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  • Adam Walter

A Brief Intro to the Cloud

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It’s like a friend whose name you should know, but it’s a little awkward to ask if you don’t.

You may pretend like you completely understand how the cloud functions or how it came to be, but chances are, you’re a bit confused about what the cloud truly is. And you’re not alone! Many people have questions.

To fully understand the cloud, you have to look back to the beginning.

Starting in the 80s, IBM allowed remotely centralized data and was a common, key element in connectivity. This mainframe was very expensive and was mainly used by bigger businesses. Although this model was limited to only text and difficult to use, it was fast and you could operate the whole system from the keyboard. The main problem with this system was the fact that there weren’t pop-ups or instructions on how to best use the mainframe. It was not conducive to the communications that they had at the time.

This led to the mainframe 2.0. This model moved back towards the way things used to be, but it looked totally different. This new system allowed data to live on personal computers, and put power into the user's hands while still getting the mainframe experience. The problem with this system was that the data became unorganized and lived in multiple areas which muddled and confused the information.

Thus enters the early 2000s with the .com bubble! During this time, people began to create websites and share data at extraordinary rates. This allowed users to research data at any time and find information much easier and in more variety. This came at a cost. All data living on these computers were not backed up and there was no way to restore the information. In entered data centers, and the main system became centralized again.

2004 was a crazy year of technological advancement with VMware. VMware would run any system from any hardware, which allowed data to be moved from one computer to the next with ease. So if your computer died, you could easily move your important data to the next. This created reliability and an easier way to back up information.

VM gave the ability to centralize data while spreading it out and keep it available. Here’s a simple way to look at it.

Imagine your company and your employees. If one of your employees leaves, you have to train a new person and help them learn the ropes. Now imagine if you didn’t have to train your employees anymore, you could just give all the previous employee’s knowledge and abilities to the new person. This is what VMware started, and where the cloud got inspiration from.

Now this is only a brief introduction into where the cloud originated, but what does this mean for today, and how does the cloud truly help us? Check back next week for the second episode of this four-part series to find out!

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