Cloud computing technologyhas given rise to a near-trillion-dollar ecosystem. What was just a term popularized by Amazon in 2006 after the release of their Elastic Compute Cloud, has now changed the way enterprises function. But, as with every technology, this awesome innovation has its own drawbacks that require addressing.
Cloud computing has come a long way. And, this is evident when you compare its current architecture to its earliest takes by Amazon. The market is now riddled with several different cloud-based solutions with players like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and IBM leading the pack.
With the advent of Blockchain technologies, computing and storage of data has seen yet another innovative route. While cloud computing allows enterprises and individuals to setup remote computation and data storage structures all over the planet, Blockchain’s approach is much simpler.
Blockchain allows usage of networks of computations that are secure, democratic, and immutable. Let’s now look at how Blockchain is redefining cloud solutions and why you should get training and certification in Blockchain if you are looking to get into a secure cloud computing career this decade.
To start this off, let’s first look at the major limitations of legacy cloud computing solutions and later, we’ll see how Blockchain addresses each of them.
Limitations of Traditional Cloud Services
Legacy cloud services use a centralized architecture. This may not seem too bad but there are several drawbacks of working with a centralized system. These include:
This is perhaps the worst disadvantage of current generation cloud computing solutions. Every single player in the cloud solutions field is prone to downtime. There can be numerous reasons for service outages. And, because these cloud solutions are dependent upon one single server for their services to run, there may not usually be any kind of backup in case an outage occurs.
b) Security and Privacy
As legacy cloud solutions are centralized, they can be prone to cyberattacks. Moreover, as the data is all stored in a single container, this could lead to unwanted consequences. To understand this, let’s take the example of Code Space.
In June 2014, the AWS EC2 console of Code Spacethat offered developers source code repositories and project management services using Git or Subversion was hacked. All the data present in their cloud instance was eventually deleted and the company was forced to shut down forever.
Even though Amazon has patched most issues that led to this attack, cybercriminals always find a loophole one way or another.
You may have also seen several reports of leaked data from companies and celebrities. This is evidence that cloud services cannot guarantee privacy and security with the current architecture.
Because the cloud market has so many different vendors offering services, it becomes a difficult task to select one and stick with it. Further, it becomes a hectic task to switch in case you figure out that the vendor you have invested in doesn’t really fit your requirements after working on your projects on their solution. This is because most of the cloud platforms are quite different at their cores. And, because of these deep-rooted changes, it becomes difficult to migrate from one platform to another.
This migration is not just a complex and expensive affair, the process could expose your data to several vulnerabilities in security and privacy.
Sure, cloud computing can help you reduce staff and hardware costs, but when it comes to small-scale projects or small to mid-level companies, the overall price of setting up and maintaining a cloud instance can be quite pricey.
The other issue is that each cloud platform offers its own set of services that are specialized for certain tasks, and unless you’re sure of your requirements, it becomes difficult to choose a partner. Adding to this, the pricing systems of each vendor are also drastically different. So, before you invest in a legacy cloud service, there are several factors that you need to consider.
Cloud 2.0: Blockchain Will Make Cloud Great Again
Now that we understand the drawbacks of the traditional cloud architecture, let’s look at how adding Blockchain to the mix addresses these issues.
The innovative decentralized design of Blockchain addresses most of legacy cloud computing’s biggest drawbacks.
Decentralized Networking using Blockchain
As the Blockchain architecture is a decentralized one, all the data and control is not stored in one central server. Instead, all the nodes connected in the network have a copy of the Blockchain, and by extension the data and functionality. Because of this, the downtime issue of current-generation cloud solutions can be addressed.
Even if one node fails, all the other nodes will still be functioning which can allow processes to be uninterrupted.
b) Security and Privacy
Blockchains are virtually un-hackable and even though this technology is almost a decade old and has birthed several different platforms, there haven’t been any reports of compromised Blockchains. This is because Blockchain uses encryption with a 256-bit hash and a Merkle Tree approach for security. On top of this, the consensus system allows to detect any anomalies in the system.
Using Blockchain for clouding computing will therefore ensure a very secure architecture.
Blockchain is completely platform independent. This means that any data deployed on the network is accessible to everyone in the Blockchain no matter the platform they are using and their system configuration. Employing the same for cloud computing can address the next big issue with cloud computing— migration between platforms and platform dependencies.
Also, as every node in the network will have access to the Blockchain, the overall cost of migration and complexity will be reduced. Adding on to this, because of its nature, no vulnerabilities will present themselves during the process that could compromise security and privacy of the system.
Unlike cloud computing, decentralized Blockchain systems don’t need a server room. Just like the functioning of torrents, Blockchains store data throughout the nodes in the network and each node contributes to the overall process. As no specialized server is required to perform these functions, Blockchain reduces the initial investment of cloud if it is employed for computing and data storage.
Moreover, these systems are all generic computers which do not need to have any special configurations apart from good processors, GPUs and storage. Because of this, the maintenance cost of the overall system is also reduced by a lot.
A real-time example of this could be the dApps (Decentralized Apps) that are deployed over Ethereum. Unlike generic applications that are available from a single source and derive data from the same, dAppsare split into fragments and run concurrently over different nodes. Several systems run bits of a required program with different redundancies. These programs together make up a command-based ledger which constantly verifies code.
No single system or server owns the entire application backend which makes it extremely secure and immune to attacks or corruption.
Finally, we can say that as most of the world is moving towards decentralization, it is only a matter of time until cloud computing also migrates to it. With the several advantages that Blockchain brings to the cloud, analysts predict that we might see prototype solutions of a Cloud 2.0 system by the end of next year.
So, why wait? Why not plan and learn Blockchain to enhance your cloud computing career in the coming years.