Where do we start? What is this cloud computing phenomenon and why is it taking off?

We have to look back at the roots of “cloud” computing in order to answer these questions. The term “cloud computing” has been around for many years now and is now (in my opinion at least) an over used and misunderstood term.

Historically the word “cloud” was first used in the telecom industry to signify different routes calls could take between networks, therefore any calls being routed around the network could be sent many different ways and therefore calls were to be said to be “in the cloud”

Wikipedia states that cloud computing is termed as:

“a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure in the “cloud” that supports them”

There are many “cloud computing” vendors out there touting their wares at the moment, many of which are household names, many you will know provide these kinds of services, and you may not realise compete in this interesting market sector. For example, Amazon  – whilst most people think of the company as an online book selling vendor, in actual fact its IT infrastructure relies completely on its global cloud infrastructure, as do many other big companies with global web presences.

Cloud computing has only become a buzzword in the last couple of years because marketing people have jumped onto the bandwagon and made new names up for existing technology – in essence, POBox Hosting has been offering these kinds of services (all be it on a different scale) for about 5 years now – when we started playing with Vmware virtualisation products, they were in their infancy, however they still had many high availability and load balancing features in which people are now starting to shout about.

Why this article then? Are we anti-cloud computing? No! Far from it, we just want the world to gain an education.

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