It may seem farfetched to imply that the Cloud is outdated, as it has been the buzzword for the past years and is continuing to be, with huge tech companies continuing to invest billions of USD in it. From this point of view, yes, it is farfetched and probably wrong to say that cloud computing is outdated, as it has many extraordinarily effective functionalities.
But if we are talking about cloud computing for the exponential growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices deployment, it does not seem to be such a farfetched question. And if we then add the future natural growth of the Internet of Everything (IoE), it makes even more sense to understand the cloud is outdated.
Before answering the questions, it is essential to understand what cloud computing is and what it was first designed for.
Cloud computing was first coined in the mid-late 1990s by two key figures and companies: George Favaloro, a Compaq marketing executive, and Sean O’Sullivan, NetCentric’s founder. In short, the name cloud computing popped up when these two companies came together to plan a way to sell servers to Internet Service Provider (ISP) businesses. For a more detailed description of the coining of cloud computing, MIT’s Technology Review’s article, written by Antonio Regalado, is a great place to start, found under the title Who Coined ‘Cloud Computing’?
Going through the evolution of the ‘cloud,’ we can see that its initial and future service revolved around the fact that all business software should move to the Web and what Favaloro and O’Sullivan termed “cloud computing-enabled applications,” offering consumer file storage. By 2006, ten years after O’Sullivan and Favaloro foresaw the paradigm shift from accessing software, computer power, and files over their desktops to the Web. The big tech giants entered the scene and made ‘cloud computing’ mainstream, referring to it as a metaphor for the new way of the Internet.
This rise in influence is due to the big tech corporations using the term, and ultimately appearing in newspaper articles, such as New York Times report from November 15, 2007, “I.B.M. to Push ‘Cloud Computing,’ Using Data From Afar.”. Began to produce different types of cloud computing services, and these come down to three basic products:
· Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
· Platform as a service (PaaS)
· Software as a Service (SaaS)
So let’s look at these three services in more detail, as they form the pillars of what cloud computing is today.
Before cloud computing came to be, businesses would have to access powerful physical computers (servers) either in data centers or on their premises. These would be used for web hosting, document repositories, and database storage, among other things. But with cloud computing, this costly business model, as it needed specialists to maintain the system up and running and buy the machines, was eliminated.
With IaaS, businesses could pay a monthly fee and have massive server centers doing all their work. Another critical factor was that if the servers went down, the redundancy of cloud computing was so immense that other servers would continue the work. Unlike own data centers or air-conditioned server rooms in an office, services would have to stop until servers were fixed if they went down.
The PaaS is an Operating System that would let the users do something with the infrastructure. With a monthly subscription fee, businesses would be able to access functionalities that permit server software, database management systems, or development environments for tech experts to work in.
PaaS essentially takes IaaS and makes it do something by building it on top of the Infrastructure, and is what allows you to work. Common examples you may have come across include Shopify, an eCommerce platform, VMWare, and Salesforce, the well-known customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
SaaS offers companies the ability to use software through a monthly subscription fee, eliminating the need to purchase a one-off license to use a piece of software and install it on its specific PCs. Another advantage was that there was no need to buy another license when the one purchased became outdated.
As such, SaaS allows businesses to access a cloud-based version of the software across the globe, and it is kept updated by the cloud service provider (CSP). It also allows switching without any large financial commitments and adds or removes users as needed. Specialized expert software is also accessible at a tiny fraction of the price it would cost to buy a dedicated one-time license.
Today, CSP is an integrated part of large and small businesses, offering a wide array of services that lower costs, opens global access, and mitigates server breakdowns. Providing a stable, secure, and cost-efficient online connection that can address vast amounts of data and users. In practical terms, cloud computing releases the power of the internet through web services, which practically no company would be able to achieve on its own, as the investment costs would be unviable.
After this short presentation on cloud computing, you might wonder why it is outdated. As mentioned at the beginning, the cloud isn’t obsolete and, in many ways, still has a considerable market share, servicing many verticals. The problem has arisen in the Internet of Things, and even worse, for CSP, the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoT and IoE are exponentially different compared to personal and business data creation.
