Even though Cloud computing seems to just have reached its prime, it has, in reality, been around for almost 20 years now. During the ‘dot come bubble’ of the very early 2000’s, many businesses began using the Internet as a base for selling, and many internet-based companies were founded. This was a huge step from the previous computing cycles of mainframe and then to client-service in the pre-2000 era. When the bubble burst in 2002, most of these companies collapsed completely. Those who managed to stay afloat include Amazon, Google, and eBay, most of which are still web giants today.
The Cloud began when these big companies attempted to modernize and do all they could to remain relevant while all those around them were failing. In 2006, when Amazon.com was still just an online book retailer, they launched Amazon Web Services (AWS). Just a few years later, Microsoft, Cisco, and MySpace were all operatives of the Cloud as well. As it changed and developed over the years, the next big step for cloud would be the hybrid cloud – a combination of public and private cloud environments.
So what’s next? The environment is forever changing and once a cycle has reached its peak, something new will be waiting to take over. This next big thing could be Edge Computing.
The future holds many exciting things: Drones, Self-Driving Cars, more automation and less manual work. For these types of technology to be successful, enormous quantities of data and the fastest high-speed processors will be necessary. At this point in time, Cloud does not have the speed or capacity to handle what the future holds.
The two main elements of Edge computing are as follows: real time processing and the need for speed and latency. Amazon and Microsoft are already getting ahead of the game, as both have come out with products hinting at the capabilities of Edge. For Amazon, it is Greengass; a software that allows services provided on the cloud to be extendable to local devices. As mentioned in this blogpost, Microsoft has come out with Azure Stack.
Edge computing could have a profound impact when it comes to the storing, securing, transferring, and processing of data.