This decade is going to witness many technological advances. The pandemic has increased our inclination towards technologies leading to rapid growth in service providers. AI and IoT are revolutionalising the IT market leading to increased data generation which calls for efficient datacenters and novel solutions to access large amount of data in real-time. Most enterprises still rely on traditional datacenters. In such cases cloud trends need improvements to accommodate the changing business requirement. Gartner estimated, around 50% of enterprise-generated data will be produced and processed outside traditional datacenters or a single centralized cloud by 2022, compared to just 10 percent today. By 2025, they forecast that number will climb as high as 75 percent to 90 percent.
Most enterprises use a combination of private and public cloud computing which has given rise to a Hybrid cloud. These have temporarily provided a solution but soon IT departments will need a more comprehensive plan to efficiently address the growing data. This is where distributed cloud computing will present an effective solution, proving to be next-gen in cloud computing.
Keep reading to find out, how can distributed computing in cloud computing benefit the enterprise and the challenges it might bring along.
What is distributed cloud computing?
Gartner defines distributed cloud as “the distribution of public cloud services to different physical locations, while the operation, governance, updates and evolution of the services are the responsibility of the originating public cloud provider.” In fact, Gartner identified distributed cloud as a top 10 trend for 2020.
In a way, distributed cloud works as a geographically dispersed infrastructure that primarily runs service at the network edge.
It provides a targeted and centrally managed distribution of cloud services; enterprises can improve the service of app or components of app in a mix of cloud location and environments
Organizations will largely benefit with this as it will reduce latency, network congestion, and risk of data loss, along with adhering to the compliance with data sovereignty regulations.
Distributed system in cloud computing has three origins: Public cloud, hybrid cloud and edge computing.
Public cloud providers have supported multiple zones and regions for many years. With packaged hybrid offerings, public cloud services (often including necessary hardware and software) can now be distributed to different physical locations, for instance, the edge.
How does it work?
“Distributed cloud mitigates the operational and security challenges of distributed workloads, as organizations can deploy multiple apps or app components with a common set of policies and overarching visibility across varied locations and heterogeneous infrastructure using a cloud-native model”, as explained by Ankur Singla, the founder and CEO of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Volterra
Gartner estimated that the integration of distributed system in cloud computing would be in 2 phases.
Phase one will consist of a like-for-like hybrid, where enterprise customers will buy cloud substations to mimic the promise of hybrid cloud and avoid latency-based problems.
Phase two, or next-gen cloud, will consist of utilities, universities, city governments and telcos, among others, buying cloud substations and opening them for use by near neighbors. This will begin to establish the idea that distributed cloud represents the foundation of the next generation of cloud computing. This will also reflect the need for the continuum of distributed cloud. Next-generation cloud will work based on an assumption that cloud substations are everywhere — much like Wi-Fi hot spots.
As a part of these phases the locations will become transparent, allowing customers to specify to provider. And the providers can automate the configuration with transparency.
Is Distributed cloud and Edge computing the same?
Edge computing is an option that many enterprises are currently opting to provide computing services to the customers as close as possible to their location. It is distributed among many devices allowing data processing and services close to the source of data rather than transferring it to another location.
Distributed computing on the other hand is a cloud service infrastructure that makes use of smaller, individual clouds capable to computation, storage and networking done by multiple systems but with a unified goal. This ability to work as a single unit makes distributed cloud flexible, efficient and produce maximum outcome. Edge computing is thus a part of distributed system in cloud computing.
Opportunities and challenges with implementing distributed computing in cloud computing
Distributed cloud has some specific advantages like (can be elaborated refer the docs)
- Affordable and high performing infrastructure as compared to extremely expensive mainframes.
- High level of task distribution ensures that the load balancing.
- Enables local processing, closer to customer, which means better bandwidth and less latency.
- As data does not travel far for processing, it assures better performance.
- Data security is better with distributed cloud as compared to centralized data processing approach, where a single cyber attack can pose great risk as all the data is at a single location. Causing the application to shut down and enterprise to take longer time to address the issue.
- The data will be closer and more specific to the consumer location, allowing increased compliance with regulatory requirements. Some regulatory agencies require that the data to be in the same country as the customer. This is easily achieved with distributed cloud strategy.
- Increased number of availability of locations for cloud services form where they can be hosted as well as consumed.
- Distributed cloud allows redundancy and proximity to data in case of emergencies.
- Network congestion and network failure issues will see a drastic decrease as cloud services will be available with local substations.
- Quick data analysis for real time requirements like surveillance, security, manufacturing automations, healthcare applications etc allowing decision makers to take smarter and faster actions.
- Management of data will still remain centralized with one interface allowing better monitoring, compliance, safety and access to customer data, at the same time providing load balancing to give faster and better performance.
- Cost efficient scalability and agility
Similar to any other technology, distributed cloud will also present several challenges,
- Distributed cloud computing can also have security such as data being vulnerable to hackers when transferring from public networks.
- Infrastructure with distributed cloud has more interfaces leading to error points at the hardware and software levels.
- Also troubleshooting will be difficult due to complexity of the infrastructure.
The last word
At the end we can say that these challenges can be gradually resolved as the advantages offered by distributed cloud provide solutions that suit a lot of current requirements of the enterprises. The integration of distributed cloud may take time as enterprises weigh the benefits and challenges and the shift will be gradual but undoubtedly distributed cloud is the future of could computation.
Image 1 Courtesy: <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/photos/business”>Business photo created by natanaelginting – www.freepik.com</a>
Image 2 Courtesy: <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/vectors/business”>Business vector created by fullvector – www.freepik.com</a>