The cloud computing market is enormous. According to Gartner, worldwide public cloud revenue is expected to reach $302.5 billion by 2021, with cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) projected to grow the fastest. Public cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure dominate the current cloud landscape. However, that dynamic is rapidly changing

Despite the ubiquitous success of the current model, there remain several issues that an upcoming generation of platforms plan to overcome by focusing on decentralizing the cloud infrastructure with artificial intelligence (AI) and yes, blockchains.

The new cloud computing infrastructure can support scalable applications for businesses with enhanced efficiency in both cost and computation while retaining the safeguards of a decentralized, trust-minimized ecosystem. Here's how.

Centralized Cloud Efficiency and Security  

The vulnerability of data in centralized 'walled gardens' security models continually proves its ineffectiveness on a massive scale. Marriott's recent hack was one of the largest ever and follows a string of high-profile examples throughout 2018. When proponents of decentralization tout security as one of its vital advantages, we need to listen because clearly, the current status quo is unacceptable.

However, Gartner recently highlighted that competition is dwindling in the public cloud computing sector as major players aggregate more power. Decentralizing cloud infrastructure with blockchains may sound promising at face value, but scalability issues plaguing blockchains require a hybrid approach.

AI offers another bleeding-edge technology that may supply the necessary automation and efficiency for a decentralized cloud infrastructure.

Integrating AI and Blockchains

Blockchains and AI have a symbiotic relationship, and their potential convergence is undergoing vigorous research and development. Platforms that take a multi-faceted approach to next-generation cloud infrastructure are poised to succeed.

Blockchains inherently provide a degree of decentralization. However, the emphasis on openness and immutability of several major public cryptocurrency networks makes them less than ideal choices for businesses looking to build scalable applications with permissioned governance.

AI, on the other hand, can help to alleviate some of the issues preventing companies from using blockchains in a variety of ways. AI presents a more efficient mechanism for resources on blockchain and cloud networks to be allocated.

AI can also automatically adjust to network activity and appropriate the resources necessary for an application to scale or minimize costs for transactions and data storage. Further, AI tools can be used to reduce network latency and improve the energy efficiency of blockchains.

Decentralized Cloud Computing Platforms Emerge

Platforms like DeepCloud AI--a blockchain-based AI cloud computing platform--are explicitly focusing on creating the robust cloud backbone through a unique integration of AI, and blockchain. DeepCloud AI uses a P2P matching algorithm for allocating computational and storage resources on the network. They address security with Intel's SGX secure-enclave computing, encapsulating resource allocation and computation on the network between permissioned parties. Supply chain Internet of Things (IoT) devices that are vulnerable to hacking can operate within a secure environment outside of third-party influence.

Other decentralized cloud computing platforms--like DFINITY and Golem--also emphasize levelling the playing field between cloud service participants. DFINITY comes with its own 'Blockchain Nervous System' for monitoring and adjusting to network requirements, while Golem focuses on allowing users to share additional computational resources in a global computing network.

The myriad partnerships in the space already demonstrate that decentralized cloud computing platforms are viewed very favorably by businesses. Perhaps with decentralized cloud computing, the original conception of the Internet--that has yet to be fully realized--can finally be achieved.

Just make sure you don't have your head in the cloud when it happens. 

Published on: Dec 31, 2018