A Guide to Four Major Cloud Innovations: What is Mobile, Green, Edge & Distributed Computing

Cloud Computing Technology Innovations

Photo Attribution: vs148/Shutterstock.com

At the forefront, most people understand cloud computing as delivering services, such as servers & storage without owning their own physical infrastructure. Its qualities include being secure, reliable, on-demand, and on the go. It is used in sectors across the board, including government, healthcare, and education. Cloud technology is forward-thinking, and it is the way of the future. Still not convinced? Data sourced by Hosting Tribunal says that this popular technology is only going to keep growing. They state that public cloud infrastructure will grow by 35% in 2021 and by 2025, the amount of data stored in cloud data centers will be over 100 zettabytes. Yes, you read that correctly, that's 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes!

As technology develops more generally, so does the cloud. Over the last few years, innovations in cloud computing have introduced us to mobile, edge, green, and distributed cloud computing. What makes them different from a standard cloud setup? Which one is ideal for your organization? We understand you have many questions, and with so many options, it is easy to be overwhelmed. We want to help to make the difference between these cloud computing innovations more clear.

4 Cloud Computing Innovations: Modile, Green, Edge, Distributed

Top Features of Mobile Cloud Computing

Today, it is hard to come by someone who does not have a smartphone or other mobile device like a tablet. According to bankmycell, there are 5.28 billion people that have a mobile device in the world. This adds up to approximately 67% of the world's population. With technology continuously improving, cloud applications have gone from computers to mobile devices. This expansion has enhanced accessibility and on-the-go capabilities.

For cloud technology to work on a mobile device, there needs to be an application and an internet connection. Once set up, data can be viewed, transferred, and stored from the device to cloud data centers and vice versa.

Modor Intelligence Mobile Cloud Market Growth Rate

Image courtesy of Mordor Intelligence

So, what are some of the top features of mobile cloud computing? Let us look at a few of the most significant:

  • Portability - People are always on the go. Especially with the onset of expanding work-from-home trends. Being able to access and utilize cloud data while on the go is key to ensuring your business continues to operate when you are away from your desk.
  • Real-time - Whether you access data on a computer or a phone, it will be available just as quickly - in real-time.
  • Cyber response - Imagine being away on vacation to get word of a potential cyber threat. What do you do? In response, a mobile cloud application can allow you to secure or wipe data remotely.
  • Secure - Since this is occurring on a mobile device, some users may be skeptical about safety and security. Mobile cloud computing apps are built with safety in mind, and not solely dependent on a devices security detail.

What are the Advantages of Green Cloud Computing?

The word "green" may have given it away. If not, the concept of green cloud computing refers to reducing the impact that the design and usage of this technology has on the environment.

It is not to say that there are specific versions of the cloud that are "green," but more so that cloud computing, in general, is environmentally friendly when compared to on-site infrastructure. There are, however, things to look out for to ensure the company you choose to host you in the cloud is abiding by what is best for the environment. According to Cyfuture, if done thoughtfully, green cloud computing could reduce energy consumption by 27%, compared to a standard cloud setup.

So, how does this relate to cloud computing more specifically? Let us have a look at some of the main advantages of green cloud computing:

  • Off-site infrastructure - When more organizations move to the cloud, it means less infrastructure in-house. You might be wondering how this is relevant to the environment because infrastructure is still being housed somewhere, just not on-site. Well, the more organizations that embrace the cloud, the better. Cloud organizations build one data center and can service many clients directly from that location. So instead of ten companies each with their own in-house infrastructure systems, it is consolidated to ten in one location. If the location is built with sustainability in mind, the green benefits can be remarkable.
  • Go paperless - In some cases, printing may be necessary. However, printing emails and documents for reference at a later date can be frustrating and inefficient. When you employ a cloud system, it means data can be viewed, moved, and stored online. Everything is easily searchable for those who have access. No need to sift through papers!
  • Staff management - Your employees no longer need to commute to the office or workspace to access their data. That is because cloud computing allows for data to be accessed off-site when authorized via mobile devices or laptops. This ultimately means fewer vehicles on the road.

Green cloud computing is a combination of more efficient design, production, and usage. Using a cloud system, especially one which emphasizes environmentally-friendly policies has many direct and indirect benefits for the earth.

What is Edge Cloud Computing? 

Edge computing aims to bring power and storage closer to the data sources.

As is explained by Infradata, "An Edge Cloud architecture is used to decentralize (processing) power to the edges (clients/devices) of your networks." Therefore, this process does not send data to a distant location for processing. Essentially, the cloud is closer to you. The benefit? It ultimately saves bandwidth and reduces latency, especially when working with large or complex datasets.

For example, let us compare it to a tire pressure sensor on a vehicle. The sensor notifies an onboard computer when a tire is low on air. The computer processes the request and shows a warning on the dashboard. This computer on-board the vehicle can be said to represent the idea of an edge computing device.

Still need a bit more understanding? Take a look at this graphic to see how much closer the cloud is during edge computing, compared to a traditional data center set-up.

Kalray Edge Computing

Image courtesy of Kalray

So, are edge computing and edge cloud computing different? The short answer is "yes." They are not in competition with each other and they are not the same technologies. However, edge computing uses cloud technology, but one that is closer to the site of organizational operation.

What can a Distributed Cloud System do for Your Organization?  

As the name may suggest, distributed cloud is when the technology is spread out geographically (not through one data center) but still managed centrally. This allows an organization to improve performance, comply with federal or local regulations, and participate in edge computing.

Running cloud infrastructure in different locations could refer to a data center (or a third-party center), on-premise, or a co-location site. The benefit to this is that organizations can run servers closer to where data is created, like at an office.

 In addition to faster content delivery, this method also allows for a few other notable advantages, including the facilitation of edge computing:

  • Regulatory compliance - Whether a government or industry policy, running a distributed cloud can help meet privacy demands. For example, many regulations specify that personal information cannot leave the country where the informant resides. In response, organizations with many clients in a single country may opt to set up a cloud to house data in that location.
  • Improved management - Just because you have different cloud checkpoints in several locations does not mean you need to manage each one separately. With distributed cloud technology, you can manage all locations from one central pane.