Insight into cloud technologies: past, present, and future
You may not know what cloud technologies mean, but you almost certainly use them when going on the Internet. Chatting on Facebook, listening to the music on iTunes, or creating a new file on Google Docs, we deal with various clouds. Let’s puzzle out what they are, how they function, and why they have become a progress driver for modern web technologies.
Cloud technology definition
Сloud computing, or cloud technology, is a model for providing a network access to the complex of computing resources (servers, apps, networks, storage systems) that require users’ minimum control and support efforts.
If you use the cloud, you do not require either a powerful computer to launch programs or a large hard drive to store data. All of this can be done on the server, while your device is just an access point. Currently, owners of basic PCs are able to work with graphics programs, play games with excellent graphics, watch any movies, and form media centers for thousands of tracks using clouds. That is why experts describe сloud computing as a revolution in Internet technologies.
Such modern operating systems as Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, recent MacOS and IOS are also based on cloud technologies. Besides, an IT giant Microsoft spends up to 90% of its research budget on cloud computing. Therefore, this pattern will be applied more and more widely in the near future.
Development and integration history
Earlier concepts of clouds, which were unknown under this name then, dated back to 1960. John McCarthy and Joseph Licklider offered to use computing capacity as public utility elements.
In 1999, one introduced the first CRM system available for users after subscribing to the website: it was called Salesforce.com. The next one was Amazon.com, an online bookstore back then: in offered an access to computing resources via the Internet in 2002.
The term ‘cloud’ was firstly used by Eric Schmidt, the head of Google, in 2006 as a metaphor for the remote system hiding all technical details. The definition was rapidly parroted by mass media and trendsetters in the IT sector. 2006 became the start of cloud technology fast development.
Three types of clouds
Cloud computing models are usually divided into three types:
- SaaS, Software as a Service. Users work with apps functioning within the cloud on the provider’s infrastructure. For example, it can be image recognition services based on neural networks: online editors of texts or pictures. And, of course, everyone knows about cloud storage: Google Disk, Yandex Disk, and Dropbox.
- PaaS, Platform as a Service. Users can enter their apps on the provider’s platform: using provider’s hardware and tools. Platform examples: Windows Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google App Engine.
- IaaS, Infrastructure as a Service, It is a program access to computing capacity and storages, as well as network resources. The example is server hosting.
Cloud technologies is a possibility to use IT resources and pay only for the volume you consume. Thus, сloud computing allows companies to grow more dynamically and better adapt to market needs.