This is the cloud. It is where a lot of your data is stored. From pictures to office spreadsheets and power point presentations, word docs, web pages, disk backups, and many other files and programs. Like clouds, it appears to be passive, like a very large external hard drive. Clouds don’t really move fast, and they aren’t really personal. Even though in fact the Cloud is thousands of server farms located across the globe, they aren’t really visible. They are…nebulous, like a cloud. The term the Cloud was probably utilized as clouds aren’t very threatening (outside of storms of course), and it could evoke an metaphor of a non-threatening data storage system to ease acceptance by the general population.
The utilization of the cloud has grown significantly. The following chart indicates how the growth in the cloud has occurred. As the image shows, there are many layers to the cloud. The bottom layer belongs to APIs or Application Programming Interfaces that include tools and programming subroutines for creating APs, like the ones that you may have on your phone.
courtesy of http://blog.lwtconnect.com/blog/?p=165
The next layer goes to data storage, such as computer backups, picture and document storage. The third layer has developed as a computing layer and is based in part on virtual instances: these are massive storage devices that are partitioned into many smaller storage areas. Infrastructure is the fourth layer and handles network traffic flow and how different types of communication flow through out the network. The last layer has to do with cloud computing standardization and protocols that create great efficiencies.
We can see from this graph above that this tremendous growth and utilization is increasing rapidly. This situation is causing us to run headlong into a problem. Each device (phone, computer, sensor) has it’s own IP address which uniquely identifies it. The problem is that the number of IP addresses is becoming exhausted, such as the chart below indicates.
courtesy of theregister.co.uk
The bigger problem isn’t on this chart though. A more recent phenomena has to do with the explosion of internet-connected monitoring sensors. The rapid growth in connected sensors, from robots to locomotives to smart cars, toasters, coffee pots, cell phones, artificial intelligence devices (AIDs) and gaming stations are going to need new addresses and new ways to operate across the virtual and real landscape. Each of these units can have multiple sensors, all of which are interconnected.
People are going to begin to interface on multiple platforms and devices. I think that it is time for a new metaphor, that the term Cloud is obsolete. The amount of data transmission will be staggering by today’s standards. In fact, we will probably need several new metric prefixes: after kilo (1000), mega, giga, we now operate in the ranges of the next to, tera, and peta (1 x 10^15). Within ten years we could blow the roof off the next three sets: exa, zetta, and yotta.
I suggest that the more appropriate metaphor for this level of interconnectivity is to move from a passive metaphor that is the Cloud to an active metaphor that is the HIVE. A HIVE is a highly active social organism where the related beings work together. Your port to the HIVE will enable you to have a Highly Individualized Vehicle for Expansion. Herein Vehicle evokes the meaning of a thing used to embody or fulfill something. The HIVE is active, moving, allowing the individual to collaborate and expand to their personal capabilities. Yes it is a romantic vision, but look how much we have increased our collaboration and creativity all ready!
This child is already a child of the HIVE. Especially at this age, the boundaries between the physical and virtual world are blurred. In a few years more and more of us will blur these boundaries. Blurred Lines, hey hey, hey… (different connotation though)
courtesy of kotaku.com.au
The critical masses for all these developments were surpassed many years ago, they now seem to have a ‘life’ of their own, growing, thriving. We have outgrown the Cloud. Let’s move to the HIVE!
Just for fun…
courtesy of the hive-cafe.com