I found this quite funny yet revealing diagram related to the paper “A brief history of cloud computing” (already mentioned earlier on this blog), by Maximiliano Destefani Neto. It describes the time, back in 1995 according to Mr. Neto, when “Pictures of Clouds” started to appear in technical drawings about networks and the then emerging network computing (grid computing started to be a buzz word around the same time).
The purposes of these schematic “clouds” were to synthesize “too complicated for non technical people to understand” parts of the infrastructure into one image/logotype. It was the icon of the cloud! And it revealed to be a clever choice, because it probably helped to keep the whole infrastructure “blurry”, “hidden”, “invisible” or “un-understandable”… “It happens in the cloud“, this fuzzy technological arrangement and therefore you don’t really need to explain it.
Now in 2015, we’re almost fully immersed into these “clouds”. Literally living in them, through them, … but they still remain blurry!
In someways and on our own scale, it is also to go against this “too complicated for non technical people to understand” DNA of cloud computing that we’ve set up the design research Inhabiting and Interfacing the cloud(s). Trying to underpin the concepts and ideas, the technologies, the infrastructures, the usages, the locations, etc. that lie behind the service(s), with the goal to make them more “transparent” and accessible again in some ways. To turn them into community tools one more time, while pointing out resources. That’s somehow what we’re also trying to do on this blog, at the same time that we’re putting artifacts together with our discovered or elaborated public resources…
The full infographic can be seen on the website “Thoughts On Cloud”.