Cloud computing. It’s the idea that the content from all of your (and your class’s/company’s/family’s) devices can be held in virtual servers over the Internet. This seems simple enough, but as cloud computing has become THE data storage method, the technology and terminology surrounding it has become much more intense and, soon enough, that happy image of your songs and files sitting in the fluffy clouds has been replaced by a storm of confusion.
As anyone who has sat through a talk from the IT department about “the benefits of service commerce platforms as opposed to SaaS” can attest, cloud computing can be a little confusing. But it is ultimately a really rewarding IT development to be across, even if it is only for dinner table conversation. To help you out, here are 6 things you didn’t know about cloud computing:
Cloud Computing dates back to the 1950’s!
Well, sort of. Early CPU systems relied on data storage units called ‘dumb terminals’ and the process of sharing the operation of different CPU units through these terminals was called ‘time-sharing.’ But cloud computing as we know it didn’t really kick off until the late 2000’s, with the first private cloud firm, Eucalyptus, opening in 2008.
SaaS means sassy
Okay, it doesn’t mean sassy. But ‘SaaS’ is an expression you see used a lot in relation to cloud computing. It basically means that software is hosted on ‘the cloud’ and then accessed externally by users. From a user perspective, it means that there are no licensing fees for using software. Which, is pretty sassy thinking, don’t you think?
Once you have a cloud, you can turn it into your own workspace
Behind the mist of the cloud there is a world of possibility. This is because of something called Platform as a Service (which, strangely enough, is rarely referred to as PaaS.) By using Platform as a Service, you can build your own applications while running on the cloud provider’s infrastructure.
Or even into a shop
One of the latest developments in cloud computing is in service commerce platforms. This form of online store means that your customers interact with your merchandise (buying, selling, browsing) through the infrastructure in the cloud.
You can get a cloud with an entourage There has been a recent trend towards managed clouds, away from the self-service model of public clouds that has dominated the market for the past few years. This is a move from IT companies who typically exist in the managed hosting world (i.e. a traditional form of content hosting) to enter into the cloud
game. These all-encompassing services mean that you can receive cloud space, as well as administrative assistance, from the same provider.
It hasn’t even started yet
With so much research being done into this crazy new world of data hosting, be prepared to sit through many more talks from the IT department about the wonders of cloud computing.
Frances Ward is a writer from Sydney. She has a love of IT and can’t wait to see what cloud computing will do to the landscape.