Origins of Cloud Computing

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Cloud computing, today has become a big term and used more than ever before all over the world. It provides on demand shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices via the Internet. But like everything else, even cloud computing has an origin to it, which is not too old actually. Let us go through the beginnings of cloud computing.

How the term ‘Cloud Computing’ originated is still not clear, but it is referenced first in the year 1996. Whereas, the usage of the word, Cloud was first in the networks of computing equipment in the ARPANET in the year 1977. But, apart from the term, the technology had a bit older origins. It is in the decade of 1950s that the mainframe computing was started; in this, multiple users were able to access a central computer through the dumb terminals.

Then in the decade of 1970s, the concept of Virtual machines began, using softwares like the VMware. This took the mainframe computing technology to the next level, as now we could permit many distinct computing environments to be on one physical environment.

Then came the 1990s decade, where the telecommunication companies started to offer the virtualized private network connections to the people. This was another step in the direction of cloud computing. Following are the steps showing the predecessors of cloud computing:

Grid Computing which used parallel computing to solve large problems.

Utility Computing which offered the computer resources as a metered service.

The SaaS, which is the network based subscriptions to the applications.

Finally the Cloud Computing.

The success of the VPN connections by the telecommunication companies to the users made more people interested in this field, and further explorations began. In this 21st century, the first few years were a bit quiet but then in the year 2006, in August, Amazon introduced the Elastic Compute Cloud. Thus, opening the floodgates for the modern Cloud Computing applications. The success of this EC2 made other companies start planning their own Cloud Computing things.

In 2008, the OpenNebula from NASA was the first open source software, for the private and hybrid, and for the federation of clouds. Microsoft announced their ‘Azure’ in October 2008 and released on 1 February 2010, with the name, Windows Azure. It was on the Top500 supercomputer list for a while. NASA and Rackspace Hosting jointly announced and launched an open source initiative of cloud software called as the OpenStack. All these open source cloud softwares garnered a lot of attention including the OpenNebula and Ganeti.

To support SmarterPlanet, IBM announced in the year 2011, the IBM SmartCloud framework. And in June 2012, Oracle announced the Oracle cloud. And with the Google Computing Engine in 2012, most of the major companies had their own cloud computing softwares in operation.


Cloud Computing is really very good and advantageous to all. It had a good beginning and is raring to become the next big thing in the IT field in the world.

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