Today we use the term “cloud” without thinking about it. We use it mainly in terms of storage online, far away and unreachable. We can’t plug in a USB memory in the cloud to download data. We plug the USB into our own computer, connect to the cloud and download, as if it was a local storage.
In the two great Wikipedia articles Cloud storage and File hosting service there are a lot of information on architecture, potential threats and costs, but nothing really on the origin of the word cloud.
Searching online you get a lot of answers of the meaning of cloud, some better than others. One of the more fun comes from Rebecca J. Rosen’s article Clouds: The Most Useful Metaphor of All Time?
. . . when engineers would map out all the various components of their networks, but then loosely sketch the unknown networks (like the Internet) theirs was hooked into. What does a rough blob of undefined nodes look like? A cloud. And, helpfully, clouds are something that take little skill to draw. It's a squiggly line formed into a rough ellipse. Over time, clouds were adopted as the stand-in image for the part of a computer or telephone network outside one's own.
However amusing, it still doesn’t answer the question – where did it come from? Who coined it? What’s the origin of the metaphor cloud?