Infrastructures of entire businesses can now be run and managed on-line, freeing businesses from high storage and operational costs of updating systems. In everyday life, the cloud allows us to access our information from the comfort of our homes, workplaces, or the coffee shop down the street through the internet. Revolutionizing IT, cloud eliminates the guessing game of what types and sizes of new systems businesses should invest in to house and process information. So, what is cloud; cloud is ultimately freedom, freeing up time, costs, and complexity.
The History of Cloud:
Cloud today is the product of decades of development and redefinition. The first emergence of the idea of cloud was in the 1950’s. The creation of a mainframe computer, connecting multiple computer terminals (often dispersed geographically) to a centralized mainframe computer that stored and processed large amounts of data, was the first glimpse into non-local processing and storage technology. However, these first systems cost millions of dollars to own and operate. The next few decades brought the emergence of Virtual Machines (VM) and Virtual Private Networks (VPN). These systems, VMs that enable multiple compute environments to run on single pieces of hardware, and VPNs which help secure remote interactions with computers in different locations, provide the foundational technology for today’s cloud environment. First came VMs developed by tech giants like IBM, then VPNs developed by companies for privatized use. This technology soon spread to mainstream use with the term “cloud computing” coined later in the decade. The early 2000’s marked the boom of cloud use, as PaaS (Platform as a Service), SaaS (Software as a Service), and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) allowed for businesses to outsource the storage of their data. Soon subscription services like Netflix and Google Drive, allowed the public to stream content without having to download the service.
How has revolutionized how businesses operate:
Today cloud computing has simplified how businesses operate by expelling time-consuming upkeep and cutting costs. The ability to outsource complex and costly systems gives companies the freedom to focus on developing new services and technologies, instead of focusing on how to maintain their infrastructure. This allows startups to focus on developing their service instead of spending money on operating their own in-house systems.
Cloud computing also eliminates the expense of businesses having to update their systems as technology evolves. Thanks to outsourcing in the cloud, IT departments no longer have to spend time and money updating and maintaining these systems. Expensive IT teams can be reduced or replaced with the outsourcing of this upkeep to a cloud sourcing company.
Regarding emerging technologies, cloud computing has sparked an age of subscription-based services that can be accessed anywhere. This has completely changed the
entertainment industry and how we are able to communicate with each other. Services like Netflix and Hulu allow for film and television to be stored on the internet and accessed without having to download mass amounts of data. Where we once had to download a movie locally on a computer, we now can watch hours of television without using the storage on our devices. Cloud has also changed how we communicate with each other. Services like Zoom and Skype let us speak face to face with others without taking up storage from the high definition video.
Finally, the cloud has revolutionized how we are able to store our own data and produce work. Services like google drive allow us to produce work, collaborate and exchange information through a service that stores our work automatically to the internet. With services like these, we can work on a presentation from our phone, create documents from the comfort of our homes, and access our information anywhere and anytime.
Starting out as an expensive but promising idea in data storage technology, the cloud is now the agent that enables us to do work more inexpensively, and simply. With the cloud, freedom to access data from anywhere has changed how businesses operate and how we use data on an everyday basis.