The importance of decentralized cloud computing.
Last year, Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr. Bean) starred in Johnny English Returns, an action-comedy that humorously portrayed the problem of centralized control. While the movie's plot was a traditional struggle of good vs evil, its villain's pursuit of power, through a novel tool, showcased a flaw in today's world.
The villain was a charming tech billionaire who aimed to gain control of the internet; to do so, he only had to acquire control of a small set of servers. His goals may seem outlandish, but they aren't.
Many cogs play a role in supporting the internet and most of them are in the hands of a few companies with large, centralized computing power. The effects of the outage of Amazon Web Services are a testament to the power these companies have.
AWS, Amazon's cloud division, offers computing power, storage, and other services. The service temporary collapsed in 2015, and during the hours in which it was down, major platforms like Netflix, Reddit, IMDB, and other major websites and applications went offline.
Of course, Amazon's own e-commerce platform was offline too. The internet, as spread out as it may seem, increasingly hinges on the infrastructural support of a small number of companies. This allocates to them immense amounts of power. An article on Medium, which describes how the power possessed by tech companies can impact how we live, truly captures the importance of decentralizing the web infrastructure.
A Decentralized Cloud
Cloud computing is a term most people have heard before. It’s a service that allows websites, applications, SaaS, etc. to outsource the need for computing power, data storage, and data delivery.
Cloud computing is great because it allows companies of all sizes to gain high quality infrastructural support for their developments and web presence. The service nullifies the need to buy expensive equipment upfront while also ensuring easy scalability in case a product grows popular faster than expected. While all this is rosy, the problem in the cloud computing space is that a limited number of tech giants control the vast portion of the market.
The odd reality about the cloud market is that it is a market that can be supported by the computing power and storage capacity of any device.
Every household possesses unused storage or computing at various times of the day. This is an incredibly grand missed opportunity as there's an abundance of supply of highly sought after resources, but the supply is unable to reach the resource consumers. A new startup aims to twine the two most important technologies of today, AI and blockchain, to develop a decentralized cloud that can provide anyone the opportunity to monetize unused computing power and storage while powering the smart economies of the future.
The following video covers how a decentralized cloud can support the creation of smart cities.
A New Cloud
DeepCloud AI is developing the technology to collect excess computing power and data storage and then allocate it to buyers. This will provide everyday people with a bridge to pass over their excess resources to resource consumers. Such a development opens up a menu of benefits, which include greater market competition and higher quality of service.
Presently, cloud service providers are large corporate entities that once used their own unused equipment to provide clients resources. However, they now buy computing power and storage purely for the sake of providing a cloud service. The equipment is bought to generate a profit, not allocate unused resources.
On the other hand, everyday people who possess excess computing power did not purchase it to drive an income from lending it out; instead, the unused resources they possess exist simply because their devices offer them more than they need. Thus, the pricing offered by everyday people would be far more competitive than the pricing offered by corporations that provide cloud services.
The benefit of this is that the cost of acquiring a digital presence is reduced, enabling greater participation from the developing part of the world and improved earnings for SMEs in all countries.
While tech giants are fierce competitors, price competition is a tough battle. While they view lower pricing of cloud services as a reduction in revenue, the masses would see any amount earned from their excess resources as additional income. Thus, a decentralized network for cloud services will fare well in a price competition against any enterprise.
There are few developments that can make a product both cheaper and better, and decentralization of the cloud is one of those few developments.
A decentralized network that provides cloud computing improves edge computing, which is the computing done at the physical edge of the data source. While centralized servers, as spread out as they may be, can only be present in a handful of locations, the nodes on a decentralized network are spread as far as humanity lies. Thus, the next competitive edge in cloud computing, which relies on the optimization of edge computing, cannot be optimally achieved by tech giants.
DeepCloud AI, on the other hand, can allocate resources from nodes that are impeccably close to the physical location of the data source. The startup’s matching algorithms will innately link resource providers with optimal resource buyers. The improvement in edge computing achieved by DeepCloud will lower the latency problems faced by IoT devices. The improved latency, in conjunction with other benefits that will be explained below, can help humanity accomplish the smart economies of the future.
Challenges faced by IoT Market
Cloud computing and the Internet of Things go hand in hand. Typically, the companies or government organizations that need to operate IoT networks need so much storage capacity and computational power that cloud services are the primary go-to option. However, once again, the centralized state of the cloud market offers burdensome challenges.
