Cloud Computing

What is cloud computing and where did it come from?

According to rackspace.com, "Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction." (Kepes). Essentially, this definition means that certain companies provide comuting services over the internet for a fee, but in order to fully understand the cloud, we will have to understand where it originated from. The initial concept of cloud computing began in the 1950s with centralized mainframes. Multiple users could plug into dumb terminals on these mainframes in order to access storage and other applications simultaneously. Sometime in the 1970s the conecpt of virtualized machines (VMs) was created, allowing users to host different computing environments on one device, further expanding the reach of computers. By the 1990s, virtualized private network connections were being offered and employees of a company began to be able to share access to certain storage and applications as long as they were connected to the same network. Today, large companies such as Google and Microsoft have entered the cloud business and offer free or inexpensive cloud services to customers ranging from storage to applications such as Google Sheets.