The next big thing after cloud computing: PEERCLING…
A lot of people are still getting their head around what can be done with Cloud Computing. However I would like to present the next big thing that will come after cloud computing has gone mainstream. It is called peercling!
What is peercling?
Peercling stands for P2P + Cloud Computing or Peer2Peer + Cloud Computing. Peercling addresses the main problem with Cloud Computing: “Network Outage”. Once we move all critical systems to the cloud, we will be totally dependent on having network connectivity. We can have all the high-availability distributed systems on the server side. If our ADSL, 3/4G, Fiber, etc. connectivity fails it will be a no use at all.
How will peercling solve network outages?
SaaS is all about running the application in the cloud, no client apps are necessary. Peercling will slightly reverse this trend. Computers, mobiles, tablets, etc. will need to install a peercling run-time environment and will have to download peercling apps. Why? A peercling app is your life-line when the network goes down. Let’s take a critical SaaS application like a Point-of-Sale (POS) as a Service. A POSaaS allows retailers to scan bar-codes and present you with the bill of your purchase. What if connectivity goes down? A retailer would be stuck with paper-based accounting.
If that same retailer would have a POS Peercling app then he would have a local copy of the product catalog and he would be able to sell you the items. If the POS Peercling app would have lost connectivity to the Internet but would still see other POS Peercling apps that are on the same LAN [Think multiple checkouts at a supermarket], then all purchases could be automatically backed-up to the other apps so there would be a high-availability alternative should the Internet connectivity break and a POS would crash at the same time. As soon as the Internet comes back up it would be the peercling platform that would synchronize with the SaaS back-end and inform about the transactions that took place while there was a network outage.
So peercling is like a mobile phone app that runs locally and synchronizes with a backend system. However the big difference is that the peercling app also can survive without connectivity. If the LAN is still working then P2P technology is used to distribute data and transcations. Afterwards the peercling platform will bring everything back in sync when the network is back.
However peercling can do more. Imagine a large call center that relies on a CRM in the cloud to have all caller’s data. Every agent would have a CRM peercling client that would store part of the caller’s data locally (in encrypted format). Multiple replicates of the same data would be stored on different agent machines. Everytime an agent makes an update it would both be sent to the CRM in the cloud as well as to the agent machines that store data about the specific caller. Since the data is too large to be stored on one machine, P2P technology is used to distribute it over a large set of agent machines. When the CRM in the cloud goes down or Internet connectivity fails, then local copies will be used to continue offer service to the callers until the cloud is available again.
Why should telecom operators be interested in peercling?
Telecom operators have a unique asset that sets them apart from the rest of the world: Network Quality of Service Control. To avoid networks from going down because of too much illegal file sharing, telecom operators tend to downgrade the maximum speed a P2P app can download. This same mechanism [network policy control] can be used inversely as well. Peercling apps could pay to have network quality of service assured. Peercling apps that would need to move large amounts of data can pay to get QoS levels assurance.