Cloud computing timeline illustrates cloud's past, predicts its future

To understand where you're going, it always helps to look where you've come from. Cloud computing has come a long way since its inception, when Amazon was still only known for selling books and movies, Myspace was considered "cloud," and experts argued on the true definition of cloud computing -- though the latter can still be true. By delving into this cloud computing history and timeline, IT pros can learn from past ups and downs and have a clearer idea of where the cloud market is heading -- though, of course, there are always unforeseen hiccups that can alter its course, such as the PRISM scandal. This cloud retrospective aims to give a high-level view of cloud's history and question what that means beyond 2014.

cloud computing timeline

Cloud computing timeline references

The market disagrees in defining cloud: VMware jumps onto cloud bandwagon; Solution providers play advisory role in cloud computing model; Minasi says cloud computing is rife with flaws; Tech Watch: Cloud computing services

Cloud market expands as more vendors join: VMware jumps onto cloud bandwagon; Atempo, Nirvanix offer cloud-based file archiving; Up, up and away: Oracle heads for the clouds; Microsoft Azure Platform moves Windows to Compute Cloud; Google et al. pitch cloud computing to wary IT pros; Rackspace attempts to retool hosting into cloud; Red Hat CTO elaborates on lofty 'cloud' vision; VMware unveils cloud computing vision with new Virtual Datacenter OS

IT attention shifts to emerging private clouds: Microsoft positions virtualization in the private cloud; IT shops shaping 'internal clouds'; Rackspace pitches pricey private cloud

The open source cloud movement takes hold: Eucalyptus hopes to keep open source ball rolling from academia to enterprise; Rackspace and NASA launch free cloud software; Comparing open source cloud platforms: OpenStack versus Eucalyptus

Cloud computing finds its niche: Netflix now the largest commercial operation in the cloud; Seven minutes of terror in cloud performance testing

Hybrid cloud is born: Hybrid cloud computing explained; Dow Jones pushes limits of hybrid cloud; Hybrid cloud: The best of public and private clouds

Where is cloud going? HPC systems: Out of the lab and into the enterprise; Cloud across borders: Best practices for global cloud privacy and security; NSA scandal serves as mother of invention for cloud privacy industry

Editorial credits
Writer: Caitlin White
Editor: Michelle Boisvert
UX/visual designer: Brian Linnehan
Copy editor: Francesca Sales
Producer: Lindsay Chase

This was first published in December 2013

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