What is the Cloud? Really?

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The cloud, the cloud, the cloud. It seems like it is all anyone is talking about. It’s on TV, in movies, commercials and at your favorite big box store. So, what is the cloud? It’s simple. It’s a marketing term… What a letdown…

 

“The idea of the cloud was introduced in the sixties.”

The idea of the cloud was introduced in the sixties by J.C.r. Licklider. Since, the cloud has been around in various iterations such as hosted email, applications and data. But cloud computing hit its first notable milestone with the company, Salesforce, in 1999.  Salesforce delivers enterprise grade sales and customer management software via a simple website interface.

Multiple other milestones have come in the form of services like Amazon web services, Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Google Apps and the like.

 

“Cloud computing is simply a per-per use method for using computers or software”

In it’s simplest form, Cloud Computing is a per-per use method for using computers or software. These computers or software could be anywhere in the world. They’re owned by another entity that charges for the use of their systems. Dropbox, Office 365, Gmail, and Salesforce are examples of these.

 

“Cloud computing enables companies unable to pay for large capital expenses benefit from enterprise grade technology”

Cloud computing enables companies unable to pay for large capital expenses, benefit from enterprise grade technology on a pay per use basis rather than outlaying thousands of dollars of cash. Buying an email server can be thousands, a file server can be thousands and backup infrastructure thousands. These same services can be incredibly cheap on a pay per use basis. One email inbox can be as low as $5/month, a file sharing service around $10-15/user/month and backup as low as $20/month.

 

“Cloud computing is less about “The Cloud” or technology and more about the delivery method of the product”

Cloud computing is less about “The Cloud” or technology and more about the delivery method of the product. Think Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hello Fresh. These companies provide traditional products (Movies, Shipping and Food) as a service on a subscription basis. The cloud does the same thing but for technology and provides security, email, backup, phones and servers as a service on a subscription or pay per use basis.

 

“Cloud computing isn’t a fad”

Small Business, The Federal Government and Fortune 500 companies are all utilizing the cloud at an unprecedented rate. Cloud computing isn’t a fad. While a few years ago, some people rejected the Cloud as a passing fad, today the cloud has arrived and has been widely acknowledged by analysts and companies alike as a major force in significantly altering the entire IT landscape, from how data centers are built, to how software is deployed, to how upgrades are handled, and beyond (Oracle + Netsuite: Five Trends Transforming Cloud Computing).

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