The History of Cloud Computing
Although the term “cloud computing” is relatively modern, the concept of sharing resources over a network is not new, and dates back to the era of mainframe computing in the 1950s, when concurrent users were able to access a powerful central system through multiple user nodes. Since purchasing and maintaining computing capacity was so expensive, it made economic sense to share them.
The concept of virtualization was pioneered in the 1970s, where multiple virtual computers ran on a single piece of physical hardware, but that concept did not catch on early. Instead, the next 30 years were dominated by the Personal Computer.
Then around 2005, businesses around the world realized that it made more economic sense to buy shared computing resources from the cloud, because it took much less time and effort, had more capabilities and was cheaper.
What Can Cloud Do for You?
Cloud computing is a model for delivering on-demand, self-service computing resources with ubiquitous network access, location-independent resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and a pay-per-use business model. Most cloud services can be accessed through a Web browser like Firefox or Google Chrome, and some companies offer dedicated mobile apps. For most organizations, no matter big or small, the most popular services seem to be Email services such as Gmail or Office 365. In addition to that, productivity and collaboration tools like Skype and Webex seem to be a popular draw, CRM tools such as Zoho, Salesforce, and helpdesk services such as Zendesk and ServiceNow form the lifeline of any organization.
Types of Cloud Services
Almost all the major cloud service providers like Amazon, Microsoft Azure and VMware, etc. have classified their service offerings into three categories namely Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform- as-a-Service, and Software-as-a-Service.
Infrastructure-as-a-service includes providing hardware, storage, and network-as-a-service. For example, a company can sign up with a cloud provider like Amazon or Microsoft Azure and then make a choice on what type of hardware, operating system and storage it needs, and is able to access it immediately.
Platform-as-a-service is when the cloud provider also offers additional components such as databases and webserver software. And finally,
Software-as-a-service, or SAAS. Here, the cloud provider offers the business application in a pay-as-you-use model, where an organization doesn’t have to worry about what hardware or operating system the software runs on.
For example, leading providers such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft, offer the best possible security for all their products. Cloud providers also provide a wide array of tools and services, which you can use to secure your cloud infrastructure and applications. In addition, the leading cloud providers have some of the best examples of in-class infrastructure and redundancy, and are much better than anything a typical enterprise could afford to have.
Is Cloud Computing Actually More Secure?
In the recent WannaCry ransom ware attacks, Wannacry paralyzed Windows systems that did not have the latest security patches or did not have proper data backups. If the Windows systems had been on the cloud, most cloud providers provide easy tools to apply patches and the ransom ware would have had fewer victims.
When it comes to data backup, cloud storage providers like Amazon & Microsoft provide several easy options to back up your data, including version control and try to offer the best possible security for all of their products.
So yes, the chances are better of surviving a malware attack if you are cloud-enabled.
The Future of Cloud
In advanced markets like the United States, it is already Cloud First. The concept of a “Cloud First” strategy began in the US federal government and has since spread into the commercial sector. Most organizations, irrespective of size, are already looking at the cloud as the first option when it comes to deploying a new application or capability. It turns out that no one wants to build and maintain an application on their own servers or data centers, which means that enterprises across the world are waking up to the benefits of an on-demand, pay-as-you-go infrastructure.
According to Gartner, more than 30% of the 100 largest suppliers of new software investments will have shifted from cloud-first to cloud-only by 2019.
We now live in a digital economy and with the number of IoT devices growing exponentially, we don’t just access information, we consume it to make decisions in real-time. The huge volume of data generated will also need to be collected and processed in the cloud. And it’s not just servers, predictions are that end points will also move to the cloud.
What is the future prophesy for us?
- The software, applications & underlying hardware will be far beyond the horizon
- Modular software designed using CI & CD DevOps methodology will be a priority
- Low-powered processors will stimulate the decline in prices for services of cloud providers
- Data security will continue to be superior
- Cloud will make people richer
The future is here, and it is in the clouds!