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MICROSERVICES Authors: Michael Kanasoot, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez

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Cloud Expo: Article

The Internet Industry Is on a Cloud

Industry giants using cloud services

While almost everyone in the tech industry today seems to own a cloud-themed project, only a few would really agree on a universal definition of "Cloud Computing". Strange as it may sound, the difference of opinion is actually real. During an interview Larry Ellison, the Chief Executive at Oracle Corp. stated that he had no idea what everyone was talking about with respect to Cloud Computing.

What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud Computing, in its broadest sense, is something which is apparent to anybody who uses the Internet. Here, the information is processed and stored on computers someplace - "in the clouds" - and retrieved by different access programs to your screen whenever needed.

A curator at Computer History Museum in California, Alex Bochannek states that despite its recent hype, Cloud is one of the oldest parts of computer jargon. He also explains that for over decades, engineers actually made use of cloud services in the form of schematic diagrams for representing the sections where the various networks joined each other, with their inner working being irrelevant or largely unknown.

By the end of 1990s, Clouds almost become a metaphor for all things on the internet. The PowerPoint set made use of cloud icons in their presentations, while referring to internet as "the cloud". Subsequently, new meanings kept emerging over the past few decades as Google and other IT companies developed softwares which were capable to run on multiple servers and thus operated in a "Cloud".

Industry Giants Using Cloud Services
Marc Benioff, CEO Salesforce.com Inc. (an online business software company) understood the importance of Cloud Computing in December 2007. It was only after he read a magazine article that dubbed Amazon and Google as cloud-computing leaders that he acknowledged himself to the "Cloud Computing" term. He even admitted that their company was laggard in using the term. Later, Banioff added "Cloud Computing" in his next presentation and also rebuked his staff for not getting their company's name, "Salesforce" mentioned in the magazine along with Google and Amazon.

In fact, in full fiscal year since the time Salesforce started using the term Cloud Computing, its revenue maximized up to 44%.

The cloud-themed projects have since started multiplying, comprising of a few contractions as well. For instance, Microsoft Corp. also sells a cloud service by the name of "Azure", which is a cloudless sky. Sun Microsystems Inc. are also working on their "Sun Cloud". Apple Inc. is another one of the industry giants which is doing its own thing.

Dell Inc. on the other hand applied to trademark the term cloud computing in 2008. Though the US Patent and Trademark Office, approved the application initially, but it had to change its mind soon, in response to the outburst of criticism, that the term could not fall under the control of a single company.

More Stories By Henry Chow

Henry Chow is a managing director of an IT company – Motionwave Technologies. The company Motionwave Technologies was started in 2010. They offer IT network support to small and medium size business.

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