The world has already seen several shifts in the landscape of cloud computing, and it looks like another one is on the way: Cloud 3.0.
Cloud computing 1.0 came about as a result of the first forays into server virtualization, while Cloud 2.0 is a more recent invention. This was, in many ways, the cloud revolution with apps like Google Drive becoming mainstream as the general public realized they could work almost entirely online.
Current issues with cloud computing
However, this iteration of the cloud still has its drawbacks. Prashant Ram, director of technology and innovation at A-1 Technology Inc, points out in a Linkedin post that security has become the main concern in this iteration of the cloud. He said: "The correct balance between the public and the private cloud and Cloud Security has become increasingly critical."
There's also the issue of managing servers and updating applications, which in many cases still has to be done manually. Then, of course, there is the drive to evolve and innovate, which doesn't really need a reason. All these have pushed the computing industry to the brink of Cloud 3.0.
So what does this new iteration of the cloud have to offer?
One possibility, according to Amin Vahdat, Technical Networking Lead at Google, is to do with hardware. In a talk at Interop, he said infrastructure could move to what he called "building scale".
Essentially, this would mean creating entire buildings dedicated entirely to the infrastructure needed for cloud computing. This would be much more efficient than our current model, as it is easier to use resources from a single cluster of 100,000 servers than it is to do so from 100 clusters of 1,000.
An alternative intepretation
Chinese technology giant Huawei has a different idea. The firm wrote in a sponsored post that Cloud 3.0 would be defined by "platform-as-a-service (PaaS)", which would allow users to "consume applications rather than running servers in someone else's data center".
Of course, there are a whole host of possibilities as the cloud enters nearly every aspect of our lives. One probability is that Cloud 3.0 will be merged with the internet of things (IoT), which itself is growing exponentially. Gartner estimates that more than 20 billion IoT devices will be in use by 2020, and IoT-as-a-service could soon become very prevalent; something that would depend heavily on the cloud.
Overall, it's not entirely clear what the next iteration of the cloud will look like. One thing is certain, however: it will continue to evolve and develop as companies and individuals innovate.
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