We will only take a brief look at the history of cloud computing in this course. If you are interested in more details, we refer for example to the Wikipedia page.

The 1950s

Early forms of cloud computing were mainframes and connected clients. So-called “dumb-terminals” (clients) that lacked local storage were used to connect to a local server, or “mainframe”. Today, the Chromebook uses the same idea of using a very simple device to connect to a remote server which provides computing and storage capacity.

The 1990s

Scientists and technologists explored ways to make large-scale computing power available to more users. A technique called “time-sharing” was used to achieve this. Algorithms were developed to optimize CPU usage and increase efficiency for end users.

Salesforce.com, founded in 1999, was the first successful example of providing software-as-a-service (SaaS). Salesforce is a CRM tool for sales executives providing features like managing customer details, running promotions etc.

The 2000s

Cloud computing comes into existence, and many services for cloud computing are launched.

In 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was one of the first to provide storage space and computing resources according to the cloud computing model. AWS provides online services for businesses to help meet their demands in regards to computing, storage and more. The most well-known amazon services are Amazon EC2 (for computing services) and Amazon S3 (for storage). AWS is now one of the biggest cloud computing providers.

In early 2008, OpenNebula became the first open-source software for deploying clouds.

In 2008, Microsoft Azure became available. Azure provides a development platform as a “pay-per-use” billing model. Around the same time Google Cloud Platform starts providing a very similar service.

The 2010s

In July 2010, Rackspace Hosting and NASA jointly launched an open-source cloud-software initiative known as OpenStack. The OpenStack project intended to help organizations offer cloud-computing services running on standard hardware. NeCTAR also uses the OpenStack framework.

In 2011, IBM announced the IBM SmartCloud framework.

Mid 2012, Oracle announced the Oracle Cloud. This cloud provides users with access to an integrated set of IT solutions, including the SaaS, PaaS and IaaS services.