Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Shared Services and Cloud Computing

Greetings from the CSIRO Discovery Centre, where I am attending an Australian Computer Society presentation on "Shared Services and Cloud Computing". This is a popular topic, which has drawn a larger than usual audience. As a designer of multi-user applications running on shared large scale leased bureau computing services several decades ago, I have difficulty seeing what is new about "cloud computing".

Issues of elastic scalable and secure applications running on a shared computer system existed long before cloud computing. The Wikipedia's definition is:

Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet).
About all that seems to be new is the use of the Internet as the network, the large scale of the servers used and the number of different servers involved.

The Wikipedia points out that:
The underlying concept of cloud computing dates back to the 1950s; when large-scale mainframe became available in academia and corporations, accessible via thin clients / terminal computers. ...

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