What is Cloud?
Cloud computing is using an application-based software infrastructure that stores data on multiple remote servers. This data can be accessed through the internet from anywhere. Using a front-end software, users can access data stored on these servers called cloud. The internet browser or the application that facilitates this data access is called cloud computing software.
What is Cloud in simple terms?
In layman terms, the cloud is simply a collection of servers housed in complexes and owned by different companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. The user’s data is stored on computers we don't have physical access to. This helps keep our data safe, to be retrieved any time we want to.
The process of the user storing and accessing his data and programs on the Internet instead of his computer's hard drive is called Cloud computing. The Cloud is just a symbolic reference of the Internet. Today when you sign up with any service on the internet, you have various storage space for photos and videos, Documents, etc.
Storing your data on loading software applications on your hard drive and running programs from your computer is called local storage and computing. This is good for small or individuals with limited data.
History of Cloud Computing
Many of us believe that cloud computing is something that has just come in. However, this is not the case. This is actually a very old concept. In the 50’s, many organizations started using mainframe computers to process their data. In those times mainframe computers were huge and very expensive to purchase and maintain. Any company which purchased one or two machines implemented time-sharing to improve their Return on Investment (ROI).
With time-sharing, several users could access the mainframe computer from connected stations called terminals. These terminals had no processing power of their own and were connected through network cards using IPX/SPX (Internet Packet Exchange/Sequential Packet Exchange) network protocol. This type of shared computation is the basic premise of cloud computing.
Origin of the term
The origin of the term cloud computing is not clear. The expression cloud is commonly used in science to describe a large collection of objects that visually appear from a distance as a cloud. The word cloud was used as a metaphor for the Internet and a standardized cloud-like shape was used to denote a network of computers.
The cloud symbol represented networks of computing equipment in the original ARPANET by as early as 1977, and the CSNET by 1981—both predecessors to the Internet itself.
In 2006 Amazon.com introduced the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud.
In the mid-1970s, time-sharing was known as RJE (Remote Job Entry), associated with large vendors such as IBM (International Business Machines) and DEC (Digital Equipment Corp).
In the 1990s, telecommunications companies started offering virtual private network (VPN) services which came at a lower cost but with comparable quality of service. At that time, the cloud symbol was used to denote the demarcation point between the responsibilities of the provider and the user. Cloud computing came into existence in the 2000s. In early 2008, NASA's Open Nebula became the first open-source software for deploying private and hybrid clouds, and for the federation of clouds. Microsoft Azure became available in late 2008.
In July 2010, Rackspace Hosting and NASA jointly launched an open-source cloud-software initiative popularly known as OpenStack.
On March 1, 2011, IBM announced the IBM SmartCloud framework to support Smarter Planet. On June 7, 2012, Oracle announced the Oracle Cloud.
How does cloud work?
Every cloud application comes with a host. And, the hosting company maintains the massive data centers that provide the security, storage capacity and computing power required to keep up the information users send to the cloud.
The cloud is basically a decentralized place to share information through networks.