For more then a decade information technology is shifting from centralized compute power into decentralized personal computing. Modern technology made this possible by doubling the performance of the central processing unit within every two years (Moore‘s law). We are entering the stage that Mainframe power is becoming Public and that public Cloud is becoming mainstream. This makes us all mainframe users on a micro-scale with PC‘s, Tablets and smartphones. All the data we produce and digest are centralized via Cloud computing and made available at any moment in time at your fingertips.
Big Public cloud players like Dropbox, Spotify, Apple, Google and Microsoft are the drivers for shifting your information toward the Cloud.
For those who don’t follow this space, a public Cloud is a huge pool of shared servers, storage, and networking owned and managed by a single provider, where Amazon, Microsoft and Google are the key players. Those providers, in turn, rent that capacity to customers ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.
The big shift from Public to Private Cloud
Public Cloud seems not always as attempting as it may look, news goes around that Dropbox, which had long used Amazon Web Services to store most of its digital stuff, acknowledged that it had moved most of that (90%) to its own infrastructure.
Dropbox stores two kinds of data: file content and metadata about files and users. They always had a hybrid cloud architecture, hosting metadata and their web servers in data centers they already manage, and storing file content on Amazon (AWS).
There is a thin-line between the ability to scale your operations reliably and grow as fast as you like with Public Cloud services, and to have confidence in just one single Cloud provider. The most companies with massive amounts of data to store and manage may want more than one source to turn to for that work. Who wants to be reliant on a single vendor for anything that important?
Like the saying goes:
“Do not put all your eastern-eggs within the same basket”
Probably the best kept secret is that Apple has been using AWS and Microsoft Azure clouds for its own iCloud storage service, and now also throwing some of that work over to Google.
It seems that Apple will use whatever cloud providers it needs for now, to squeeze price concessions out of the other providers until it has enough of its own infrastructure in place to run iCloud entirely on its own. Looks like they will follow the Dropbox strategy.
Also Spotify is moving, but within the opposite direction. Until now the company has maintained its own data servers, leasing space near listeners so that it can stream music as quickly as desired. Now the company is saying goodbye to that approach and is saying hello to the Google Cloud Platform. Even Netflix long the best example of a pioneering Amazon client, now also uses Google Cloud’s storage for archiving.
Many companies talk about minimizing cost on such things as datacenters and servers, where Amazon, Microsoft and Google seek to capitalize on, meanwhile keeping up with the massive amount of data we all produce at every heartbeat. Those providers will need to collaborate by sharing their datacenter footprint for the ongoing request of resources to keep up with capacity (volume) versus the uptime of their services (value), and this all in favor of the consumer of information.
It would be compelling to see if Apple, Google or Microsoft someday provide us the choice of which datacenter between each-other we would like to store our data. Interesting, but it’s probably not going to happen.