Decoding the Cloud Computing timeline
Digital transformation and cloud services are buzzwords of the twenty-first century. In fact, the full potential of cloud computing as we know it today, was only realized in the last decade. Cloud principles, on the other hand, have a long, interesting, and lesser-known history, dating back to the 1950s and mainframe computing.
Back then, mainframe computers were massive machines that were expensive to purchase and operate. While this may have been a bit of a setback, computer technology was destined to change the world, leading to advancements in cloud technology in the decades that followed.
With the advent of the Internet, businesses began renting out virtual private networks, which eventually led to the development of digital cloud computing technologies in the 1990s. At the time, the infrastructure was made up of a series of small data centres, managed as a single cost centre. On the other hand, early cloud infrastructure consisted of a collection of massive data centres, where infrastructure was positioned as the corporation instead of a cost centre. In this scenario, costs were reduced significantly by the scaling multiplier, resulting in widespread adoption of infrastructure as a service (IaaS).
Today's digital cloud technology takes advantage of convergence by using custom hardware and software. Vertical integration enables extraordinary improvements and a better user experience in the digital cloud, as digital specialists and businesses deal with the latest issues of unprecedented size and availability. The infrastructure is flexible, straightforward and user-friendly, allowing for quicker implementations and innovations due to its consistent framework.
Cloud Computing – timeline in a nutshell
- Introduction to computers, provided for timesharing by IBM and DEC, in the 1960s
- Emergence of the first VM, developed by IBM, 1972
- First use of Cloud as a symbol, 1977
- Advent of internet and world wide web, 1991
- Telecommunication companies started offering VPN and other online services
- The word cloud was first tossed by Ramesh Chellappa, 1997
- Incorporation of Salesforce and VMware, 1999
- Launch of Amazon Web Services by Amazon, 2002
- Launch of App Engine by Google, 2008
- Launch of Microsoft Azure by Microsoft Corporation, 2010
Outlining the trends and patterns of a public cloud
A public cloud is a computing architecture in which a cloud provider makes computing services available over the internet, thereby delivering scalability and resource-sharing, which would be impossible for a single corporation to achieve. In this way, IT resources are now available at our fingertips, anytime, anywhere.
Necessity is the mother of invention. With the global pandemic pushing companies to change their IT and application strategies radically, this has only fast-tracked the migration of core IT to the cloud. The shift to remote working was smooth and intuitive for some digital-native businesses. Since their setups were partially or entirely dependent on cloud technology, their workforces were able to maintain business continuity with relative ease. However, for many, this was not only difficult, but impacted business operations like never before.
The result was a huge demand for cloud-based services because of the rapid change.
As reported by CRN, Microsoft's Teams services saw a 775% increase in usage in the first few weeks, while Zoom saw a 354% increase in company use compared to the same period last year.
Cloud has emerged as the champion amid these unlikely times. It has proven to be the underlying robust and undeniable technology that is crucial to every business plan by simply being the key enabler in the future of AI, machine learning (ML), edge and 5G.
This is the reason why choosing the right public cloud provider is a critical decision for businesses. Although most decision-makers are aware of the major cloud players—AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure — they are still uncertain about how to decide which one is best suited to their business. A good thumb rule to refer to is that there is no “one size fits all” or cookie-cutter approach. Every organization’s requirements will differ, as will their business goals.
Although many businesses may find it tough to rethink their internal business models and digital investments, the financial impact of going digital with the cloud must be weighed.
Beyond business benefits
Some of the most compelling reasons why you should consider moving to the cloud are listed below. The most prominent one is that the cloud is not just a digital transformation engine, but a business continuity technology too. Additionally, here are some key drivers that it can bring to your business:
- Advanced cyber resources and solutions, to help with security incident reduction
- Seamless database modernization, including migrating data from legacy databases to new databases and managed databases
- Data lake to consolidate information scattered across datacenters and/or the cloud to achieve transparency and enable data analytics
- Multi-cloud to escape vendor lock-in and get the most out of their cloud providers
- Scalable apps with built-in load balancers employing containers and Kubernetes to manage and expand worldwide applications efficiently
- Faster time to market with Cloud DevOps and agile methods
As businesses focus on artificial intelligence, analytics, IoT, and edge computing to remain competitive in the market and stay ahead of the competition, they need to be cognizant of the investment needed on business and financial levels if they are to embrace and optimize cloud solutions. While it may be a significant cost investment at the onset, cloud allows them to use serverless operations to save money and have more flexibility in server maintenance.
Read my first blog in this series and watch out for the next installment to learn more about how to zero in on the cloud platform best suited for your business.