I remember buying my first computer. It was 1996, an ‘AST Advantage’ – a monolithic beast of a machine boasting 16MB of RAM and a 60MHz processor. I think the hard drive was around 40MB.
Imagine my dismay when Microsoft released Age of Empires, demanding a minimum specification of 100MHz. My machine wouldn’t run it – my multi-thousand pound machine – and I had to look at upgrading. Familiar? The spec-chasing world was borne out of improving application-layer technologies. For me, games. For enterprises, server-side software and productivity applications led the way.
Nowadays, we’re seeing something of a retreat on the spec-pushing front. What’s driving this? Certainly in part it’s the adoption of a ‘devices as tools’ mentality – your sizeable hard drive is no longer an adequate way to be compensating for something – but additionally, we’ve seen the rise of ‘remote computing’. This article is going to simplify what’s really going on here. If terms like ‘server-side’, ‘SaaS’ or ‘Runtime’ fill you with dread – or even minor dismay – I’m here to help you make sense of it all.
There’s you, and then there’s the cloud
When Microsoft threw the Age of Empires spanner in my works, I couldn’t run it because the machine that I owned – the hunk of plastic sitting on my desk – wasn’t brainy enough to figure out how to run it. Using cloud computing, this is how we’d solve that issue.
So, in this article we have built up a user-friendly picture to answer the question what is cloud computing? Remember those spec-driven days fondly? Don’t think they’re over just yet? Let us know by dropping a comment in to the section below.