Cloud Computing – Important Events till 2010


Have you ever wondered where did the term “Cloud Computing” originate? When did the hype around cloud start? Who are the people responsible for the idea of utility computing?

The evolution can be split into 3 phases:

  1. The Idea Phase – this started in the 1960s and stretched to the pre internet bubble era. The core idea of computing as a utility computing and grid computing developed.
  2. The Pre Cloud Phase – this started around 1999 and lasted till 2006. In this phase internet as the mechanism to provide Application as Service got developed.
  3. The Cloud Phase – this phase started in 2007 when the term cloud computing term became popular and the sub classification of IaaS, PaaS & SaaS got formalized.

1960s – Evolution of the core concept of Cloud Computing

J.C.R. Licklider
He is considered by many to be the person who brought the idea of cloud computing to the forefront.
John McCarthy
He opined that “computation may someday be organized as a public utility.”
Douglas F Parkhill
He publishes the book “The Challenge of the Computer Utility”. Almost all the modern-day characteristics of cloud computing (elastic provision, provided as a utility, online, illusion of infinite supply), the comparison to the electricity industry and the use of public, private, government and community forms was thoroughly explored .

1990s – The concept of the Grid

Ian Foster and Carl Kesselman
They published the book “The Grid: Blueprint for a New Computing Infrastructure”. The analogy used was of the electricity grid where users could plug into the grid and use a metered utility service. The Grid describes how networks of computers can be made to cooperate and be brought to bear on computationally intensive tasks.

1997

Ramnath Chellappa – first known academic use of the term “Cloud Computing”
The first scholarly use of the term “cloud computing” was in a 1997 lecture by Ramnath Chellappa where he stated that “…computing paradigm where the boundaries of computing will be determined by economic rationale rather than technical limits alone…”.

1998

Data Protection Act of UK – Long term implication for cloud computing
The act describes the legal obligations all organizations in the U.K. have in terms of handling data. The act covers such areas as data collection, data storage and data sharing. The act itself is “policed” by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). The act covers both electronic and paper data storage.

1999

Salesforce.com – pioneer in SaaS CRM
On hindsight this proved to be proved to be a turning point in the history of cloud computing.
VMware – virtualization for x86 system
They introduced virtualization to x86 systems to address many of these challenges and transform x86 systems into a general purpose, shared hardware infrastructure that offers full isolation, mobility and operating system choice for application environments.

2000

Grid Computing – Takes off in academic circle
First IEEE conference held on Grid Computing held in Bangalore, India.

2001

SIIA – the first known use of the term SaaS
Software & Information Industry Association in a white paper uses the abbreviation SaaS and equates it to Application Service Provider (ASP).

2002

AWS – Precursor to IaaS
Amazon.com launched its Web services initiatives, allowing customers to integrate its vast online content with their own Web site. These web services expanded over time to cover computing facility on demand.

2003

Nicholas Carr – IT Does Not Matter
He published an article in Harvard Business Review titled “IT Doesn’t Matter” and followed up with couple of books titled “Does IT Matter” and “The Big Switch”. The basic proposition is that IT is becoming commoditized and becoming utility like electricity and water.

2004

Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty – The concept of “The Web as Platform”
The first Web 2.0 conference is organized in San Francisco the theme is “The Web As Platform”.

2005 – The year when nothing much happened around cloud!!

2006

Amazon EC2 & S3 – Launch of IaaS
Amazon launched its Elastic Compute cloud (EC2) as a commercial web service that allows small companies and individuals to rent computers on which to run their own computer applications. Launch of S3 – What’s interesting about S3 is that they used the pricing model of “pay-per-use”. This has now become the de facto standard for cloud computing pricing.
Google Apps – Office suite as SaaS
Google Docs brought cloud computing to the forefront of public consciousness.

2007

Force.com – PaaS
Salesforce launches Force.com, their Platform as a Service offering.
Google Trend – Interest in Cloud Computing picks up
Interest in Cloud Computing picks up. Google Trends show a steady increase in interest starting third quarter of 2007.This may be triggered by the white paper on cloud computing released IBM which talks about efficiency and innovation that can be achieved through cloud computing.

2008

Google App Engine – PaaS Offering
The pricing was aggressive with a free entry level plan and low cost computing and storage services.
Eucalyptus – Open Source platform for Private Cloud
They become the first open source AWS API compatible platform for deploying private clouds.
Gartner Hype Cycle – Cloud Computing finds a place
Cloud Computing is mentioned first time in Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. It is cited as a technology of transformational importance expected to mature in 2-5 years. By the year 2009 it has reached the “Peak of Inflated Expectation”. In 2010, it has started descending towards the “Trough of Disillusionment”. Also, it is shown as two different technologies:

  • Cloud Computing
  • Cloud and Web Platform

2009

Windows Azure – BetaThe launch of Azure is a key event in the history of cloud computing with the largest software company making a small but significant shift to the web.
Amazon AWS – Becomes auto scalableAmazon adds manageability, auto scalability and load balancing feature.

2010 – The Year of No Major Breakthrough!!!

Amazon AWS
Several improvements were announced which included EC2 Spot Instance, EC2 Cluster Compute Instance and PCI compliance and ISO 27001 certification.
Google App Engine
Many improvements – no major feature addition
Microsoft Azure
Commercial version was released.
Salesforce.com
Acquired Heraku to add Ruby – Platform as a Service to its list of offering.
Cloud Computing Trend – Minus the Hype
Comments
3 Responses to “Cloud Computing – Important Events till 2010”
  1. There is certainly a great deal to know about this topic.

    I love all of the points you have made.

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  1. […] Joseph Licklider, who is considered by many as the person who brought the idea of cloud computing to the forefront also said something similar – “…People tend to overestimate what can be done in one year and to underestimate what can be done in five or ten years…” [See Wikia]. […]

  2. […] you look back at the important cloud computing events you will find that nothing of much significance had happened in 2010. The same can be said for the […]



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