Up until then, to have a host computer on the Internet you needed to lug some big clunky box down to an Internet hosting data centre, where they ripped you off because there was so little competition.
Your big clunky box had one, two or more spinning fans in it. If (when) a spinning fan stopped, your machine died - you were in trouble.
Your big clunky box had a spinning hard disk in it. If (when) that stopped, your machine died - you were in trouble.
Your big clunky box power supply had to have huge capacity because CPUs chewed so much power. If (when) that stopped, your machine died - you were in trouble.
Your big clunky box was physically large - at least one full rack unit if not more would be taken up with what in todays terms is something pretty underpowered.
And when you were in trouble, you were in big trouble. You had to slouch off down to the data centre with your toolkit and spare machine and spend hours making the damn thing work again.
So when Amazon EC2 turned up it was screamingly obvious that cloud computing was a killer idea because it was just so much better than dedicated hosting in every possible way. Cloud computing as defined by EC2 was clearly one of the best ideas ever in technology. Hardware as software woo hoo.
BUT it's not 2006 anymore. Hardware is shrinking to the point of disappearing. Computers don't necessarily need CPU fans or power supply fans or 500watt power supplies or tower cases or even spinning hard disks. You can probably run a server in a data centre and have the reasonable expectation that it WON'T break any time soon, as opposed to 2006 in which you had the reasonable expectation that it WOULD break soon.
So I'm wondering, MAYBE, since 2006, the dedicated hosting data centre it has started to make more sense.
Maybe tiny cheap, highly reliable computers can be installed into your local data centre at very low cost and you can break free of the shackles, lock in and high prices (compared to owning your own hardware).
Maybe the world is different in 2015 and it might even be a good idea to start running your own computers again.
Just a thought. I think I'm go to go find the price lists for dedicated hosting at the local data centre.
The trends of server class computers becoming small and more reliable will continue into the future. The obvious issues of 2006 just aren't such big issues any more. Maybe it's time to break up the cloud and bring the servers back to homes, offices and data centres. That way at least you can see when the NSA is plugging in their USB monitoring devices, and offer their technicians a cup of tea while they work.