We’re entering the age of the Internet of Everything, where the amount of data is exploding. Leveraging this tsunami of data provides opportunities for businesses; however, acting on this opportunity is a challenge that will require significant quantities of computing power. As data traffic continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, it puts a tremendous strain on the Internet infrastructure. Traditional cloud computing that pushes data between centralized servers, which is inefficient and costly and will not be able to keep up with the real-time demands required to innovate.
The inefficiency in cloud computing is also extremely high. Enterprises pay in-advance for resources and capacity to store and to process data. Held in reserve, the infrastructure including servers, processors and other devices often sit idle and remain unused. Recent studies show that in the hardware sector, especially in server utilization, inefficiency and poor cost management are worse than we thought. Gartner has long talked about the "80% rule": that 80 percent of IT budgets get spent simply "keeping the lights on." A McKinsey & Company survey found that cloud computing infrastructure delivers only five to 15 percent of its maximum output. Nor does cloud computing employ a true “pay-as-you-go” model. Many companies do not monitor how much capacity they use and overpay for underutilized resources. Overpaying for underused resources keeps the overall cost of cloud computing high and does not allow the market to make cloud computing into a pure commodity.
As a result, companies are working to find ways to cut costs and extract the largest possible value from IT infrastructure. From placing data centers in colder climates to switching to more affordable open source software, and virtualizing resources to increase utilization, enterprises are just only scratching the surface. For years, many projects have emerged with the goal to make computing capacity a tradable commodity. So, why haven’t enterprises been able to capitalize on this?
Currently, large cloud providers offer the infrastructure to reduce the complexity and cost in computing resource investment with serverless technology. While the serverless computing market has become the highest growth niche in the cloud arena, the centralized solution still presents several limitations to harness compute capacity, including:
- Pricing is still controlled by the centralized parties not entirely driven by the market;
- The real-time interaction needs cannot be met with the increasing data traffic, as data must move back and forth to cloud; and
- The utilization of computing resource is not paid on demand, which stagnates inefficiency of idle hardware.
How can engineers use of serverless technology to make the best use cloud computing resources? Combine blockchain and serverless in one platform.
A blockchain-based decentralized cloud will allow on-demand, secure and low-cost access to the most competitive computing infrastructures. The decentralized cloud infrastructure is built with a consensus mechanism where every individual can register to share his/her under-utilized computing resource.
With the advent of smartphones, connected devices and now wearables, the number of devices with significant processing capabilities is exploding, and computing resource becomes even more distributed. Blockchain-based cloud is like a distributed coordinator and aggregator to connect all those underused computing resource whereas the properly designed token economy will drive the demand and supply in the marketplace, and ultimately lower the cost significantly and implement the pay-as-you-go model. Thus, the distributed cloud will help move the processing intelligence closer to where the data are generated and satisfy the needs of real-time interaction. Blockchain is also promising for security as its strong protections against data tampering would help prevent a rogue device from disrupting an enterprise network by relaying misleading information.
Decentralized, serverless computing is designed to fulfil the vision to create virtual dynamic organizations through secure, coordinated resource-sharing among individuals, institutions and resources. With Blockchain, no single person or organization controls the network. The blockchain project Ethereum is popular because the Ethereum platform is built with a Turing-complete language. In principle, the Ethereum platform can compute anything computable given enough resources. The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) can execute code of arbitrary algorithmic complexity. Therefore, Ethereum allows developers to realize a broader set of consensuses beyond money exchange. Since then, blockchain technology has been used to create solutions for many industry challenges, as blockchain is a cryptographic distributed ledger technology (DLT) that allows assets, including money, goods, and resources, to be created, tracked, tokenized, traded and managed as efficiently as information is available.
So, what does the roadmap include? For a technologically sound computing option in the enterprise, serverless applications are the answer. Serverless applications will take care of provisioning, scaling and managing resources. Serverless architecture can make developers’ lives easier, while at the same time providing helpful abstractions away from the complexities of API integration. Engineers can merely upload modular chunks of functionality into the cloud which are executed independently and scaled automatically. Serverless architectures also benefit from reduced operational cost, complexity and engineering lead-time. An approach that combines both serverless and blockchain technology to build a system for peer participation in cloud computing based on permission-less blockchain technology is ideal, which enables easy solution adoption, avoids vendor lock-in, and provides better security and privacy for enterprises engineers.
Distributed application (DApp) developers must deal with the technical complexity of blockchain infrastructure to release and update DApps. Managing blockchain infrastructure and realizing use case functions can be challenging and exhausting for developers. It is arduous to develop DApps and even more difficult to update them, as new features and updates frequently occur in DLTs.
Despite these challenges, demand for DApp development is rapidly increasing. There is substantial value in decoupling the complexity of blockchain infrastructure from DApps development. We anticipate the blockchain industry will grow dramatically and in the foreseeable future, the number of DApps will become comparable to those of traditional IT and mobile applications.
The first decentralized, serverless computing solutions will be market ready soon, which will include a programmable blockchain solution combined with serverless technology and apply an effective proof of work to provide an exciting solution for enterprise use cases. This will immediately offer a highly competitive cloud computing solution. As the blockchain industry matures, these types of technologies will also be well-placed for use in a variety of business applications.
There are some projects in blockchain-based cloud arena that are worth watching. Each takes a different technical path to solve the problem with promising progress. It will be worth it to see how these projects will shape the future of cloud computing when centralized, decentralized and hybrid models shift as enterprise use cases are developed. The decentralized model creates virtual dynamic computing through secure, coordinated resource-sharing, which cuts service-delivery costs, minimizes the time to provision services or test ideas, and brings innovation to market faster. Based on a technologically sound, real-world coin platform that is built for business, look for a decentralized serverless computing option to harness compute capacity, advance blockchain initiatives and make the benefits of modern development and cloud computing a reality.