Friday, June 11, 2010

That cloud ain't new

The current trend in Cloud Computing has been a long time coming.

It is not that new, nor is it different from the age-old Sun Microsystems tag-line that "the network is the computer".

As Scott (McNealy, former Sun CEO) cracked in a recent Fortune magazine article:

“Sun has always been very early, and often way too early with a lot of our ideas. For example, in the ‘80s we were preaching that the network is the computer. Shame on us for not summing it up in one word – cloud. To sound a little Al Gore-ish we invented open source, but we went a little too aggressive over the last four years."

A highlight from 1996:

Scott jumped on stage with his usual high energy and made two proclamations:

1. "We (Sun) are about to be overwhelmed by insurmountable opportunity."
2. "In 10 years, 100 companies will buy computers and the rest of us will rent."

In the next 5 yrs. Sun went on to grow to an $18 billion company.

Or as my colleague, John Varney, points out, the concept has been around for decades, quoting John McCarthy in 1960: “…Computing may one day be organized as a public utility…”.