Cloud computing exists thanks to 10 years of technological progress. And I, for one, am grateful for that progress; it’s how I’m writing this article from a plane at 30,000 feet. Specifically, I can thank three main components for the cloud : Bandwidth, Applications, and Devices…
The first is the abundance and increase in Bandwidth. This availability of increased bandwidth (widely available to offices, individuals, mobile devices, etc.) allows the movement of computing resources from a data center to an office, to an airplane, to a home, and back again. Large internet pipes allow streaming of video, Desktop as a Service (DaaS), file backup, and cause the requirement for fewer local servers, tape backups, and onsite hardwired resources to decline. Without this increase in bandwidth, online data backup, mobile photo/email attachment upload, and Netflix Streaming video would not be possible (which would make the person watching a wedding flash mob YouTube video next to me on this plane quite upset).
The second important element is the availability of Applications and software that have become available as we switch from a mainframe architecture to an increasingly web-based model. Ten years ago, we had to walk into our offices and log into our work desktop PCs to access CRM, ERP, E-mail, File Servers, and other systems. Today, many of those services have moved to a web-based Application interface. This virtualization has been a disruptive innovator to the on-premise server, much like the digital camera was a disruptive innovator to traditional film and 1-Hour Photo Booths; data has moved from a physical device to a virtual file that can move from platform to platform. For example, ten years ago you had to walk into Staples, purchase Turbo Tax, install it on your PC and start working on your taxes. Today, you log into a website and access a more feature-friendly application…all delivered lightweight over the internet. It is these advances in software and applications that allow us to run all of our computing needs out of a cloud, or remote, data center.
The last element enabling the cloud is the availability of Devices. If we’d tried to launch the cloud platform we have today ten years ago, we would not have the devices to handle it. The evolution of the iPhone, iPad and PC have catapulted the cloud evolution. Over the last 10 years we have moved to analog cellular with basic texting functionality to full blown, Active Sync capable, full web browsing, and app capable devices. The iPhones, Androids and iPads of today pave the way to storing data, business logic and media in the cloud. A great example is Google maps, an app fully relying on a cloud data source and bandwidth capabilities to provide end users with live data. This service would not be possible on the devices of 10 years ago.
Crossing 10,000 feet…time to upload, publish and power down. Let’s enjoy this exciting venture through the clouds (and feel free to watch the full webinar the above clip came from HERE)