So, where did cloud computing come from?The IT industry has a habit of latching onto buzzwords and applying them everywhere. "Cloud" is no exception. So, to understand cloud computing, let's ground the conversation in some definitions.
As a practical baseline for our discussion, we cite the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition of cloud computing published October 7, 2009: "Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, ondemand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
"In 2008, Amy Schurr, in an article in Network World, cited Gartner research outlining the opportunity for cloud computing "to shape the relationship among consumers of IT services, those who use IT services, and those who sell them." Ms. Schurr observed that "organizations are switching from company-owned hardware and software assets to per-use service models" and proposed that "[the] projected shift to cloud computing...will result in dramatic growth in IT products in some areas and significant reductions in other areas."