider was rthe cloud computing and Internet precursor

In 1969 J.C.R Licklider, an American computer scientist developed the ARPANET, the precursor of the Internet. This was part of a U.S. Department of Defense project and the purpose was to communicate with and share computer resources among scientific users at some connected institutions.

How did it work? ARPANET sent information in small units called packets, and these packets were routed on different paths and reconstructed at their destination.

Multiple Virtual Systems

IBM created the multiple virtual systems useful for cloud computing

It was not until the 70s that the implementation of virtual machines became a reality. IBM released the VM operating system, which allowed executing one or more operating systems simultaneously in an isolated environment. The 70s are considered a watershed in the cloud computing history.

Virtualized Private Network Connections

Cloud computing became a concept around 1990

Around 1990, Internet became more accessible and virtualization became common for PC-based systems. Also, telecommunication companies started offering virtualized private network connections! It is said that a teacher at the University of Texas, Ramnath Chellappa, was the first person to coin the concept Cloud Computing during a conference.

Prominent Cloud Usage

Cloud computing became the new thing in companies

This technology had its boom in early 2000s when organizations started to rethink their business model and corporate solutions became a crucial need. By 2009, companies like Microsoft were delivering apps in the form of simple accessible services. And new concepts around cloud computing were created: Infrastructure as a service, Platform as a service and Software as a service.

Actual Panorama

cloud computing keeps growing at a fast pace

Cloud computing is growing and developing at a fast speed. Its benefits are extending too!  This technology helps us increase flexibility, perform disaster recoveries, have better collaboration tools, and allow employees to work from anywhere. It grew so much that by the end of 2014 the global cloud computing industry was worth more than 150 billion dollars.

What the future holds

The future of cloud computing technology promises to be amazing

Cloud computing is a technology that promises a lot and will keep evolving. It is predicted that within two years, 34% of enterprises will have 60% or more of their applications on a cloud platform. Also, 50% of enterprises will have hybrid clouds by 2018.  And that’s not all! Sophistication in networks and security will create affordable local networks that will allow us to have the cloud in our homes – something I honestly can’t wait to happen!!

To learn more about the cloud remember to read my Cloudaphobia blog post, and what my colleagues Javier Ampacun and Mario Alanis have written in this amazing blog.