Cloud computing is not something that every layman can understand immediately. But give them some examples from their day to day lives (iCloud from Apple) and they will be able to relate to it somewhat. For instance, think of it as a facility to store all your data and programs over the internet instead of the local drive in your computers or other devices. Similarly, you can access the same data and programs stored from any device other than the one you used to store them. This ‘anywhere and anytime’ access of data is the foundation of Cloud computing.
This particular technology is not something that was developed only recently; in fact, it has evolved gradually in a number of phases over a span of several decades.
The formative years
Without much ado, let me get straight to the point. Salesforce.com was one of the earliest pioneers of cloud computing, based on delivering enterprise applications through a simple website. This was way back in 1999. Circa 2002, Amazon started Web Services in this year, which included a number of cloud-based services such as computation and storage. Again, in 2006 the same firm launched EC2 – a commercial web service that can be seen as the first widely accessible infrastructure service using cloud computing.
The trends today
From 2009 onwards, many big names in the industry like Google and Microsoft started offering various applications, which were web-based. This coincidently was the time smartphones and similar virtual devices were evolving rapidly left, right and center. Today, you just need to look around and you will easily get numerous applications that provide an excellent, intuitive UI on desktops as well as mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. These include but are not limited to – DropBox, Amazon, Google Drive, SkyDrive, SugarSync to name a few. Also, I mentioned iCloud in the introduction itself, which is one of the best examples to know how popular it is in this era.
Many of them are not just cloud computing examples but something hybrid as they enable you to store and access data on your local drive as well as on a virtual drive. The buzzword here is ‘shared resources’ or resources that a number of people can benefit at a given point of time.
BYOD(Bring Your Own Device), Web powered apps, Graphics as a service, Software as a service, Platform as a service are some of the major trends that have cloud computing in their core. There have also been some significant innovations that have led to the boom of mobile cloud computing. All these have in turn encouraged numerous other sectors out of which web development services need a special mention.
So, what does the future hold?
As of now, the future of this technology looks bright and promising to put it into really simple words. With new and improved versions of mobile devices’ software and hardware and also the network capabilities, you can be assured that the graph of cloud computing technology is all set to remain on the higher side. Also, there will be scope for improved security and the numerous mobile apps that will bring numerous features and functionalities to the table for end-users. Oh, and before I forget, there will be even more enhancements in terms of the user-interface as well.
I have pretty much covered what all a layman needs to know about cloud computing. For more information about the same, you can do some more research on the web. If you too have some points to cover on the same, you can leave us a comment. Here’s to cloud computing and the immense potential that it holds. Cheers!