Believe it or not, considering how ubiquitous cloud computing is today, it’s only been around a decade since cloud computing became an actual reality. However, in its time it revolutionized the concept of IT networking and infrastructure.
Simply put, it provides computer storage, processing power, and applications over the Internet so users don’t have to worry about purchasing, installing, and maintaining hardware and software.
In the meantime, we have seen the emergence of multi-cloud, where businesses and organizations pick and choose services from a multitude of cloud providers, and hybrid cloud, where infrastructure is provided via both cloud and on-premises solutions.
But the technology hasn’t stopped advancing, and recently, new terms like supercloud and sky computing have emerged to describe what the next stage in the evolution of ‘infrastructure as a service’ will look like. .
But what do they mean and what benefits do they bring to businesses and organizations? Let’s take a closer look at them and explore some of the potential use cases.
What is Supercloud and Sky Computing?
In fact, both of these terms express very similar ideas. This is the next step in the evolution of cloud computing and will be distributed across multiple providers. It also integrates other models, including edge computing, into a unified infrastructure and user experience. Other names sometimes used include “decentralized cloud” and “metacloud”.
While many organizations have made the leap to multicloud, this is seen as necessary as the various cloud providers are not always integrated with each other. In other words, companies pursuing multi-cloud may find themselves managing multiple cloud environments, each operating as an independent entity to some extent. For example, if you want to migrate applications and data from one cloud to another, this can be difficult.
The answer proposed by the supercloud concept is to create another layer of abstraction on top of this and work independently of the cloud platform running underneath. This is the supercloud, where you can run your applications in containers or virtual machines and connect them with the underlying cloud platform.
The result is separate cloud environments that behave as if interconnected with each other, allowing software, applications, and data to move freely between them.
This means that your company may have service agreements with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and others. You can then reconfigure your infrastructure on-the-fly through the supercloud interface and move services between these different platforms or servers in different geographical locations as your requirements change.
Examples of when this might be useful are when you need to serve a new group of users in a new region, or when a particular data center is overloaded. Simply “lift and shift” your entire application to a new, more convenient data center or another cloud provider.
In many deployments, superclouds combine the benefits of both hybrid cloud and multicloud, as they also provide access to other models such as on-premises infrastructure and edge computing. The important part is that everything is accessible and usable through a unified user interface. As such, the actual location where the data is stored or where the application is running is not visible to the user, who will always have a consistent experience.
Beyond simplifying internal infrastructure, systems and processes, moving to a supercloud model theoretically makes it easier for organizations to integrate and share tools and data with clients and partners. . Clients and partners may use completely different platforms.
What are the main challenges of supercloud and sky computing?
A major challenge in setting up supercloud infrastructure today is security. This is because different cloud providers can have different security protocols, and data and applications that need to work across multiple providers must be configured in a way that is compatible with all of them.
Using more cloud services means more surfaces where your data can be exposed to potential security breaches. A priority for those laying the groundwork for supercloud systems is to create automated solutions that run at the supercloud layer to provide protection regardless of the cloud services or on-premises infrastructure used. .
Fundamentally, cloud computing is designed to be the last step towards the commoditization of computing infrastructure. This goal is set by UC Berkeley professor Ion Stoica and his professor Scott Shenker in his 2021 paper. From cloud computing to sky computing.
Stoika and Shenker were early proponents of the cloud computing paradigm and wrote about it in 2009. At the time, they predicted that computing and storage infrastructure could become a “utility” similar to electricity and internet connectivity. This did not materialize. This is primarily due to the emergence of different standards across different cloud service providers (Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc.). Superclouds (sky computing as Stoica and Shenker like to call it) may finally be the way to do it.
However, they argue that while technical challenges are fairly easy to overcome, creating services and standards for communicating between different clouds, for example, may encounter resistance from the cloud providers themselves. doing.
Would Amazon or Google welcome the idea of ”sharing” their cloud customers with competing services? Stoica and Shenker point to the existence of applications such as Google Anthos – an application management platform that runs on Google Cloud as well as AWS and other cloud platforms – proof that they are starting to embrace the idea.
Overall, superclouds are an exciting concept and have the potential to make it simpler and more affordable for organizations to leverage powerful computing infrastructure. This is good news, and we hope it will make it easier for innovators to provide cloud-based tools and apps that make our lives even better.