More than 40 years ago, a guy named Douglas Parkhill described the concept of utility computing. He described it as containing features such as:
- Essentially simultaneous use of the system by many remote users.
- Concurrent running of different multiple programs.
- Availability of at least the same range of facilities and capabilities at the remote stations as the user would expect if he where the sole operator of a private computer.
- A system of charging based upon a flat service charge and a variable charge based on usage.
- Capacity for indefinite growth, so that as the customer load increases, the system can expanded without limit by various means.
Fast forward 40 years, and we now name pretty much this same concept as Cloud Computing, and everyone is very excited about the possibilities that exist within this new world. Different companies are pushing this idea in different ways. One of the pioneers in that area is of course Amazon, which managed to create a quite good public cloud offering through their Amazon Web Services product.