The history of cloud computing and how to understand it right

How the term "cloud computing" appeared, and why cloud computing is different from other forms of computing?

Cloud computing, also known as virtual server computing, is a computer model that utilizes computer technology and is based on the Internet. The term "cloud" is metaphorical to the Internet (based on its layout in the computer network diagram) and as a connotation of the complexity of the infrastructure contained within it. In this computing model, all possibilities related to information technology are provided in the form of "services", which allow users to access technology services from a certain provider "in Cloud" without the knowledge or experience of that technology, or caring about the infrastructure that serves that technology.

According to the IEEE Computer Society, it is a pattern in which information is stored permanently at servers on the Internet and is only temporarily stored on client servers, including personal computers, entertainment center, business computers, handheld computers... Cloud computing is a comprehensive concept that includes other concepts such as software services, Web 2.0 and other emerging issues, emerging technology trends, in which the major theme is Internet-based problems to meet user's computing needs. For example, the Google AppEngine service provides regular online business applications that can be accessed from a web browser, while software and data are stored on servers.

The term “cloud computing” was born in mid-2007 not to mention a new trend, but to outline the direction of the information infrastructure that has been going on for several years. This concept can be simply explained: enormous computing resources such as software, services, and services will reside on virtual servers (clouds) on the Internet rather than on home computers and Office (on the ground) for people to connect and use whenever they need it. With the services available on the Internet, businesses do not have to buy and maintain hundreds or even thousands of computers as well as software. They just need to focus on their own business because someone else is taking care of their infrastructure and IT instead. Google, by nature, is among the most prolific virtual server advocates because their business is based on the delivery of virtual servers. The majority of Internet users have access to popular cloud services such as e-mail, photo albums and digital maps.

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History

The term “cloud computing” originated in the Grid Computing application in the 1980s, followed by Utility Computing, Autonomous Computing, and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Grid computing focuses on moving a workload to the location of the computing resources needed to use it. Grid computing is a form of distributed computing in which a virtual supercomputer resides, which consists of a collection of single computers linked together and coordinated to perform extremely large tasks. This task can be broken down to perform in parallel on the single computers of that computer set.

Utility computing is a mass of computer resources such as memory and processor as a separate and specific service that is similar to traditional technical infrastructure such as electricity or telephone networks. It is also known as a collection of connections, services and software built around a computer network, located somewhere in the world and called the "cloud." The cloud-based remote workflow service enables users to access computer centers that own powerful configurations. With only low-end PCs or PDAs, users have access to huge data centers and computing centers with the services they need to maximize their work. Effectively use resources and / or minimize associated costs. Utilities are block computing resources, such as computing, archiving and other services, just like a measurement service. For that very reason, cloud computing was originally described as on-demand computing.

A simple example to clarify the definition of cloud computing: Before the year 2000, users would have to buy a license, a CD to install a personal computer such as accounting software, address management, telephone numbers, staff management… This trend proved to be quite effective. With just a few operations, users can find the necessary information about a certain employee or the address and phone number of an individual. However, all data is stored on the main PC, so the flexibility of these services is not high unless the user owns a laptop. No one does this nowadays. Just a PDA or a personal computer with internet connection, an individual user can search for the needed information stored somewhere on the internet. There are many services on managing personal information, internet email that users can exploit such as Yahoo mail, Gmail, Facebook.... Companies now no longer have to buy software licenses for employee management, financial management... nor have to invest heavily on configured computers to host the company's data. Instead, the company simply pays for service, more specifically, all software for employee management or financial management – which has been installed by a service provider at an electrical center. Servers with large memory capacity are also installed by the service provider and the company can be hired to store corporate data.

Autonomic Computing is a system that is capable of self-operating, managing, and handling problems that occur during operation. Cloud computing is seen as a natural next step in the development of these models. Today's cloud computing systems are autonomous and capable of handling large tasks such as grid computing, and specifically address a requirement such as computing on demand.

With cloud computing, computing resources such as servers can be dynamically allocated or shredded from the base hardware infrastructure and become ready to perform tasks, supporting non grid computing environments like three-layer Web running traditional applications or Web 2.0.

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Comparison

Cloud computing is often confused with grid computing, on-demand computing or autonomous computing. Where is the difference between them? Grid computing is a form of distributed computing in which a virtual supercomputer exists, consisting of a collection of single computers linked together and coordinated to perform extremely large tasks. These tasks can be broken down to perform parallelism on the single computers of that computer set. Utility computing is a mass of computer resources such as memory and processor as a separate and specific service that is similar to traditional technical infrastructure such as electricity or phone network. Autonomous computing is a system capable of self-operating, managing, and handling problems that occur during operation. Cloud computing is seen as a natural next step in the development of these models.

Today's cloud computing systems are autonomous and capable of handling large tasks such as grid computing, and specifically address a requirement such as computing on demand. Many successful cloud architectures have less-or-less infrastructure or marketing systems, including peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent and Skype, or volunteer computing such as SETI@home.

By: Hugh Wright

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