Timeline of cloud computing

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This is a timeline of cloud computing, attempting to describe significant events in the history and development of the technology.

Big picture

Time period Development summary
1950s Cloud concepts develop as a gradual evolution starting with mainframe computing.[1] Organizations start using an increasingly complex and ever-changing system of mainframe computers to process their data. In the early days, mainframe computers are huge and prohibitively expensive.[2][3][4]
1960s The Cloud computing concept dates back to the early 1960s.[5] The initial concepts of time-sharing become popularized via Remote Job Entry.[6] This terminology would be mostly associated with large vendors such as IBM and DEC.
1970s Computing development accelerates and the concept of the virtual machine becomes popular. This is the idea that two distinct computing operations can exist simultaneously on one piece of hardware.[7][8] The concept of having potential customers have everything (all their facilities) connected on the same network, becomes a revolutionary idea during the decade and the next one.[5] Mainframe computers become a thing of the past.[4]
1980s New, less expensive, and compact hardware components are invented. With this, every company start investing to buy their own hardware and maintain it themselves. Data centers' popularity decreases. With the introduction of client/server architecture, companies start purchasing inexpensive systems which are as useful as the traditional mainframe systems.[7]
1990s The idea of the cloud becomes reality.[5] Telecommunications companies, who previously offered primarily dedicated point-to-point data circuits, begin offering virtual private network (VPN) services with comparable quality of service, but at a lower cost. The cloud symbol starts being used. Cloud computing extends its boundary to cover all servers as well as the network infrastructure.[9] The mid-decade sees the advancement of the internet being connected to huge numbers of personal computers, rather than just business ones. Both computers and a wired internet connection become cheaper until the average home can have one without financial difficulty.[10] During the second half of the decade, companies begin to gain a better understanding of cloud computing and its usefulness in providing superior solutions and services to customers while drastically improving internal efficiencies.[11]
2000s After the dot-com bubble burst in the early-decade, companies such as e-tail giant Amazon.com Inc. play a key role in the development of cloud computing.[12] Along the decade, internet power increases due to high-speed broadband, and the companies again replaces the remote computing systems with web services.[7]
2010s The latest availability of high-capacity networks and low-cost computers, together with the widespread adoption of virtualization and service-oriented architecture, lead to the version of cloud computing we know today, and a model that is constantly evolving.[12]

