Rain falling from clouds

30 years of accumulation: A timeline of cloud computing

Developments in bandwidth, processing and open-source networking over three decades have made cloud as ordinary as the weather.

1982
The first Ethernet adapter card for the IBM PC released, introducing fast, inexpensive connections that would enable cloud computing.

1989
Software Tool & Die founded, first public dialup Internet Service Provider and "still proud to be the best."

1992
In a $500 million deal, FAA undertakes wholesale IT outsourcing to Electronic Data Systems Corp. under the Computer Resources Nucleus program.

1996
Navy launches IT-2 to build secure, global network to deliver fast Ethernet to 270,000 users worldwide, with browsers, continuous TCP/IP connections.

1997
The term "cloud computing" is coined by University of Texas professor Ramnath Chellappa in a talk on a "new computing paradigm."

1998
VMware founded, introduces software providing completely virtualized set of hardware to a guest operating system.

Walter Reed Army Medical Center upgrades to 100 megabits/sec Asynchronous Transfer Mode network to accommodate virtual LANs, a stepping stone to the cloud-enabled office.

1999
Salesforce.com founded in San Francisco apartment.

Defense Department shifts communications networks from ATM to a 1-gigabit/sec Ethernet backbone.

2000
Government agencies begin developing computer "grids," an open-source networking technology that lets users share resources in a manner not subject to central control.

2001
Interior Department becomes one of several agencies to experiment with adopting the application service provider model for delivering applications to workforce.

Agriculture Department links XML soil survey data with GIS, an early example of using software as a service to link devices across the Internet.

2004
State Department launches pilot to switch out PCs for thin clients at overseas posts and domestic offices.

2005
EPA announces project to use grid computing for air quality monitoring, a sign that government acceptance of collaborative networks is widening.

Intel releases Pentium 4 models, first Intel processors to support virtualization on the x86 platform.

2006
AMD releases Athlon 64 processors, the first to support virtualization.

Amazon launches Elastic Compute Cloud, an infrastructure-as-a-service that lets organizations contract for computers to run their applications.

2007
File hosting and synchronization service Dropbox Inc., founded by MIT student, making cloud storage a commodity.

2008
Apptis Inc. and ServerVault Corp. announce secure, managed, federally compliant cloud infrastructure.

2010
OMB issues "cloud first" mandate, requiring agencies to identify three services to move to the cloud and retire associated legacy systems.

GSA announces it will use cloud computing as primary means for hosting the government’s official information portal, USA.gov.

SAP offers agencies Enterprise Resource Planning via the Terremark cloud, enterprise-level software-as a-service.

2011
GSA moves 17,000 e-mail users to Google Apps for Government

DARPA seeks mission-resilient cloud to ensure military can withstand attack against pieces of the network.

2012
Energy Department sets up YourCloud to broker secure cloud services for agency and national labs.

Salesforce.com unveils Government Cloud and AppExchange, multitenant services designed for the public sector.

2013
CIA inks $600 million deal with Amazon Web Services to build a private cloud, bolstering confidence in security of the cloud.

Reader Comments

Thu, May 30, 2013 Matthew Henson UK

I am afraid good old fashion EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) predates even 1982. First used by GE in the 70's and still very widely used today, we just happen to call it "Cloud B2B Services" now

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