dimanche 16 octobre 2011

Cloud Computing in 1996

Since the sad death of Steve Jobs, a lot of articles were written about him and about famous figures that revolutionized the computing industry like Bill gates and others. These figures are described as men with a vision, a power to see or modify the future. Among them, I was mostly amazed by one of them: Larry Ellison the co-founder and  CEO of Oracle. I was watching a 96's documentary "The triumph of the nerds", which talks about the rise of personal computers, where he was interviewed and asked about the future of PCs. Larry Ellison believed that the PC will be replaced with a cheap device he calls an information appliance which will access information and computing simply by connecting to giant computers via the Internet. Figure well that the Internet was just beginning to boom those days. The CEO of Oracle says: 
"I hate the PC with a passion. Me going down to the store and buying Windows 95, I've got to get into my car drive down to a store buy a cardboard box full of bits you know encoded on a piece of plastic CDROM and you bring it home and read a manual install this thing - you must be kidding you know, put the stuff on the net - it's bits, don't put bits in cardboard, cardboard in trucks, trucks to stores, me go to the store, you know, pick the stuff out, it's insane. OK I love the Internet - I want information you know it flows across the wire."

Did you guess what he was speaking about? Cloud Computing, yes, in the 1996s!

Thanks to the vision of this man, Oracle is now a major player in the cloud computing industry with an offering covering SaaS products and PaaS/IaaS enabling technologies. He is also a major shareholder in several SaaS providers, like Salesforce.com and NetSuite.

This is what I call a vision! although its as simple as applying traditional economic laws to computing. According to Wikipedia, Its seems that the underlying concept of cloud computing has be thought of by a computer scientist called John McCarthy in the sixties when he opined that computation may someday be organized as a public utility.For example, it is cheaper for a company to pay for the services of a mail service provider than building its own army of mail men to deliver its mails! it is the simple phenomenon of pooling resources and specializing businesses.