The Cloud Turns 50

Read a brief but interesting article this morning by Denise Miano entitled, “Computing in the Cloud is Trendy — but is it really the next new thing?”

Denise brought up some great points and did a great job defining some of the attributes, benefits and definitions of the cloud.

As she pointed out the fundamental concept of the cloud was derived from “timesharing”, conceptually introduced in 1957 and first suggested in 1961 by Stamford Professor, John McCarthy.

The Auerbach Guide to Timesharing 1973 edition lists 125 different timesharing services using equipment from Burroughs, CDC, DEC, HP, Honeywell, IBM, RCA, Univac and XDS. Think about how many of these computer companies are no longer in business.

So it appears we have gone full circle. Timesharing (the cloud), to centralized with everything on your laptop or desktop and now we are heading back to the cloud. (Ross Perot would be proud).

Of concern is what I call “all your eggs in one basket”. If your laptop fails, and you have not backed it up, the loss can be devastating. But you control whether you do back-ups and the frequency.

It may be because I was young when timesharing was in its heyday but I don’t remember the term computer virus. What could a lethal virus do?

I do remember computer bug however, but not virus. For those of you under 40 a little about the first computer bug, which in fact was a real bug.

In a pure cloud environment, what control do you have? What is your cloud providers strategy for disaster recovery? What are your liabilities?

Certainly questions you should ask.  Are our heads in the cloud on this?