Full timeline

Year Event type Details
1950s Concept development Mainframe Computing develops, and along with it the idea to link computers together over great distance for a mixture of scientific and military purposes.[10]
1955 Concept development American computer scientist John McCarthy creates a theory of sharing computing time among an entire group of users.[2][13]
1961 Concept development John McCarthy suggests in a speech at MIT that computing can be sold like a utility, just like water or electricity.[14][15]
Mid-1960s Concept development American computer scientist J.C.R. Licklider presents an idea for an interconnected system of computers.[2]
1966 Concept development Canadian technologist Douglas F. Parkhill publishes The Challenge of the Computer Utility, which predicts that the computer industry would come to resemble a public utility “in which many remotely located users are connected via communication links to a central computing facility.”[16]
1969 Concept development Making use of J.C.R. Licklider's idea, American Internet pioneer Bob Taylor and American engineer Larry Roberts develop ARPANET, (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network).[2] which is considered the precursor of the Internet. With this creation , the concept of cloud computing develops.[10][17][18]
1970s Concept development Bill Gates says, “No one will need more than 637 kb of memory for a personal computer.”[19]
~1970 Concept development The concept of virtual machines (VMs) is created.[1] "Using virtualization software like VMware. It become possible to run more than one Operating System simultaneously in an isolated environment. It was possible to run a completely different Computer (virtual machine) inside a different Operating System."[20]
1972 Background IBM releases the first version if its VM operating system, a family of IBM virtual machine operating systems used on IBM mainframes System/370, System/390, zSeries, System z and compatible systems.[2][18]
1977 Concept development The cloud symbol is used to represent networks of computing equipment in the original ARPANET.[21]
Early 1980s Background The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) launches an initiative to build a national backbone network that would be based on transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCIP/IP).[17]
1981 Concept development The cloud symbol is used by the CSNET.[22]
1982 Background The first Ethernet adapter card for the IBM personal computer is released, introducing fast, inexpensive connections that would enable cloud computing.[23]
1986 Background A National Science Foundation Network project creates network access to the supercomputer sites in the United States.[17]
Late 1980s Background Commercial Internet Service Providers (ISPs) begin to emerge.[17]
1990 Background The online internet becomes visible to all when computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invent the World Wide Web. In doing so, Berners-Lee links hypertext documents to an information system, making it accessible from any node on the network.[17] The giant connecting concept finally gets enough computers attached to it and the connection of those machines together create a massive, interconnected shared pool of storage that won't be possible by a single organization or institution to afford.[24]
1993 Concept development The term cloud is used to refer to platforms for distributed computing when Apple spin-off General Magic and AT&T use it in describing their (paired) Telescript and PersonaLink technologies.[25][17]
1994 Concept development The term 'cloud' is pioneered by Apple spin-off General Magic, an American software and electronics company co-founded by Bill Atkinson, Andy Hertzfeld and Marc Porat.[17] The use of the cloud metaphor is used for virtualized services. Andy Hertzfeld in Wired Magazine comments on Telescript, General Magic's distributed programming language:
"The beauty of Telescript ... is that now, instead of just having a device to program, we now have the entire Cloud out there, where a single program can go and travel to many different sources of information and create sort of a virtual service. No one had conceived that before. The example Jim White (the designer of Telescript, X.400 and ASN.1) uses now is a date-arranging service where a software agent goes to the flower store and orders flowers and then goes to the ticket shop and gets the tickets for the show, and everything is communicated to both parties."[26]
1995 Infrastructure as a service IaaS provider iland is founded.[27]
1996 Concept development References to the phrase "cloud computing" appear with the first known mention in a Compaq internal document.[28][17]
1996 Software as a service SaaS company CallidusCloud is founded.[29]
1997 Concept development Professor Ramnath Chellappa is often credited with being the person who coined the term “cloud computing” in its modern context, at a lecture he delivered in the year. He defines it then as a “computing paradigm where the boundaries of computing will be determined by economic rationale rather than technical limits alone.”[30][31]
1998 Organization Cloud computing company NetSuite is founded.[32]
1998 Organization American cloud computer company Rackspace is founded.[33]
1999 Organization Salesforce.com is founded in San Francisco. It is the first company to offer businesses applications over the internet, heralding the arrival of Software as a service, soon to become commonly known as SaaS.[10] . The arrival of Salesforce, considered a pioneer in cloud computing, enables Software as a Service product.[5][17][3]
2000 Cloud gaming The first cloud gaming demonstration happens at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.[34]
