The end of cloud computing? Don’t hold your breath!
Recently I watched a video about how cloud computing has run its course. The headline—The End of Cloud Computing—grabbed my attention (that was the point, of course). But there’s just one thing: it’s not true!
The premise is that many of the future devices both large and small that we will depend on daily will need to collect real-world data in real time. That means lots of data real fast. For example, to operate safely, self-driving cars need information—and lots of it. While they’re maneuvering, self-driving cars gather incredible amounts on information—more than 1 GB per second—and use it quickly to ensure maximum safety for everyone on the road. The process requires sensors in the car to collect data about road conditions, make inferences about those conditions, and then act with extreme agility.
The process of sensing, inferring, and then acting quickly and accurately makes a lot of sense for a self-driving vehicle when we consider that a wrong “decision” by the vehicle could cause an accident, resulting in damaged property, or worse, bodily injury to vehicle occupants or pedestrians. That means data needs to be onboard the vehicle, which becomes a “moving” data center.
But here’s the thing: not all data centers need to be moving. While an “onboard” data center makes sense for a self-driving car, there are vast amounts of information that reside comfortably in the cloud. And that isn’t going to change. These days most of our devices and how we use them depend on a data-gathering process that occurs centrally in the cloud. The device in use pings the cloud and then information in the cloud is returned. For example, when you do a Google search or use your favorite app, the cloud is the perfect vehicle from which to grab the necessary data.
And what about business-critical data? The cloud is the perfect vehicle for enterprise IT. In fact, today many organizations are given mandates to store a certain percentage of the business’s data in the cloud. Why? It’s economical and it’s safe—practical reasons that reduce TCO. These days, who doesn’t want to reduce TCO?
The cloud is also the perfect vehicle for archiving data that needs to be globally accessible. The truth is, many businesses don’t like to deal with the long-term retention (LTR) of data. But the cloud does! The cloud’s efficiency and security makes it the right choice for LTR. As data ages, its value decreases—until it’s required for some unexpected reason, including legal.
If you’re like most organizations, the amount of data being created and stored by employees on their desktops and laptops continues to expand dramatically. The cloud is the perfect vehicle to store and protect that data. And speaking about data protection, did you know that the cloud can play an important role in protecting your organization from a ransomware disaster? As part of a business continuity plan, the FBI recommends protecting your organization from cyberattacks by backing up data regularly, verifying the integrity of those backups regularly, and securing your backups.
Although it’s true to some extent that the only constant in technology is change, there are some things that for the most part remain the same. Sure, improvements are made, but the application of the idea is essentially the same. Take the light bulb, for example. Since its inception in the 19th century, the incandescent lamp changed the way we live. Over the years, improvements in technology resulted in fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and, today, LEDs. Yet the idea is basically the same: electricity is harnessed to generate light as efficiently as possible to improve the way we do things. That’s the way I see the cloud: It’s great now and will continue to evolve and become more prominent and more efficient with time. And you can drive that idea all the way to the data center.
To learn more about why the cloud is the perfect vehicle for your data, visit Dell EMC.