Cloud Technology Trends
When you are reading articles on the future of tech on the Internet you cannot escape mention of the cloud: it is set to be the best thing that has ever happened to us, pundits assure us, and there is a promise of some serious money to be made. Reading these articles you can tell there is a real expectation of cloud becoming even bigger, and why not? It is a real revolution in the way we store files and run processes. Let us take a look at some of the more concrete examples of the way the cloud is going to change our lives in the coming years.
The biggest thing happening right now in the cloud is containerization. Though not something that can be monetized directly it is a fundamental shift in the way we will find ourselves using the cloud in the years to come. The above link, as well as this one, will give you a fairly detailed explanation of what containerization is, but here is the breakdown for the less nitty-gritty inclined: rather than have several processes running in the cloud at the same time, a real killer for total processing power, you will have one big one that runs several sub-processes.
Although it does not suit every kind of business, it does mean that we will be able to run bigger things in the cloud simultaneously. You could, for instance, have a virtual computer running in the cloud that is an exact copy of your home PC. You could then access this home PC from any device hooked up to the cloud, be it your work computer, tablet or even smartphone. The days when the cloud was just a handy place to store things are definitely over, containerization services like Docker and Azure make it so that you could have a powerful computer that can run any kind of software imaginable in something so small you could fit it into your pocket.
The gaming industry is no stranger to the cloud: Steam has been offering backups this way for years and several new MMOs have launched using it. In both cases developers have used relatively cheap cloud-based memory to either improve user experience or to make a world come alive without the insanely high start-up costs involved with setting up a game with massive amounts of players. What is new, though, is that now entire gaming systems are being put into the cloud thanks to containerization which anyone can use, regardless of the system they are rocking at home. NVIDIA is the leader of the pack, though other companies like Leap are making strides as well. The object of all these ventures is to have any paying customer be able to access virtual machines that feel in no way different from the real thing. Though this already kind of exists in the form of online emulators that can mimic computers from older generations, NVIDIA is promising top-of-the-line performance that can run on any system. If everything works out as projected, there is a chance you could be playing games like XCOM 2 and the new Deus Ex on an older, sub-spec laptop or even a tablet.
Internet of Things
Unless you have been living in a place without any connection to the wider world for the past year or two, you will have heard of the Internet of Things: the IoT, as the cool kids are calling it, may be the most touted thing in the history of invention. No matter what your opinion is on having everything in your house hooked up to the web, you cannot deny that it would be possible without the cloud as it is the driving force behind not just the storage of the data gathered by appliances but also of the computing processes they will need to utilize.
(Image Source: Shutterstock)
The IoT is shaping up to leave the realm of marketers and PR junkets this year as companies are slowly moving beyond the R&D phase of this technology and into actual implementation. A shining example of both IoT done right as well as a showcase of what it is capable of is the Oslo metro system, where the trains themselves constantly check if everything is running smoothly and adjust timetables or request maintenance if this is not the case. All the computations necessary are run using cloud connected technologies and are proof that the IoT has a real future.
Money Matters (Fintech and Digital Currencies)
Payment and moving money over the Internet is not a new thing, PayPal, the biggest player in the market, has been around for years and is still going strong. The banking sector as a whole, though, has been lagging behind, as both banks as well as their customers are not quick to entrust their money to unproven new services and technology. This is starting to change, though, as several European banks are letting things like risk assessment calculations and the like to be handled by the combined processing clout of the cloud. Partly this is because the cloud has become more powerful, but also because security has improved to the point that it complies with the strict regulations governing banks' behavior. Through this increase in safety banks will be able to enter the cloud fully and not only optimize their data input by automating it, but also cut costs, making them more competitive. For those that do not trust the more established institutions this move to the cloud is good news, too: startups are going to find it easier than ever to get into the field and start offering their services. In both cases their customers will be able to enjoy not only smoother banking but also be able to handle their financial matters from wherever they please. From now on, money will not just talk, but walk as well.
No matter what your field is, 2016 is going to be an exciting year filled with innovation thanks to cloud computing.
By Mauricio Prinzlau