Week 47 – Post #2 Cloud Computing: The Basics

Where did the idea of cloud computing come from?

Dating back to the Early 60’s, well before the conception of the World Wide Web (we can talk about the internet’s history another time), the idea of time sharing data processing was conceived. By the 70’s there was functional platforms such as Multics and Cambridge CTSS. But not until 1994 was the term “cloud” coined by David Hoffman who worked for General Magic. The idea of cloud computing was to allow more users access to large scale computing from a program that can use a multitude of devices, rather than a singular device utilizing the program.

What is cloud computing and why has it become so popular?

A cloud is a resource for users to store data and perform computing processes without the hassle of purchasing and configuring the hardware that would be necessary to perform such tasks. As data to carry out daily business operations like eCommerce, multimedia platforms, or engineering design platforms steadily increases in capacity, so to does the requirement for faster processing and larger data storage capable computer hardware. Your typical laptop computer does not hold these capabilities, it instead utilizes them by uploading and downloading data via the internet. So what kind of hardware creates a cloud? Enterprise IT infrastructure hardware, which we sell on our website!

Is cloud computing more affordable than managing your own data center?

The major catch with going to a hosting company to manage your data is that there are no up front costs. You do not have to purchase and own any infrastructure, nobody to configure the systems, install them, ship them, and of course maintain them. Most hosting companies use a geographically widespread network of data centers to limit bottlenecking and ensure high speed webservice and content delivery.

With that said, you are always going to pay for the luxury of convenience. Cloud computing is like leasing a nice car. It is easy and convenient, but you don’t actually own it. If you are ready for an immediate upgrade to a nicer car, you will have to pay a consequence. If you drive it too much and go over your mileage maximum, you get hit with another premium. So it depends on just how much data you/your company needs and whether or not you will have to scale it often. There are other solutions to data storage that could save you money in the long run, like colocation data centers. Colocation data centers are highly secure facilities where companies share resources like power, rackspace, wiring, security, etc… and house their data infrastructure. More on that next week!

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