Sabtu, 28 Mei 2011

The Next Technology Revolution: Cloud Network

Powerful computing on your weak mobile device is a short step away. It’s called cloud computing, and it can do so much more than what we have today. Cell phones will become thinner and much more powerful as this technology is developed.

With cloud computing, a mobile device sends a task to a service provider, which relays it to a powerful distant computer, and then that computer computes it and sends it back. Software is already available that lets you browse your home computer as you sit on a plane at the airport. A cell phone only needs to be powerful enough to send and receive information over a local area network.

There are two things holding back the extent of this technology. First, the infrastructure couldn’t handle it if everyone were constantly uploading and downloading massive amounts of information. Wireless networks are still being upgraded and wireless providers haven’t stepped up to provide this service. Second, there is a limited wireless speed and the laws of physics can’t be broken. The API needs to somehow break up and reassemble tasks quickly, like a torrent. If a difficult task, such as a video game, were broken up into a hundred pieces and sent over a hundred different wireless connections, all the computing could be achieved far away and relayed to a razor-thin cell phone. The challenge is to quickly and easily break up this information and relay it.

Image, you open up an app on your phone that says ‘Home Computer.’ Within seconds your phone uses a wireless network to access your home computer. It verifies your Home Computer signature, and logs in with your username, password, and certificate. Your home desktop appears on your phone and you click on the icon that says ‘Wow.’ Instantly you are playing World of Warcraft with the same speed as your home computer.

But that’s just the beginning of what cloud software could do. All your music, documents, images, and videos could be saved on some Verizon computer somewhere and you just access it anytime you want. The phone would have a small memory and small computing capacity, so more could fit into it, and it would be cheaper. Networks of mobile devices could be guided by a single powerful computer.

Cloud software today is ridiculously difficult to use. It needs to be practical enough that a person just presses a button and they see their home computer desktop. Device makers haven’t even touched on the possibility of using a severs’ supercomputers to compute the cell phones’ tasks. Cooperation between wireless network providers and cell phone services could make it easy. A device’s signature is recognized and approved on the internet network because of some agreement between the two companies. The wireless network provider keeps track of how much bandwidth gets used and the cell phone service is charged accordingly.

Payment for the wireless network could thus be provided by the user’s phone service. If you use the airport’s wireless network with a Verizon phone, then Verizon pays the airport for how much bandwidth you used and you pay back Verizon. It’s as simple as that. A signature for each phone service provider and for each wireless internet provide will have to quickly and easily be verified, and secure.

There are only four things that need to be accounted for to keep a private network secure. First, the cell phone needs to be sure that it is the actual home computer and not some phished counterfeit. The home computer therefore sends a token to prove it is genuine. Second and third, the username and password. Fourth, the cell phone sends a certificate to ensure that it is authentic. This whole verification process could be quick, all saved and pre-filled out unless the owner wants to be extra secure and type out the password each time.

The boom in wireless communication with cloud computing needs an enormous infrastructure behind it. Cooperation between wireless providers and cell phone services is the only practical way for this technology to reach everyone. Engineers need to develop a way for a tiny device to transmit a large amount of information. A torrent’s method of splitting up tasks and reassembling seems to be the answer.

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