Cloud and Wine

Tagged as: cloud

Cloud is the buzzword… Is this old wine in new bottle ? Not really.

Servers and server based computing existed long ago. In the days of Mainframes, monolithic servers were the norm. Users used to access them using “dumb” thin clients.

This changed with the emergence of Desktop computing – PCs and Macintosh. Most of the computing moved to user side, most of us having our own desktops and these desktops were powerful enough to handle many of the day to day tasks, typical of those were word processing. Lot of applications came up on those desktops. They offered great utility with rich user experience. One missing thing was these machines were not connected enough with each other.

Slowly internet emerged. We started taking advantage that these desktops could be connected. Servers came back again but desktops stayed on. Servers offered valuable services to us and more and more such services came up – we called them “websites”. We used internet browsers to access these websites. One loss compared to those special purpose desktop applications, were the loss of richness. Browsers offered a minimal application capability – You could do everything a desktop application could do. May plugins like Adobe flash, offseted these capabilities until recently where with the emergence of HTML5, browsers could now do rich applications. These applications now are rich and connected. Slowly we now are in best of both words: “connected and great user experience”

More and more applications started moving to the internet offering services through browsers and now through various devices though great user experience “apps”. Internet speed increased. Economy of scale brought down the costs. Storage too started becoming cheaper. This brought in a plethora of great internet applications. Servers couldn’t handle the load. We made larger servers and finally the grand old distributed computing is back in the form of “cloud”.

Cloud is nothing but multiple small machines working towards a common goal – A cloud of computational servers. It didn’t stop there – We started seeing connected and collaborative network storage. So here it is – Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS), offering compute and storage as a service as you need. Many other “platform services” came up like common sign-0n, distributed databases etc – Platform As a Service (PasS), offerring lot more than infrastructure.

So Cloud is not just old wine in new bottle. It has a lot of new wine too !

Tagged as: cloud
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