IoT devices utilize internet capacity just like laptops, phones, desktops, etc. In late 2016, a hacker used the lack of security measures on IoT devices to take down Dyn, one of the largest DNS providers in the world.
A DNS, short for Domain Name System, is what allows computers to convert a domain name into machine numeric machine code.
The breach was powerful enough to cause Dyn’s clients—including Netflix, Spotify, and Reddit—to become inaccessible. The unique factor about this attack was that it was made possible through a Mirai-based IoT botnet, which essentially breached into millions of IoT devices and then used them to target Dyn with a DDoS attack; it worked.
A decentralized cloud system that runs on the blockchain makes security of the network far stronger than what the current infrastructure provides. Moreover, DeepCloud AI utilizes a hybrid chain that incorporates both private and public components. The blockchain layer ensures breaches are kept at bay.
For smart economies, enabled by autonomous machines, to become a reality, the security of the autonomous machines must be unbreachable. Otherwise, the network could be forced to collapse. If autonomous entities control transport, agriculture, manufacturing, etc., a breach in the network that provides their computational power can lead to devastating effects. The decentralized cloud ensures such an event is thwarted.
The importance of securing personal data is under media spotlight these days. This is primarily fueled by major data breaches like the one faced by Equifax, which allowed the hackers to gain access to important financial and personal information of millions of Americans.
However, IoT devices’ must be secure as-well.
The internet of things allows devices to connect and gather data. The acquisition of data allows IoT devices to improve and this is an expensive process. The data collected by IoT devices is of proprietary status and can be extremely valuable. However, the storage of this data is also placed in centralized infrastructure. DeepCloud AI’s blockchain-enabled decentralized cloud ensures that this data is given optimal security.
As much of the IoT advancement is being led by expensive operations, the governments and enterprises that are pursuing smart economies need to protect their data. This is a service that centralized infrastructures will not be able to provide.
Another important cog the internet relies on is bandwidth, which essentially dictates the maximum amount of data that can be transmitted on a given channel.
If smart cities become a reality, having to transfer massive amounts of data from far-off servers is going to be a major bandwidth headache. The only solutions are that either existing bandwidth infrastructure would have to scaled up at an immense figure or the implementation of the smart economy would be realized at a limited scale.
There could soon be another solution: decentralized network of resource providers.
As mentioned earlier, a decentralized cloud can enable the most advanced edge computing service to date. As nodes providing the resources can be as spread out as possible, they can be incredible close to devices that require infrastructural support. Anything that can improve edge computing can also mitigate bandwidth problems.
Instead of highly condensed IoT devices and machines having to rely on the limitation of the bandwidth available with a server located in probably a far-off city, the autonomous machines could be supported by close nodes on the DeepCloud AI network. This is another demonstration of how a decentralized cloud can be superior to centralized networks, especially in the creation of smart cities.
Fulfillment of Demand
The benefits of a decentralized cloud network are unquestionable. However, a common problem associated with decentralized networks is that they lack scalability or the amount of resources needed to match the capabilities of a centralized network.
First and foremost, at an aggregate level, the excess resources possessed by the masses can build into the largest cloud network ever. There’s enough computation capacity and data storage to take on the leading cloud providers, and that too at better rates and better service quality (on many factors).
With respect to scalability, DeepCloud is referring technologies that have solved the scalability problem. IOTA, for example, is well-known for its scalability; it is able to achieve this because it runs on a Decentralized Acyclic Graph, abbreviated as DAG. You can learn about how DAGs achieve scalability here. Rather than running its entire platform on a DAG, DeepCloud AI is developing its own blockchain for the decentralized and security benefits; its transactional support, however, could be handled by a DAG layer that will sit atop the blockchain.
Thus, DeepCloud AI can muster the resources need to fulfill demand as its resource supplier is virtually anyone with a computer. The scalability challenge will be handled by the startup’s novel approach to implement a DAG layer atop its blockchain.
The Importance of a Decentralized Cloud
A centralized cloud is a certain barrier to mass IoT utility. While that problem may seem like a distant one—even though smart economy visions are being actively pursued—the Mirai bot-net attack which took down some of the most established websites and applications is proof of the not-so-far fetched goals of Johnny English’s villain.
This decentralization of the infrastructure that the modern web is built on is of critical importance. Internet users across the world have the resources to support their web but they lack the bridge needed to do so. DeepCloud AI provides that bridge.
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