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The Rise of Cloud Databases



The Rise of Cloud Databases

The evolution of machines and accompanying systems have led to a life almost inseparable from machines and the internet. Statistics reported in DataReportal about an increase in global internet access and use, with a total of 5.35 billion people or 66.2% of the world’s population using the internet in the beginning of 2024 and this is having an even bigger impact on global commerce. 

One transformative change is the availability of cloud databases. The surge in computer and internet use led to computer databases, and eventually cloud databases and database management programs.

Mainframe Milestones

Computer Databases

The history of the cloud is intertwined with the history of computers. Harvard Mark I, or IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC), was one of the earliest mainframe computers. Mark I ran its first calculation in 1943. 

In 1946, the first programmable general purpose electronic computer – the ENIAC – was introduced by the Moore School of Electrical Engineering for U.S. Military needs. The ENIAC was used in calculations of artillery trajectory and the construction of the hydrogen bomb.

In the 1950s, more mainframe computers were used in military and scientific research. The Computer History Museum listed some of the first mainframe computers and included the NEAC 2203, Philco Transac S-2000, RCA 501, and IBM 1401.

Computer Databases

Computer Databases

Minicomputers emerged in the late 1950s and increased public access to computers, thus bringing the need for a way to store more data.

In the 1960s, computer scientist E.F. Codd introduced the concept of relational database, and eventually published “A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks” in the 1970s.

In the 1960s, the first computerized database called the Integrated Data Store (IDS) was created by Charles Bachman at General Electric. IBM, along with American Rockwell and Caterpillar Tractor, then developed the Information Control System and Data Language/Interface (ICS/DL/I) for the Apollo Program. The ICS was renamed to Information Management System/360 (IMS/360).

The Internet


The Internet has revolutionized computers with its border-transcending capabilities for information and communications. It has continued to be a source of innovations, and most companies in technology and the Internet currently are in the “Top 20 Most Innovative Companies in 2023”.

The concept of the Internet began in 1969, when The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was established to enable resource sharing between remote computers. In the 1970s and 1980s, Internetworking research expanded when the National Science Foundation funded the establishment of the CSNET and the NSFNET project which connected supercomputing centers using the open TCP/IP protocols initially deployed on the ARPANET.

Two major relational database system prototypes were created: IBM’s System R and UC Berkeley’s INGRES. System R was the first implementation of SQL. Several companies sourced these two protoypes to various database systems and contributed to the creation of  Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, SQL/DS, DB2, Allbase, Oracle, and NonStop SQL.1995 saw the earliest version of an open-source database management system called MySQL. Years after, the term “open source” gained traction and many open-source database management systems started appearing like MySQL, Redis, PostgreSQL, and extremely popular MongoDB. Carlo Strozzi created Strozzi NoSQL, an open-source relational database that did not use SQL and coined the term “NoSQL”. Later on, NoSQL was used to describe non-relational databases.

The Cloud


In 1997, The term “cloud computing” was defined by Professor Ramnath Chellapa of Emory University as a “new computing paradigm, where the boundaries of computing will be determined by economic rationale, rather than technical limits alone.”

In the 2000s, companies started launching web-based services which used private cloud: Amazon started its retail service, Google started GoogleDocs, and Netflix started streaming. Cloud computing databases development continued onto public cloud and hybrid clouds.

In the 2010s, the public became more aware of the cloud’s abilities as more companies used and advertised it. IBM introduced the IBM SmartCloud and Apple launched the ICloud. In the feature “Power of Cloud Services: Transforming Businesses for the Digital Age 2023”, it is discussed how cloud services continue to enhance companies’ productivity.At present, cloud databases and cloud infrastructure services continue to flourish. The market is expected to continue to grow. In a forecast by Mordor Intelligence, the cloud computing market size is expected to reach USD 1.44 trillion by 2029.