The Cloud, Then And Now

by Maggie McCombs, Content Curator 

If there’s one phrase that strikes fear in business people and developers alike, it’s "the Cloud." No one knows exactly what it is and how it operates, but we know how powerful it is. Cloud connects all of us -- giving us a platform to protect mission-critical information while creating a scalable, automated environment to share information and interests with each other.

The age of the virtual machine (VM)
It can be argued that cloud computing as we know it took shape in the 1970s with the birth of the virtual machine, which allowed multiple computers to live and interact simultaneously.

Defining cloud - then and now
Back in the late 1990s, Cloud was a term developers and business people started using to talk about the mysterious cloud as the gap between the user and the computer. When we think about cloud now, we still imagine something a bit nebulous but far more integrated into our everyday lives than in past decades.

Virtualization and cloud computing
Virtualization played an integral role in developing cloud computing as we know it today. "Virtualization software makes it possible to run multiple operating systems and multiple applications on the same server at the same time," said Mike Adams, director of product marketing at VMware, a pioneer in virtualization and cloud software and services. "It enables businesses to reduce IT costs while increasing the efficiency, utilization and flexibility of their existing computer hardware."

For example, Emory University’s Professor Ramnath Chellapa defined cloud computing in 1997 as the new “computing paradigm, where the boundaries of computing will be determined by economic rationale, rather than technical limits alone.” There’s no doubt that Cloud is developing for the future and people aren’t as skeptical of it anymore.

Data migration
Data started migrating from a point-to-point frame and evolved into more of a network of connected people, information and services. With more servers came fewer problems. Here’s what happened: as the price of server hardware decreased, a greater number of servers became more widely available to the public. The major shift started with a general market attitude adjustment -- as servers became cheaper, developers tried to figure out how to add more of the them to the office: combining them into a centralized computing service.

Oracle Cloud
In 2012, Oracle introduced Oracle Cloud, powered by its three business services -- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Data as a Service (DaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). A couple years later, Cloud Computing, though less refined than what we have today, had developed. There are two basic functions for Cloud -- personal and business. Individuals and businesses built their trust in cloud services and computing as they learned what it could do for them. People could collaborate on applications and documents or share music and media in a way they’d never explored before.

Cloud now
The majority of Oracle’s current Cloud sales comes from its Software as a Service business. The goal is for these SaaS providers to transition into full cloud platforms in coming years.

Cloud services are far more common than most people think. According to a 2016 article on SkyHigh Networks, the average employee actively uses 36 cloud services at work and the average business uses an average of 210 collaboration services. In their 2017 webinar, “Predictions 2018: Cloud Accelerates Enterprise Transformation Everywhere,” Forrester predicts that more than 50% of global enterprises will rely on at least one public cloud platform to drive digital transformation and delight customers.

People love doing business on the Cloud! Here’s why:
  • Customers don’t pay for what they don’t want. They can pay for exactly what they’ll use with subscription-based services. “You can see exactly what the power is costing you through the transparency of a cloud provider's interface. Another prime cost benefit of the cloud's economy of scale is the ability to scale up and down quickly, across a number of investments,” says Paul Croteau, an enterprise engineer at Rackspace, in this CIO article.
  • Cloud expedites many business projects because it’s faster and easier to work together on the Cloud. With all your important data on the cloud, you can react wherever you are to get projects moving. Automation is key in faster workflows and a case study by Embotics states that over 30 percent of administrative effectiveness is improved by increasing Cloud automation, which, in turn, speeds up processes across the enterprise.
  •  Cloud security is gaining ground on the security front with IT professionals: 64 percent of tech pros believe that using cloud over an on-premises application creates a more secure business environment, according to an article by Tripwire, supported by research from Clutch.
In other words, “If you were to look at the skill set in a single organization and compare it to another organization that specializes in a specific solution, all things being equal, you would expect the specialized company to provide the best service. This is how it is with the Cloud. The cloud vendor will have good, if not better, security and support for security than any one company,” says Cloud-Elements’ vice president of technical sales and services, Duane Tharpe.

Hearing first-hand benefits, testimonials and more with real users is the best way to learn how to use your new Oracle Cloud software. Make plans to sign up COLLABORATE 18, April 22-26. Early bird registration deadline is March 8.

Curious about the lineup of scheduled education in store for conference attendees this year? The session information is now LIVE and ready for you to start building your agenda. Stay up to date with the latest conference news by following @QuestUserGroup on Twitter and look for the official COLLABORATE 18 hashtag, #C18LV!
Posted by Quest Editor on Feb 5, 2018 4:59 PM EST