Then & now: A history of cloud computing

So, a little history of cloud computing. The “cloud” has been a hot topic for quite some time. In fact, the idea of an”intergalactic computer network”  was introduced in the late sixties. However, since there was no World Wide Web, there were natural limitations to expansion.

Once the internet started to have significant bandwidth in the nineties, the idea of cloud computing took off and the visionaries of Silicon Valley immediately took notice. The late Steve Jobs was an early adopter of the cloud and mocked the use of hard drives, calling them “byzantine”. Shortly thereafter, Salesforce.com offered enterprise applications via a simple website. This paved the way for Amazon and countless others to deliver applications over the internet.

However, it wasn’t until 2009, when the Web exploded with sites that emphasized user-generated content the cloud really took off. That’s when Google and others started to offer browser-based enterprise applications, through services such as Google Apps. But even then, even when used, many were befuddled by clouds and apps. It’s ok if you were scratching your head as well because you are in good company, the former chairman of Oracle, Larry Ellison agrees:

“The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do. I can’t think of anything that isn’t cloud computing with all of these announcements. The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?”

Whether or not we fully understand the intricacies of the cloud and its applications, the reality is we are all using cloud computing here, there and everywhere. We use it at work for email, file storage and backup. We use the cloud for IM, social media and entertainment. And, the list goes on.

So, with our entire life up in this nebulous cloud, the latest chapter in the history of cloud computing saga has people wondering whether or not their data is safe. Aside from being intangible, celebrity data breaches as well as those at Sony, and just recently the White House make you wonder—just how safe is my information up there? The reality is there have been been significant advancements by the way of security since the birth of cloud computing fifty years ago. Online storage services are now password protected and offer file encryption as well as authentication to keep your data secure. In fact, industry experts think the cloud is the safest place to be:

“Cloud computing is often far more secure than traditional computing, because companies like Google and Amazon can attract and retain cyber-security personnel of a higher quality than many governmental agencies.” Vivek Kundra, the former federal CIO of the United States

As a technology firm, specializing in business continuity solutions, we rely heavily on the cloud-based solutions and recommend them for our clients for many reason. Here are the top 5.

  1. It helps to protect your data, which is your business. Computer failure and data loss are bound to happen, and when they do the effects can be devastating. Having a backup in the cloud is like an insurance policy, which will save a lot of aggravation and money when a technology outage occurs and data is lost or systems go down.
  2. Convenient access to files. Storing files on the cloud allows you to access them from anywhere that has internet. This is perfect for collaborating with employees across the globe and provides a central location that all of your important data will be stored and accessed from.
  3. You get a lot of bang for your buck. Backing up your data on a cloud file server is one of the cheapest ways to secure your important files and records. 
  4. Backup service is automated. It’s time-consuming to make multiple backups of files. When you use a cloud backup provider, they take care of all of that for you. Of course, you still maintain control over your data and decide what needs to be kept.
  5. The cloud allows for an extra level of security. For example, if a nature disaster such as a flood or fire renders your computers and server unusable, you will still be able to recover the data that was stored on the cloud file server.
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While the history of cloud computing is still being written, we know it will continue to transform the way we live and conduct business well into the future. We would love to hear from you. Tell us your history with “the cloud”.

Tracy Rock is the Director of Marketing at Invenio IT. Tracy is responsible for all media-related initiatives as well as external communications—including, branding, public relations, promotions, advertising and social media. She is one busy lady and we are lucky to have her!

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