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Cloud computing basics

Cloud computing is no longer in the future. It is happening now

Cloud Computing is a revolutionary, now increasingly standard type of Internet-based computing. There is nothing mysterious or etheric about it. Cloud computing is no longer in the future. It is happening now.

Critical breakthrough

For a half century, companies bought their own machines for data processing. The revolutionary shift towards Cloud Computing began over 10 years ago, when IT engineers discovered how data and software could be distributed efficiently across multiple servers for collective use. This solved the persistent problem of stand-alone servers requiring greater than normal usage capacity to accommodate surges in demand. By linking machines together into a larger “virtual” Cloud-based system, the surge problem was solved, freeing significant capacity.

  • In June of this year, The New York Times posted an extensive article entitled “The Era of Cloud Computing.” One prediction stood out: “Industry analysts at IDC figure that if largely cloud-based things like mobile apps, big data, and social media are counted, over the next six years almost 90% of new spending on Internet and communications technologies…will be on cloud-based technology.”
  • There is now widespread consensus among experts that “The Cloud is transforming how we sell, market, communicate, collaborate, innovate, train, and educate.”

The inevitability of Cloud computing

In recent years, major improvements in processing power and bandwidth have ensured Cloud Computing’s Internet dominance. –These factors, combined with the breakthrough in distributed capacity, make Cloud Computing inevitable. The keystone benefit, of course, is dramatically reduced cost for data storage, now as low as a penny a gigabyte on Amazon Web Services (AWS). That is about one-hundredth of its cost when AWS began.

This is amazing, because a price collapse like this is about 600% faster than predicted by Moore’s Law, a rule in computing that predicts the same cost yields twice the speed/capability every 18 to 24 months.

In my next blog installment I will provide specific examples of how this new technology is adding unprecedented value to business and our personal lives.

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