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What is the Cloud?

Cloud - Cloud and Web terminology explained

Full Description

The first thing you should understand about "the cloud" is that it is not a physical thing. The cloud is a network of servers, which share common resources, and each resulting virtual server has a different function. Some servers use computing power to run applications or "deliver a service", while other servers in the network are responsible for storing data. For example, when you take a picture on your smartphone, it is stored on your phone's internal memory drive. However, when you upload the photos to Instagram, you are uploading it to the cloud.

So remember: "The Cloud" is a network of servers. Some servers provide an online service, like Adobe Creative Cloud, and others allow you to store and access data, like Instagram or XXL Cloud.

Chances are, you encounter the cloud daily. Every time you store information without using up your phone's internal data, you're storing information on the cloud.

Historically the cloud dates back to the 1950s. Computers were so big, they took up an entire room. Because computers (mainframes) were unaffordable expensive, organizations couldn't afford to purchase a mainframe per user. In response, they developed a "time sharing" method, which let multiple users share access to data and CPU time.

The next major event in cloud computing history occurred in 1969, when J.C.R. Licklider developed ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) in the hope that someday everyone would be able to access data and programs from any location.

Despite these early advances, the Internet didn't feature enough bandwidth to make the cloud available to the masses until the '90s.

Added: April 1st 2016, Last Update: April 22nd 2016

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