Future is Autonomous Cloud (Part-III): Mobility World and the fight for the Future
(Part-II): Fairchildren Fiefdom and rise of Silicon Valley https://medium.com/@avneeshbalyan/future-is-autonomous-cloud-part-ii-fairchildren-fiefdom-and-rise-of-silicon-valley-d48ae19aa3bf
By the early 2000s, it was becoming clear that the connected Mobile world will rule the future. Some of the researchers, scientists and companies were talking about distributed/grid computing from the early years of computing. But the lag of “always”, “affordable” and “speed limited” connectivity created hindrance in achieving the goal of affordable and connected grid computing. The Client-Server architecture deployed at corporate level for enterprise computing, nodes based networking architecture with each powerful node managing specific tasks and strong microcontroller penetration in the industrial, entertainment and embedded world worked perfectly with Fairchidren and its offshoots.
With the dawn of the mobility world, the requirement of processing changed diametrically. The mobile device becomes ubiquitous, affordable, global and preferred by the consumer. Mobility changed the way software was accessed esp with the advent of the app store (single app at a time), “Always On” connectivity became the norm and the device became equivalent to the personal identity of the owner. Word wide information was on the fingertips (phone), social networks became the new craze and multi screen media consumption created the demand of Network based computing. These network based computing, which we call Cloud now, move the processing from mobile devices, gave better control to corporations to manage the application and was the only way for the social graph based services.
The mobile phones replaced PCs, Controller modules and became the de-facto communication medium for the world. Instead of powerful processors, multi-application management and power outlet connected devices, this era gave birth to devices based on rechargeable batteries, optimized processors with power management as key requirement and there was no need for complex computing at the device level. All the complex computing and application deployments moved to the central server which eventually led to Cloud world.
This was the end of Fairchildren, esp the WINTEL, dominance. In software, Open Source becomes the norm. The mobile devices started adopting ARM architecture. ARM was based on RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computation) computational methodology. Because of the low power consumption needs and RISC architecture, ARM processors were adopted extensively in the embedded processing world. The innovative business model of licensing the architecture to any one, ARM was able to penetrate the mobility domain all across the world.
The companies which saw the writing on the wall, came out as the key players even if they were not the most successful companies of that era. Apple, which fought the WINTEL ecosystem with its own processors, OS and other sub systems, entered the Mobile world and became the flag bearer of the revolution. Instead of Intel processors (should call Fairchildren pedigree), adopted ARM for mobile devices. Apple now even designs and manufactures its own ARM based processor which are optimized for its mobile devices. Samsung, another big player in the mobile world, also designs and manufactures its own ARM based processors. The other side of computing, Cloud, remains dominated by Intel and AMD. But both of these companies lost their critical consumer market to power optimized ARM based processing units. The last one and a half decade was dominated by Phones and Tablets, these devices decided the winners and losers.
As mentioned above, the story is different on the server side. Earlier the servers running applications were dominated by RISC architecture with IBM as key player as usually one server was handling most of the time a particular application. This paradigm was common for communication networks, Analytics, High Power computational domain, etc. With the advent of virtualization, multi core processors with multi-processors boards based server units, implementation of technologies like multi threading, commoditization of Intel processor based server architecture and huge market for Cloud computing lead to adaptability of Intel/AMD processor based server in server farms. Though these companies lost the market in the consumer domain, they became the de facto standard for the Cloud world.
“Always connected” concept evolved to “always available” in terms of mobile devices, computational power and storage for the data by the early 2010s. The Cloud computing and global connectivity gave birth to new high tech domains like Hyperledger, AI, ML, IoT, Autonomous Vehicle, etc. The next decades dominance will depend upon how the companies will evolve to use their silicon dominance to harness the power of all these technologies into one integrated computational machine to become a leader in the consumer market.
(Part-IV): Connected Intelligent Nodes era (Autonomous Cloud) https://medium.com/@avneeshbalyan/future-is-autonomous-cloud-part-iv-connected-intelligent-nodes-era-autonomous-cloud-2ef3bb00847