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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Windows Azure and the "Cloud Computing" story(Part1)

I first heard the phrase "cloud computing" on one of my visits to my friend and mentor, Yinka (i visit him from time to time and we discuss information technology generally,we also argue on certain issues. Yinka works with a top notch IT solutions provider in Nigeria). at that time even He didnt have a clear-cut idea of what "cloud computing" was all about.

If you'v had your IT ear to the ground in the last 2 years, you would have heard the phrase "cloud computing" used in  place/collaboration with SAAS(Software-as-a-service), PAAS(Platform-as-a-service), IAAS(Infrastructure-as-a-service), and more recently, Windows Azure.
The concept of cloud computing is this;consider a company  XYZ( irrespective of size),XYZ can have their applications, databases, security/certificate servers located OUTSIDE XYZ complex/group of complexs.

let me paint a clearer picture, if a user in XYZ wants to use a spreadsheet /word processing software, he can simply connect to XYZ's "cloud", use the application, save changes back to the "cloud". now the cloud here represents an internet-facing  datacenter managed by IT solutions providers that specialise in rendering such a service. 

As for the origin of the term “cloud computing”, there are a few possibilities…

In May 1997, NetCentric tried to trademark the “cloud computing” but later abandoned it in April 1999. Patent serial number 75291765.

In April 2001, the New York Times ran an article by John Markoff about Dave Winer’s negative reaction to Microsoft’s then new .Net services platform called Hailstorm (if you want a laugh sometime, ask a Microsoft Azure person about Hailstorm). It used the phrase “‘cloud’ of computers”.

In August 2006, where Eric Schmidt of Google described there approach to SaaS as cloud computing at a search engine conference. I think this was the first high profile usage of the term, where not just “cloud” but “cloud computing” was used to refer to SaaS and since it was in the context Google, the term picked up the PaaS/IaaS connotations associated with the Google way of managing data centers and infrastructure.

Much like “Web 2.0″, cloud computing was a collection of related concepts that people recognized, but didn’t really have a good descriptor for, a definition in search of a term, you could say. When Schmidt Google used it in 2006 to describe their own stuff and then Amazon included the word “cloud” in EC2 when it was launched a few weeks later (August 24), the term became mainstream. People couldn’t definite it exactly, but they roughly knew it meant SaaS apps and infrastructure like Google was doing and S3/EC2 services like Amazon was offering.

On my next post we'l explore the relationships between cloud computing,SAAS,PAAS,IAAS,windows Azure.watchout for  WINDOWS AZURE and the CLOUD COMPUTING STORY(PART2).

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