Understanding The Basic Principles Of Cloud Computing

The simplest and most accurate description of cloud computing, however, is the process of saving your organization's data...

The Evolution Of Cloud Computing

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Understanding The Basic Principles Of Cloud Computing


Cloud computing is a concept that has earned many definitions over the years.

The simplest and most accurate description of cloud computing, however, is the process of saving your organization's data, programs and files on the internet instead of your computer's memory bank of an external hard drive.

In this case, stored information is accessed via the internet rather than your computer's local disk.

'Cloud' is simply just a fancy name for the internet.

Cloud computing can be compared to grid computing. This is a form of computing where the idle processing cycles of all the computers linked to a network are used to solve tasks that are too advanced for one machine.

The Evolution Of Cloud Computing

When the concept 'cloud computing' is mentioned, a lot of people erroneously believe it to be a development that was introduced in the 21st century.

However, nothing can be farther from the truth.

What will come to be known as cloud computing was first introduced in the late 1950s and this came in the form of mainframe computing.

This enabled multiple users to use dumb terminals to access a central computer whose sole purpose was to allow users access to the mainframe.

However, due to the expenses involved in purchasing and maintaining mainframe computers, a lot of organizations could not afford one for each employee.

Also, the average user did not need the processing power and storage power that the mainframe afforded them.

At the time, the storage capacity of these devices was large in relation to the files that were supposed to be contained in them.

That led to the race to develop a system that would enable users to have shared access to a single resource. This would go a long way in reducing the cost of operations of IT at the time.

That led to the creation of virtual machines (VMs) in 1970.

Through the use of virtual software like VMware, users could now work on more than one operating system simultaneously in one physical environment.

The newly developed VM operating system allowed users to utilize multiple computing environments in an isolated environment. This development was an important part of the evolution of communication and information technology.

The first major step in the development of what the modern day users can readily identify as cloud computing was made by salesforce.com.

In 1999,the company introduced a mind blowing concept into the IT industry, at least it WS mind blowing for its time. It allowed users ro deliver enterprise applications through a simple website.

The next step came with the launching of Amazon Web Service by Amazon in 2002.

All these developments were not so popular in the mainstream market. That changed with the introduction of Google Docs in 2006.

This was the development that pushed cloud computing into the focus of the media and thus, into the consciousness of the general public.

In the same year, Amazon introduced Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). It was a commercial web service that was set up to allow individuals and small companies to purchase or rent computers which they can them utilize in running their own private computer applications.

A year after, there was a large scale, industry-wide collaboration between IT giants Google and IBM and some universities in the United States.

Eucalyptus was developed in 2008 and it became the very first open source platform to be compatible with AWS API. It was used for deploying private clouds.

When OpenNebula was developed, it became the first in the line of open source softwares to deploy private and hybrid clouds.

The mega company, Microsoft entered into the cloud computing market in 2999. It did so by launching Windows Azure in November of that year.

Now, we have a countless number of cloud computing systems.

 

In the preceding parts of this article, we mentioned that cloud computing is the process of storing data on online resources.

However, limiting cloud computing to just data storage does not do any justice to what this amazing technological development is capable of.

Some of the other functions and uses of cloud computing include:

Private Cloud And Hybrid Cloud

Private Clouds can be described as data centre architectures that are run by a single company.

It is mostly employed for in-house functions. This provides the company with scalability, provisioning, monitoring, automation and flexibility of valuable data.

The main aim of a private cloud is not to drive sell to customers but rather to employ it for the control of an organization's data centre.

Since this is the case, it is not usually advisable for small or medium scale businesses to run one. The cost of maintenance the system incurs can only be balanced by large business enterprises.

Hybrid cloud on the other hand uses a combination of private cloud, third party and on-premises.

It allows the user to shuffle workloads between public and private clouds. It affords enterprises space for more data deployment options and greater flexibility.

Simply put, a business can use an on-premises private cloud for the storage of sensitive and important data while using a third-partt public cloud provider for the storage of less important data.

Data Backup

There are many problems with using external or internal storage devices for hosting data and sensitive content.

These drives run the risk of running out of storage space and they can easily get damaged due to any of a number of unforseen circumstances.

If you use cloud based backup, you don't have to worry about any of this. There can never be issues with capacity, security or availability of the storage drive. All you have to do is log into the internet and you have all your saved data at your fingertips.