In the beginning of the development of computers, they were more similar to the Cloud than the personal computers and laptops that come to mind today. Large cabinets full of basic electronics passed digital information along their circuits to perform mathematical operations that could be done by a wristwatch today. What they lacked in power was made up for by their network of cooperation. Although the networking technology did advance along with the hardware, the advent of personal computers was far ahead of it; computers became smaller and more widespread, but networking was still relegated to militaries and universities.
What we know as the Cloud was born along with the development of the Internet and its associated protocols. The simple ability to consistently send messages from one computer to another enabled communication, but it would need a few years to grow and develop in order to begin scratching the surface of its true potential. The first infrastructures provided as a service were the Internet service provider’s (ISPs) themselves and companies that used their servers to host client websites or content – early examples being GeoCites and forums like Delphi.
A World in the Clouds
It took the combination of faster Internet speeds, the growing sophistication in computer hardware proceeding at breakneck speeds, and the advancement of programming into the realms of virtualization for the Cloud to become worthy of its recognition and capitalization. Now, the brilliant computers of today could communicate as fast as the different parts of the computers of yesteryear while being nowhere near each other.
Storage of massive amounts of data on Cloud hosts like Dropbox and Amazon equate to renting space on a grand supercomputer’s hard drive. You can get 5 Gigabytes of Cloud storage from Amazon Web Services for free, while the first computer memory came at a steep $10,000 per Megabyte. Amazon’s range of services is probably the most comprehensive example of what the Cloud is, offering up networking, computing, database storage, security, and content delivery. The rest of the pack is following in their example, including notable names like AT&T, Google, and Verizon alongside lesser known but no less competent tech companies such as Rackspace, ENKI, and Terremark.
A Weather Forecast
Devices are continuing to not only shrink but also become more sophisticated and refined for a purpose. Technology, while difficult to design, is easy enough to produce that this year’s models will depreciate in value at staggering speeds until it becomes nearly ubiquitous. The trend is easy enough to see with the spread of smartphones that have revolutionized the way people communicate and organize their lives, although the first model of the iPhone was released just 8 years ago, on June 29, 2007.
As the Cloud itself becomes more widespread and easier to share, the cost of implementing complex IT infrastructures will be reduced entirely to managed Cloud subscriptions on the pricing level of the website hosting of today. While the prices should drop and the technology should become more powerful, that’s no reason to not utilize the power the Cloud already has.
Katrina in addition to her work with rack solutions Katrina has a video series featured on Youtube called “ask Katrina” that aids in answering your IT needs.