Posted March 30, 2009 by Jasmine Antonick
Amy Wohl released a book called, “Succeeding at SaaS: Computing n the Cloud” inwhich she defines cloud computing and well, what it takes to build and deploy apps in thecloud. As the term Cloud Computing itself is in a state of constant state of evolution, so is Amy’s book. It’s available for PDF download
, but this cloud pundit was nice enough to share an excerpt:
Originally, Cloud Computing was a vague term for a very vague and distant future inwhich computing would occur in a few remote locations without the need for very muchhuman intervention. Infinite computing resources would be available for any need atcosts approaching zero. Certainly, users wouldnot need to know or care about how the computers, their software, or the network functioned.
In the real world, physical computing progressed differently…
We cycled between periods when computing was more centralized (and seemed moreremote and less accessible to users) and other periods when computing was right on user desktops. No one was ever satisfied. Centralized computing failed to give users enoughcontrol and was too inflexible.Distributed computing made every user his own system administrator and was veryinefficient.In the last few years, as the cost of a unit of computing power has continued to decrease – but the cost of humans with the skills to implement and manage computer systems hasnot – the vision of centralized computing has returned. It has taken several turns. Somecomputer scientists have suggested (and experimented with) a vast Grid of computers,attached via the Internet, whose power can be combined for large-scale tasks whenneeded. In some cases, very large computing systemscan be part of these grids for specialized tasks. Others have suggested a computing Utilitywhich would provide just as much computing power as an organization needed, on an ondemand basis, much like electricity.Eventually, as large web users such as Google and Amazon built out enormous datacenters for their own purposes, they realized that they could permit others to access these“clouds” of computing power at relatively attractive prices. The Cloud computing era began.