Let’s start looking at IoT and how it differs from standard data creation through web services, such as web hosting, e-commerce, or CRM. IoT can be described as physical objects embedded with sensors, processing ability, and software, among other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or other communications networks.
This connection and exchange of data through devices is commonly associated with servicing the concept of smart, relating to homes, buildings, cities, healthcare, infrastructure, and all industry verticals. A panorama is critically different from the data collection generated via web hosting, e-commerce, or CRM. Within this new paradigm of smart buildings, and smart healthcare, lives enter the equation.
Therefore, the importance of data storage, management, processing, and delivery are critical and security and privacy. Something even more complex when data creation is exponentially higher than services like web hosting. In this sense, cloud environments are becoming outdated due to the sheer IoT data generation, and the need for security and privacy required.
Looking at some estimations to understand the difference in volume between data generation by internet users and IoT devices:
· Internet - There are around 44.4 zettabytes of data on the internet.
· IoT - By 2025, IoT devices will reach 79.4 zettabytes of data generation.
As we can see from the figures above, the Internet of Things will double the amount of data generation on the Internet. On top of that, the data generated by IoT devices and sensors in many situations is critical, unlike Internet users that generate data via searching in search engines, messaging, video streaming, social media posting, and webinars or online meetings.
Even though the user's intentions on the internet are in some ways critical, they cannot be compared with the intent of IoT devices and sensors that account for video surveillance, traffic management, and telemedicine. In practical terms, the worst-case scenario for an online user can be the loss of a substantial amount of money due to malicious intentions from hackers.
The results can have devastating consequences when it comes to worst-case scenarios in IoT devices or sensors by malicious actors. For example, hackers remotely take control of computer-controlled devices in automobiles such as brakes, engine, locks, hood and trunk releases, horn, heat, and dashboard. Another example in healthcare is the ability to control pacemakers without authority remotely or remote control of insulin pumps and implantable cardioverter defibrillators.
The above IoT devices’ worst-case scenarios are hugely more critical than those that can pop up for internet users. So applying the same procedures for both data generation scenarios doesn’t make much sense, but it is what currently is occurring. This situation has brought up critical issues like security, privacy, real-time data assurance, and scalability, to name a few. Therefore, cloud computing is outdated for IoT device data management, storage, processing, and delivery.
Up to this point, we have gone through the birth and growth of cloud computing, what the Internet of Things is, and how the cloud cannot be used to manage its data generation. But in the coming years, IoT’s natural growth goes through the eruption of the Internet of Everything. This new reality is rapidly taking shape, as IoT isn’t just creating data through devices and interacting with machines.
Currently, the interconnection is spreading and is becoming a holistic approach, IoE, that can be simply described and differentiated from IoT by indicating that:
· Internet of Things - IoT is the autonomous connection between digital devices.
· Internet of Everything - IoE is the intelligent connectivity between physical devices, people, processes, and data.
Taking the above into account, IoE’s foundations reside in four fundamental pillars: people, data, things, and processes. So let’s go through these four pillars briefly to give a general vision of the future and how IoE can aid in managing the massive increase in data generation.
Data generation that comes from people, arises due to the exponential adoption of internet-connected devices, e.g., smartphones, wearables, laptops, and tablets, by people. But this adoption is growing and spreading into homes, vehicles, leisure resorts, waste, and much more. To capture and understand the data generated through all these settings, IoT on its own is incapable of providing tangible results.
But IoE, with the help of growing data analysis technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, will be capable. Delivering relevant and specific information according to the people’s personal or business needs, helping them to make decisive decision-making, to reach optimal living standards or business goals. And cloud computing will be unable to handle these requirements unless insanely huge investments are made, which may prove to be unviable.
We are all well aware that IoT will produce enormous amounts of data, and it tends to continue to grow for years to come. To actuate viably upon this tsunami of raw data, IoE is the way to go. As it can summarize, classify, and analyze raw data and turn it into priceless information that can be used in favor of social engineering, industrial innovation, sustainable procedures, and in essence, empower intelligent solutions.
