- Similar to a decentralized blockchain, a decentralized cloud draws its security from a widely distributed structure.
- This overall architecture can help make these systems more resistant to the hackers, attacks, and outages that have plagued large, centralized data centers.
- In a Q&A with Reggie Jerath, CEO and founder of Gather Network, he explained the benefit of utilizing decentralized cloud services for business.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, global businesses spent over $21 billion on cloud computing services, with the biggest beneficiaries of this increase being big cloud developers like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft.
So, what exactly are cloud services/cloud computing?
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.
You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping you lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change, according to Microsoft.
Why should cloud services be decentralized? How is this beneficial for companies?
Similar to a decentralized blockchain, a decentralized cloud draws its security from a widely distributed structure.
This overall architecture can help make these systems more resistant to the hackers, attacks, and outages that have plagued large, centralized data centers.
In a normal cloud storage method, all company and employee information are gathered and stored in large data centers, which often falls victim to downtime and outages when the facilities go offline. But decentralized cloud storage is free of these issues.
Companies get to experience a large, distributed network comprising thousands of nodes across the world that are independently owned and operated – which store data on the organization’s behalf.
In a Q&A with Reggie Jerath, CEO and founder of Gather Network, he explained the benefit of utilizing decentralized cloud services for business.
Allwork.Space: Why are companies choosing to now undergo major digital transformation projects, and why are they choosing centralized cloud services to host them?
Reggie Jerath: When cloud computing burst onto the scene less than two decades ago, it was touted as a cheap solution for businesses burdened with the cost of maintaining local storage for company files and purchasing multiple software licenses.
By provisioning storage to the cloud – vast warehouses of third-party servers – enterprises were able to dramatically drive down both hardware and software costs.
However, cloud computing has helped start, grow and transform many organizations across many segments contributing significantly to worldwide economic growth, streamlining and securing the operations.
Big tech’s major cloud players such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure have been in the arena for a long time, and many enterprises are choosing these centralized entities for their day-to-day operations, but it’s very costly, and a single point of failure can create major outages on the internet, as we have recently seen with WhatsApp and Instagram outages this past year.
Allwork.Space: What are the dangers of having the computing power of organizations in the hands of only a handful of big tech companies?
Reggie Jerath: Recent blackouts of Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Fastly showed once again that centralized cloud services’ power cuts are creating havoc on the workflows.
It’s time for an alternate solution to avoid a single point of failure; decentralized cloud computing solutions achieve this.
It costs thousands of dollars per minute in lost productivity and revenue, and Gather Cloud’s aim to localize cloud in a decentralized framework threatens the current status-quo, creating a disruption in the industry.
Allwork.Space: What has caused centralized cloud computing services to be plagued by outages and raise concerns over cybersecurity?
Reggie Jerath: Cloud computing has essentially become a victim of its own success in that businesses are now so reliant upon it, they are hamstrung when it becomes unavailable like outages – while the evolving nature of computational demands has driven spiraling costs.
Although storing intercompany files in the cloud is still inexpensive, that’s not how businesses are using the cloud today. Increasingly, cloud computing is being utilized for processing massive amounts of data. While businesses can now access a wealth of computational power, such riches don’t come cheap.
Small businesses are effectively priced out of accessing this resource, while enterprises are seeing an increasing amount of their budget eaten up by cloud costs. Cloud computing outages on major platforms like Amazon Web Services cost users hundreds of thousands of dollars per minute in lost productivity and revenue.
Amazon’s most recent outage – which lasted a mere 13 minutes – is thought to have cost users over $2.6 million, or around $203,000 for every minute of downtime.
One way to circumvent the issues presented by centralized platforms like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Fastly is to apply a decentralized framework which isn’t reliant on any one bank of servers or corporate entity.
Allwork.Space: How could decentralized cloud computing solve many of the issues that exist in the industry today?
Reggie Jerath: The servers that Amazon and Google lease to enterprises on demand are essentially networked devices chained together to provide vast amounts of processing power. In structure, they are simply souped-up versions of the networked devices we hold in our hands and have scattered around our homes.
Chain enough of these consumer devices together to harness their idle processing power, and you could create a supercomputer capable of rivaling the leading cloud providers.
Web3 engineers have long been aware of this capability, and decentralized proponents have been endeavoring for years to spin up a workable distributed cloud computing framework.
The case for building a decentralized cloud is compelling, not just in terms of driving down costs at the point of access, but also in providing an always-on and censorship-resistant solution, an affordable way for enterprises to leverage their existing machines for repurposing already available compute power, demonstrating that low-cost cloud computing is achievable at scale.