Alfred's New Ramblings

Cloud services

What is this new fangled cloud services? Nothing new I will tell you, its been around since the start of computer networks, just in various incarnations.

Remember dial-up bulletin board service or BBS?  You dial up to a particular BBS to play games, chat and download ‘free’ software, usually games etc.  All this stuff is done ‘online’ by another computer with a bunch of phone lines somewhere.  Fast forward a few years to 1996 where two guys decided to a provide a free email to anyone! All you need is a web browser, usually Internet Explorer or Netscape, you get your mail on any computer.  This mail service is powered in the background by a bunch of servers.

Later on others jumped in, eg Yahoo etc.  These websites at that time were called web portals.  They provide Software running somewhere a service to you.  We now call this Cloud services.  A new technology, virtualization, made computer hardware virtual.  Soon another service called Infrastructure As A Service. You don’t need to buy real servers, just virtual servers on the Internet.  You can then remote desktop in to configure and install.  This is no different from the computer room down the hall or in a co-located data center in another country.  It just not right there next to you.

Soon other forms of services started, file storage, photo storage where you can share your holiday pics and print them (at the same time killing Kodak) etc.

It comes to a point, you have to decide, why store anything on your hard drive?  After three hard disk crashes, I don’t.  But remember in IT, backup is king.  Even Cloud Services screw up too. link link link link

Remember in the end it is somebody else’s servers.

Read more about Cloud Services in here.


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