There is a need to transition from cloud service providers for this reality to happen. This paradigm shift lies in accelerating the IoT devices deployment via new models of data management. Infrastructures that pivot their functionality on privacy, security, sustainability, and cost-efficiency and seamlessly integrate their solutions into services and products. A human-first approach that ignites data analysis to deliver tangible information to decision-makers.
The Internet of Everything opens the doors for the Internet of Things to be able to transmit its data throughout the network. As a result, it provides paths for IoT to interconnect with devices and people, amplifying its scope and creating new opportunities for data to flow.
These opportunities come through data output and input on their real-time status and being able to send it to the needed destination across the network. Thus, enabling real-time data delivery to information accurately and promptly for the processing stage to actuate when required.
The final step of this data management goes through processing the huge amount of data generated by all the actuators, i.e., devices, sensors, wearables, computers, home appliances, vehicles, etc. As it is received on a real-time basis, and with perfected AI, machine learning, and social networks, this processing gives data to information refinement.
This new holistic approach to data processing ensures that the correct information reaches the right person and machine at the right time. In essence, the goal of IoE processing is to guarantee the best possible usage of Big Data, so decision-makers receive specific information to take action.
To reach this data collection, management, analysis, processing, and delivery, it is evident that there are many obstacles cloud computing can’t handle. Therefore, new technologies are being developed to provide IoT the path to reach its full potential in this new paradigm shift that is digitalizing all areas of life. Some of the technologies currently in constant development are the already mentioned AI, machine-to-machine, and others like decentralization, blockchain technology, sustainable computing, and informed infrastructure.
Internet of Everything Corp (IoE Corp), is paving the way toward a seamless transition for IoT devices deployment from the cloud. A solution developed through a deep understanding of the Internet and the problems when Cloud service providers have serviced IoT data management.
To overcome the issues of security, privacy, real-time data, and cost-efficiency that cloud service providers haven’t been able to solve. IoE Corp has developed a decentralized software virtual infrastructure that works as a cluster of devices at the source, secured by a blockchain (Yggdrasil). Data processing runs through a knowledge-based AI - The Eden System.
IoE Corp’s Eden System, as it is decentralized and uses Yggdrasil to manage the data generated, makes it practically impossible for cyber-criminals and cyberterrorists to access the network, as there is no central point for them to target. Yggdrasil also resolves privacy because it presents the possibility of keeping the data on-premises and providing data ownership.
Keeping data generation at the source gives more security because there is no need to move the data to server centers. It also cuts down the costs tremendously as the data to information is refined onsite, consequently eliminating the unforeseen costs of data analysis, processing, and cloud delivery. As mentioned, large IoT deployments like smart cities or smart traffic management can produce immense amounts of data.
The Eden System is based on a decentralized virtual infrastructure that operates through service manifests and consensus through the blockchain. It can use the power of the devices, nodes, or sensors at the source, creating Online Privates Gardens (OP Garden) within the IoE Eden System.
An OP Garden service consists of a secure pool of devices that communicates over public-private key-protected connections and autonomously nominates workflow paths. A reality backed up with the blockchain that keeps track of all data movements and verifies that data received comes from another trusted node on the blockchain.
The Eden System also performs within sustainable computing, reducing bandwidth and energy requirements by cloud services providers. Another significant benefit that makes the Eden System more economically sustainable is scalability. There is no need to deploy all the city’s necessities in the initial stages—making the technology cost-efficient because the economical investment doesn’t have to be massive.
These are some of the Eden System's innovative approaches to the exponential growth of data generation through IoT devices. A solution that sets cloud computing the outdated tag for the storage, analysis, processing, and delivery of Internet of Things devices and sensors. Paving the way for the new reality that is coming through the orchestration, via IoE, of IoT.
Get in touch with us, and we’ll be happy to introduce you to our technology in more detail and how we can tailor it to your current needs. As well as offering the possibility of scaling through Eden System in an efficient, sustainable, safe, and cost-effective way.