What is cloud computing? Am I using it right now?

What is cloud computing?  Am I using it right now?

In 2009, I first heard the term "cloud computing." I didn't understand why we would need it, since we could just use our local computers for math calculations. It wasn't until 2011 that I finally figured out what it meant. Computing is more than just mathematical operations. It also includes a wide range of tasks, such as information search, sorting, editing, summarizing, graph recognition, and AI.

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. And yes!, you are using it right now. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.
The history of cloud computing can be traced back to the early days of computing, when mainframe computers were used by large businesses and universities. These computers were very expensive, so only a few organizations could afford them. To make computing more affordable, companies began to develop time-sharing systems. These systems allowed multiple users to share the same mainframe computer, each with their own dedicated terminal.
What is cloud computing?  Am I using it right now?

In the 1970s, the development of minicomputers and personal computers made computing more affordable for small businesses and individuals. However, these computers still required a significant amount of upfront investment. To make computing even more affordable, companies began to develop cloud computing services.

The first cloud computing services were developed in the early 1990s. These services were typically offered by large telecommunications companies, and they were primarily used by businesses. In the early 2000s, cloud computing services began to be offered by a wider range of companies, including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. These companies offered a wider range of services, and they were also more affordable.

There are many reasons why you might want to use cloud computing instead of your own local computer. Some of these reasons include:

  • Cost: Cloud computing can be more cost-effective than maintaining your own on-premises infrastructure. This is because cloud providers can spread the cost of hardware, software, and maintenance across a large number of customers.
  • Scalability: Cloud computing is highly scalable, so you can easily add or remove resources as needed. This is in contrast to your own local computer, which is limited by the amount of hardware that you have.
  • Reliability: Cloud providers have a strong track record of uptime. This means that your applications and data are more likely to be available when you need them.
  • Security: Cloud providers offer a variety of security features to protect your data. This is in contrast to your own local computer, which may not have the same level of security.
  • Accessibility: Cloud computing is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. This means that you can access your applications and data from any device, at any time.

There are three main types of cloud computing: public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud.

Cloud computing is a rapidly growing field, and it is becoming an increasingly important part of the IT landscape. If you are not already using cloud computing, it is something that you should consider.

The cloud computing market is a highly competitive one, with a number of major players vying for market share. The two largest players in the market are Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

AWS was the first major cloud computing platform, launching in 2006. It has since become the market leader, with a market share of around 33%. AWS offers a wide range of cloud computing services, including compute, storage, networking, databases, analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

GCP launched in 2011, and has been growing rapidly in recent years. It now has a market share of around 10%. GCP offers a similar range of cloud computing services to AWS, and it is known for its focus on innovation and its strong security features.

What is cloud computing?  Am I using it right now?

I started using Google cloud product in 2015, including GAE, GCP, and Google SQL(like a mySQL database). In 2015, I began using Google Cloud Platform (GCP) products, including Google App Engine (GAE), Google Cloud SQL (a MySQL database), and other services. Here is a simple web application I deployed on GAE for a data visualization project using the D3.js library. The web application is a simple line chart that displays the number of visitors to my website over time.

What is cloud computing?  Am I using it right now?
Data visualization web app deployed on Google App Engine, library visitors number analysis

Other major players in the cloud computing market include Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, and Alibaba Cloud. These providers offer a range of cloud computing services, and they are all competing for market share.

The cloud computing market is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. As more and more businesses move their IT infrastructure to the cloud, the demand for cloud computing services is expected to increase. This will create opportunities for all of the major players in the market.

In terms of their status on the cloud computing platform, AWS and GCP are both leaders in the market. AWS has a wider range of services and a larger market share, but GCP is known for its innovation and security features. Both providers are well-positioned to continue to grow in the coming years.

Cloud computing offers a number of advantages over maintaining your own on-premises infrastructure. If you are looking for a cost-effective, scalable, reliable, secure, and accessible way to run your applications and store your data, then cloud computing is the way to go.

If you wonder what Google's data center looks like, click the following link to take a look:


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