The world’s most successful ‘Cloud Service’

At it’s core the Cloud is a bundle of some APIs (‘application programming interface’).   API is defined as ‘a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications’.   The term API was invented by software people, but the concept was invented years ago by the world’s most successful cloud service.

An API needs

  1. A set of routines, such as ‘call this service then this happens’, ‘press this button then this happens’, ‘go here, then this happens’.
  2. A standard Protocol such as ‘this is the data to pass’, ‘this is what you’ll get back’, ‘
  3. A set of Tools such as prebuilt interfaces, testing tools, monitoring tools

A good cloud service needs

  1. high availability
  2. redundancy
  3. dynamic pricing
  4. a standard interface

It’s easy to see the world’s oldest and most successful API – the electric grid.   It has all the standard API components, it’s routines are well known (plug in the wall), it’s protocol is you’ll get electric when you plug it in, and the common electrical outlet, plug, voltomer are available at almost every hardware store.

As a cloud service, it’s uptime still far exceeds any data center.   It’s redunancy is simply built into the grid.   It’s dynamic each and every month I get my bill, and it’s standard interface has been virtually the same for decades (at least in the US).

We as software developers like to claim genius when we make up new terms and acronyms, but most everything we copy from the world around us.   The API and cloud service is no exception – clearly just using the world’s oldest, most successul API as a model for our future.


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