Origin of The Term
The origin of the term cloud computing is unclear. The expression cloud is commonly used in science to describe a large agglomeration of objects that visually appear from a distance as a cloud and describes any set of things whose details are not inspected further in a given context.
- Meteorology: a weather cloud is an agglomeration.
- Mathematics: a large number of points in a coordinate system in mathematics is seen as a point cloud;
- Astronomy: many stars that crowd together are seen as star clouds (also known as star mist) in the sky, e.g. the Milky Way;
- Physics: The fast movement of electrons around an atomic kernel appears like a cloud to a distant observer;
- Video Games: "The Cloud" was what followed Mario characters around, allowing them to store and access extra items;
In analogy to above usage the word cloud was used as a metaphor for the Internet and a standardized cloud-like shape was used to denote a network on telephony schematics and later to depict the Internet in computer network diagrams. The cloud symbol was used to represent the Internet as early as 1994. Servers were then shown connected to, but external to, the cloud symbol.
Urban legends claim that usage of the expression is directly derived from the practice of using drawings of stylized clouds to denote networks in diagrams of computing and communications systems.
The term became popular after Amazon.com introduced the Elastic Compute Cloud in 2006.
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