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Cloud computing - what it is and how it has evolved

Many years ago Internet Service Providers (ISP's) and internet hosting companies languished in profits when users used the ISP's servers and hosting services to hold emails and files. At that time, these services were simply known as FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and just plain email (or POP3 email) services.

During the noughties (2000-2009) or the oo's (ooh's) some may call it, Microsoft, developed their server systems and brought us newer technologies that allowed small and medium enterprises to host their own mail and filing systems, in the form of Microsoft Servers or Microsoft Small Business Servers (SBS), running Microsoft Exchange and Sharepoint services.

This left many an ISP with little joy as they saw their profits from hosting, eroded by users and enterprises migrating away from their hosted services and starting up their own Microsoft server systems.

So the question was, how do the hosting companies get users to come back to their hosted systems, which they have spent years and many dollars building.

A lightbulb moment occurred and now we have CLOUD computing.

Cloud computing is really nothing new when you think about it, hosted email systems offsite and hosted file systems offsite, it is essentially the old FTP system and email hosting that the ISP's used to provide, all over again.

Innovative companies such as Google, Dropbox, Picasa etc, have improved the interface between these old services and built an easy to use, easy to view, and sometimes, automated synchronizing system that allows users to move their files in a simple and efficient manner between their PC's and the internet, something they learned from Microsoft (during the days when PC's were difficult to use, Microsoft created Windows and made computing easy), so Google, Dropbox and others have made the transfer of files between the PC and the internet or their cloud file servers, easy.

Though this is a simplistic view on what cloud computing is and how it has evolved, it is quite a logical evolution of the system we once knew and hated because of how difficult it was, but are starting to love because of how it has grown in terms of ease of use. Though this is the case, do I endorse the use of Cloud computing? That is a thought for another time.


Unknown said…

Thanks for sharing this nice post.

According to me, Cloud computing is a term that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet. Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to use applications without installation and access their personal files at any computer with internet access.
PROCEED_Tech said…
Hello Hindera. You nailed it in the first paragraph of your comment, it is 'hosted services over the Internet'.

I was merely pointing out how they have managed to re-attract users to an older system by evolving the services such as the online applications you speak of e.g. Word processing on the run etc.

They basically improved the interface and added functionality to these hosted systems that makes our dependence on them easier to achieve, just as Microsoft did years ago by creating an interface which nearly every enterprise in the world is dependent on - Windows.

Though it is true that it is now easier for us to do word processing and such on the run with nothing more than an Internet connection, even writing this blog, but in my view, there will still be times when an installed application outweighs the ability of these hosted applications (i.e. writing complex equations into an Excel spreadsheet or modifying architectural drawings etc), and the need to download your files, modify them, and upload them again will (for now), still be a part of our everyday tasks.

I think the Cloud should be viewed as a complement to our current networks and ICT systems (rather than a replacement).
Great reading, thanks! Sometimes I just happen to stumble over info that arrives in a timely manner.
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