2001 Platform as a service OutSystems is founded. It is a low-code development platform for the development of enterprise web and mobile applications, which run in the cloud.[35]
2001 Software as a service The United States Department of Agriculture links XML soil survey data with GIS, an early example of using software as a service to link devices across the Internet.[23]
2003 Background Web 2.0 arrives, expanding web capability. Videos, music and other multimedia can be hosted and delivered online resulting in greatly increased popularity, as well as massively expanded horizons in terms of what web designers can achieve.[10][10]
2003 Platform as a service Private application PaaS software WaveMaker is launched.[36]
2003 Xen is released and creates a Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) also known as a hypervisor, a software system that allows the execution of multiple virtual guest operating systems simultaneously on a single machine.[20]
2004 Infrastructure as a service Joyent is founded. The company specializes in application virtualization and cloud computing.[37]
2005 Platform as a service Cloud content management and file sharing service Box is founded.[38]
2005 Infrastructure as a service Cloud computing provider SoftLayer is founded.[39]
2006 Platform as a service Fotango, a London-based company owned by Canon Europe launches the world's first public platform as a service known as "Zimki".[40]
2006 (March) Infrastructure as a service Rackspace Cloud is launched.[41]
2006 Infrastructure as a service The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud is introduced as an IaaS that lets organizations contract for computers to run their applications.[5] The term "cloud computing" is popularized with this release.[42][24]
2006 Infrastructure as a service New Zealand-based software firm GreenButton is founded.[43]
2006 (August 9) Concept development Google CEO Eric Schmidt introduces the term "cloud computing" to an industry conference. “What’s interesting now is that there is an emergent new model, (..) I don’t think people have really understood how big this opportunity really is. It starts with the premise that the data services and architecture should be on servers. We call it cloud computing—they should be in a “cloud” somewhere.”[44]
2006 (August) Organization Amazon creates Amazon Web Services as a subsidiary to provide on-demand cloud computing platforms, and introduces its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).[45][17]
2007 Concept development The "Cloud Phase" starts when the classification of Infrastructire as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), and Software as a service (SaaS) get formalized.[46]
2007 IBM begins to develop a strategy for cloud computing, announcing that it plans to build clouds for enterprise clients and provide services to fill what it regards as gaps in existing cloud environments.[47]
2007 Platform as a service Container-based cloud (PaaS) Heroku is founded.[48]
2007 (October) IBM announces a partnership with Google to promote cloud computing in universities. In addition to donating hardware and machines, the two companies also provide a curriculum to teach students about cloud computing.[49] [18]
2007 Platform as a service Apprenda is founded as an enterprise Platform as a Service.[50]
2007 Organization Dropbox is founded. It offers cloud storage and personal cloud, among other services.
2007 Organization Netflix launches its video streaming service, using the cloud to stream movies and other video content into the homes of eventually millions of subscribers worldwide.[18]
2008 Concept development The term "cloud computing" comes into popular use.[16]
2008 Organization Cloudera is founded. It provides a software platform that runs in the cloud.[51]
2008 (April) Platform as a service Google releases Google App Engine,[52] allowing developers to host web applications in its managed data centres.[17]
2008 Infrastructire as a service NASA's OpenNebula, enhanced in the RESERVOIR European Commission-funded project, becomes the first open-source software for deploying private and hybrid clouds, and for the federation of clouds.[53][54] It is the first open source software for deploying private and hybrid clouds.[31]
2008 (May 29) Infrastructire as a service Eucalyptus is released. It is the first open source AWS API compatible platform for deploying private clouds.[31]
2008 (middyear) Concept development Global research and advisory Gartner sees an opportunity for cloud computing "to shape the relationship among consumers of IT services, those who use IT services and those who sell them".[55] and observes that "organizations are switching from company-owned hardware and software assets to per-use service-based models" so that the "projected shift to computing ... will result in dramatic growth in IT products in some areas and significant reductions in other areas."[56]
2008 Concept development Gartner begins to discuss the rise of cloud computing, claiming that it would become 'as influential as e-business'.[17]
2008 Application The United States National Science Foundation begins the Cluster Exploratory program to fund academic research using Google-IBM cluster technology to analyze massive amounts of data.[57]
2008 Infrastructure as a service VMware launches vCloud, a public cloud computing service built on vSphere.[58]
2008 Infrastructure as a service CtrlS is founded in India.[59]
2008 (November) Infrastructure as a service Object-based cloud storage platform EMC Atmos is released.[60]
2009 (March) Cloud standard Open Cloud Computing Interface is released as a set of specifications delivered for cloud computing service providers.[61]
