9 Great Moments in Cloud Computing History

Cloud computing is all the rage here, and our increased efforts in this space have not gone unnoticed. Our HP Helion hybrid cloud offering is continually being beefed up, most recently by our acquisition of the cloud wizards at Eucalyptus. This month, StackAnalyics.com looked at the data and reported that we passed Red Hat to contribute more code to OpenStack than any other single entity.


It’s pretty clear that the future belongs in the cloud, but do you know how we got to where we are today? Without further ado, here are 9 Great Moments in Cloud Computing History:




1970: ARPANET is created
The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense along with BBN Technologies to facilitate easy communication between universities and research laboratories in the US. The network was a success, and was deployed to other organizations and countries in short order. The rest is history. In a bit of added irony, check out MIT’s early rules for use of the network:


“It is considered illegal to use the ARPANet for anything which is not in direct support of Government business ... Sending electronic mail over the ARPANet for commercial profit or political purposes is both anti-social and illegal. By sending such messages, you can offend many people, and it is possible to get MIT in serious trouble with the Government agencies which manage the ARPANet


Good thing there’s no political or commercial stuff online nowadays!


1976: Queen Elizabeth is the first state leader to send an email
The beloved monarch sent the e-mail while visiting a technology demonstration at the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment in Malvern, England. No word on what the e-mail was about, but smart money says it was about corgis or other queen business.


1989: Tim Berners-Lee builds the first web server
Prior to servers, internet networks were managed and organized by an application layer protocol called Gopher. Gopher was a bit rigid and bottlenecks frequently occurred. Then came along Tim Berners-Lee. While working for CERN, Berners-Lee implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the Internet, thus effectively creating the Worldwide Web. This innovation was born from necessity, and involved the seemingly simple task of taking things already being used and combining them. Here’s Berners-Lee’s account of the situation that inspired this great leap forward:


“Creating the web was really an act of desperation, because the situation without it was very difficult when I was working at CERN later. Most of the technology involved in the web, like the hypertext, like the Internet, multifont text objects, had all been designed already. I just had to put them together. It was a step of generalising, going to a higher level of abstraction, thinking about all the documentation systems out there as being possibly part of a larger imaginary documentation system.”


For his work, he was knighted and given more awards than he could carry. Today he directs the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees the Web's continued development.


1997: Professor Ramnath Chellappa coins the term “cloud-computing”
Ramnath Chellappa, then an associate professor of economics at the University of Texas (Hook ‘em!), first used the term “cloud computing” in a lecture. He described it as a "computing paradigm where the boundaries of computing will be determined by economic rationale rather than technical limits."


2004: Google launches cloud based email and introduces Gmail
Gmail was initially launched in 2004 with (by today’s standards) a paltry 1 GB of storage. Today they are offering 15 GB. If that isn’t a testament to the growing popularity of cloud storage, I don’t know what is. Google today also uses the cloud to deliver an array of services like Google Docs. As a company that is ever looking forward to the future and testing the boundaries of what is possible, we’re really looking forward to what’s next from them.


2008: Eucalyptus is launched and quickly becomes a leader in cloud services
Elastic Utility Computing Architecture for Linking Your Programs To Useful Systems, or Eucalyptus, launched in 2008, and quickly became known for building immaculate private and hybrid environments that could easily be scaled up or down depending on the client’s needs. We’re obviously big fans of these guys. More on that later.


2012: HP merges its public and private cloud and introduces Converged Cloud Computing
Hot on the heels of a survey which indicated that almost one in every two enterprises had departments running non-IT-sanctioned cloud solutions, and a full 18 percent indicated they were unsure, HP launched Converged Cloud Computing. This was the industry’s first hybrid delivery approach and portfolio based on a common architecture spanning traditional IT, private, managed and public clouds. It was a success, but we weren’t done yet (are we ever?)…


May 6, 2014: HP Helion is introduced
Open. Secure. Agile. These were our goals when developing HP Helion, our combined offering of market-leading hardware, software and services for the cloud. It creates an open ecosystem with a common management structure. And it integrates easily into businesses through a wide range of delivery models. It was HP Helion, as well as our other cloud efforts, that inspired Forrester to rank us as the sole “Leader” in the private cloud market.


September 12, 2014: Eucalyptus joins forces with HP
Remember that cloud software company we talked about earlier that we admired so much? Yeah. About that; it turns out we liked them A LOT. This month, we announced that we acquired Eucalyptus. As for what this means, you’ll just have to watch us. We’ve got a lot planned, and can’t wait to roll it out. Stay tuned!


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