Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Andy Thurai

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Agile Computing, @DXWorldExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Tune into the Cloud: Chain Gang | @CloudExpo #SaaS #Cloud #Blockchain

A technology that makes decentralization possible in the cloud is Blockchain

Tune into: Decentralization

More than with previous technological (r)evolutions a side effect of cloud computing seems to be an increase in the degree of centralization and concentration, not just within company organizations, but particularly in the wider commercial market. This is the most obvious with Software as a Service, where providers such as Airbnb, Uber, but also earlier cloud services such as LinkedIn and Google Search quickly established a ‘winner takes all’ distribution of market share and thus market power. And also in Infrastructure as a Service, we see an quickly diminishing  number of suppliers still having the illusion that they can keep up with the gorilla in this market.

My first scientific encounter with centralization and decentralization was during the early eighties of the last century – when Prof. Gert Nielen – one of the founders of the then just launched Business Information Science curriculum – stated that centralization and decentralization can best understood as a sponge. By squeezing the sponge (centralizing the control) we expel waste and increase efficiency, for example by concentrating information storage and processing in one place and by all using the same standard way of working. But after a while squeezing the sponge harder does not bring that effect anymore, we must make room for new ideas and new ways of working and the best way to do so is by permitting a degree of decentralization, by releasing the sponge and let many (decentralized) flowers bloom.

A technology that makes decentralization possible  in the cloud is the Blockchain. But so far block chain technology is mainly known for Bitcoins and the somewhat anarchic atmosphere that surrounds this phenomena. In essence, a block chain is a reliable journal (ledger) of transactions, which makes it possible – without a central authority and with no predetermined confidence (trust) in transaction partners – to still do business with each other. And no longer needing a central authority (such as a commercial or central bank, or a central provider such as a Google or Airbnb) also means that there is no  authority that can indulge in censorship or market manipulation.

To understand why having such an authority can be a problem, we only have to look at the music industry. It seems almost every artist  at some point during their career will run into a serious conflict or at least a fundamental difference of opinion with their record company. Would it not be much nicer if these artists could autonomically control their music distribution and IP transactions. And I mean not through free or even illegal downloads and streams but through a worldwide trusted network of micro transactions.

Now artists and musicians are a group that for centuries has been monetizing their skills and talent  as independent contributors rather than as traditional salaried workers. But increasingly this may also apply to the traditional employee jobs of enterprise organizations that people like you an me are active in. Also here workers will be increasingly expected to string together a monthly income from individual transactions. In which case it is nice if the percentage of overhead and (government) taxes that is deducted from the incoming flow is somewhat limited.

And if these two small examples are not convincing enough  to establish the need for block chain based solutions, consider the ultimate use case for decentralized low-cost but reliable transactions: the Internet of Things (IoT). Increasingly, these “things” do transactions with people, but also directly with each other. An example of the latter is a parking garage (a thing) that offers cheap parking at weekends to smart cars (other things) that are looking for a place to stay safe during the city trip weekend their owner is planning. Now from a privacy perspective it is pretty essential if both the cars and their drivers can remain anonymous and also that is possible thanks to block chain based technologies and its many associated initiatives such as ethereum.org. Not that block chain based technologies do not still have some hurdles to overcome (scalability being just one of the more well known ones) but the potential is quite promising.

Decentralized architectures may seem complex but they in many cases also have proven to be very powerful and robust. Just consider the original architecture of the Internet (although that still some essential parts centrally arranged/agreed) or the power of bittorrent and other peer2peer applications, including the original version of Skype.

I don’t expect the slight alternative or even anarchistic feel to blockchain will disappear  in the near future, even though the growing popularity of books such as “Capital in the 21th century” by Thomas Pikety and “Post Capitalism” by Paul Masson and even the (temporary) emerging of a “socialist” with a remarkably young following in the US election is a sign that the world is starting to look at alternative models to organize, allocate and monetize traditional market-driven commercial activities.

Chain Gang (That’s the sound of the people working on the “Chain Gang”) is a song that Sam Cook wrote in 1960 about a group of inmates – chained together – that had to perform forced labor for a central authority. In most part’s of the world  Cook is better known for his much more optimistic “(What a) Wonderful World.

More Stories By Gregor Petri

Gregor Petri is a regular expert or keynote speaker at industry events throughout Europe and wrote the cloud primer “Shedding Light on Cloud Computing”. He was also a columnist at ITSM Portal, contributing author to the Dutch “Over Cloud Computing” book, member of the Computable expert panel and his LeanITmanager blog is syndicated across many sites worldwide. Gregor was named by Cloud Computing Journal as one of The Top 100 Bloggers on Cloud Computing.

Follow him on Twitter @GregorPetri or read his blog at blog.gregorpetri.com

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...