I've been contemplating the convergence of two things lately. The first being ultra high speed bandwidth as being proposed by Google in some trial cities, and the second being cloud computing. To be honest, each concept by itself has left me a little underwhelmed as a significant changing event in IT.
Example: if you ask "What's different with high speed internet?", most people will give you a blank stare and say something like "video". That's not too inspired, people don't use video communications for a variety of reasons, and I personally don't believe any have to do with a lack of technology.
Example: if you ask "What's different with Cloud Computing?", most IT guys will say "It's easier to manage". That's not too inspired either.
BORING… But, the other day I started thinking about the combination of the two.
In a world where bandwidth is infinite and with zero latency and an embedded computing box could effectively be anywhere:
- Why would a Tivo be located at my house?
- Why would my home router/firewall be in my basement?
- Why would my hard disk be on my computer?
- Would my computer have any storage at all?
- Would my computer have any local computation power, or would it all be in the cloud?
- Would all consumer electronics devices simply collapse into their user interface components?
To me it's a compelling thought process. Huge portions of our computing paradigm have been built around the problem of moving data between things. These paradigms were exasperated by the fact that even you could move a defined process to a data center, the management of those "boxes" would make the paradigm less attractive. In a world where the 'box' is virtual, and 'bandwidth' infinite, what happens?