2009 (March 7) Platform as a service AppScale is released as a serverless platform for building and running scalable web and mobile applications on any infrastructure.[62]
2009 Concept development Oracle's founder Larry Ellison describes cloud computing as 'water vapour' and asserts that it's just "a computer attached to a network".[17]
2009 Google releases Google Apps, bringing cloud computing into common usage.[10] Google and others start to offer browser-based application via Google apps and other apps.[24]
2009 Growth Cloud computing begins to dominate the start-up and enterprise market at the end of the year.[10]
2010 Platform as a service Microsoft releases Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing service created for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centers.[63]
2010 (February 16) Infrastructure as a service Australian IaaS provider OrionVM is founded.[64]
2010 Rackspace and NASA pioneer a free Open-source software platform for cloud computing.[17]
2010 Platform as a service Cloud computing company GreenQloud is founded.[65]
2010 Policy The General Services Administration announces it will use cloud computing as primary means for hosting the government’s official information portal, USA.gov.[23]
2010 Cloud robotics The term "Cloud Robotics" first appears in the public lexicon as part of a talk given by James Kuffner at the IEEE/RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robotics entitled "Cloud-enabled Robots".[66] Since then, "Cloud Robotics" would become a general term encompassing the concepts of information sharing, distributed intelligence, and fleet learning that is possible via networked robots and modern cloud computing.
2010 Platform as a service CloudBees is founded. It provides a PaaS to build, run, and manage web applications.[67]
2010 Policy The U.S. Office of Management and Budget issues "cloud first" mandate, requiring agencies to identify three services to move to the cloud and retire associated legacy systems.[23]
2010 (October 1) Infrastructure as a service FUJITSU Cloud IaaS Trusted Public S5 is released as a cloud computing platform that aims to deliver standardized enterprise-class public cloud services.[68]
2011 Platform as a service Cloud services provider Jelastic is founded with the purpose to provide Java, PHP, Ruby, Node.js or Python developers with an easy way to setup application environments and deploy applications quickly.[69]
2011 (March) Organization Zadara Storage is founded. The company develops enterprise cloud storage software and hardware that offers file, object and block storage solutions for businesses.[70]
2011 (June) Cloud standard Networked Help Desk is launched.[71]
2011 (June 24) Infrastructure as a service American cloud infrastructure provider DigitalOcean is founded.[72]
2011 platform as a service Red Hat releases OpenShift, a cloud computing platform as a service.[73]
2011 Organization Cloudian is founded as a data storage company.[74]
2011 Platform as a service Cloud Foundry is released. The open source software provides a common platform for building applications that run in the cloud.[75]
2011 Policy The U.S. General Services Administration moves 17,000 e-mail users to Google Apps for Government.[23]
2011 (November) Infrastructure as a service Portuguese cloud computing IaaS provider Lunacloud is founded.[76]
2011 Policy The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency seeks mission-resilient cloud to ensure military can withstand attack against pieces of the network.[23]
2012 Product CloudBolt is founded. It develops a hybrid cloud management platform that helps organizations to build, deploy and manage private and public clouds.[77]
2013 Infrastructure as a service Google Compute Engine is officially launched as an addition to the Google Cloud Platform. The offering stands as the IaaS component of the platform.[17]
2013 Growth The Worldwide Public Cloud Services Market totals £78 billion, up 18.5 per cent on 2012, with IaaS as the fastest growing market service.[20]
2013 Infrastructure as a service Cloud Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) pioneer Safe Swiss Cloud is founded.[78]
2013 (September 2) Platform as a service Cloud computing management platform openQRM is released.[79]
2013 The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency closes US$600 million deal with Amazon Web Services to build a private cloud, bolstering confidence in security of the cloud.[23]
2014 (January) Platform as a service Singapoeran cloud technology company Alpha7 is founded as a business cloud enabler.[80]
2014 Growth Global business spending for infrastructure and services related to the cloud reaches an estimated US$132 billion, up 20% from the amount spent in 2013.[20]
2014 (June 30) Platform as a service IBM releases cloud PaaS Bluemix.[81]
2015 Cloud gaming Cloud gaming service GeForce Now is released.[82]
2015 (20 August) Infrastructure as a service Citrix Systems releases Citrix Cloud, a cloud management platform that allows organizations to deploy cloud-hosted desktops and apps to end users.[83]
2018 Cloud gaming Microsoft unveils Project xCloud,a new service able to stream any game released for the Microsoft Xbox One console to smartphones and tablets, so owners can play them almost anywhere.[84][85]
2018 (November) Infrastructure as a service Apache CloudStack is released.[86]
2020 Growth The global market for cloud computing is estimated to exceed over US$241 billion by the time, with companies like Amazon Web Services and Salesforce quickly becoming global leaders in their fields.[17]

Meta information on the timeline

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See also

External links


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