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A Billion Node Cloud

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The Billion Node Cloud is a futuristic concept of how a portion of the Cloud Computing Market may evolve. The Billion Node Cloud concept is enabled by low wattage MicroServers and has vast …

The Billion Node Cloud is a futuristic concept of how a portion of the Cloud Computing Market may evolve. The Billion Node Cloud concept is enabled by low wattage MicroServers and has vast implications on society from the perspectives of revenue generation, jobs and intellectual development across global society.

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  • 1. Billion Node Cloud By: Paul Morse http://www.billionnodecloud.com
  • 2. OVERVIEW The Billion Node Cloud is a concept and vision that incorporates existing technologies and dramatically expands their application to achieve a new type of cloud computing ecosystem. A Billion Node Cloud does not refer to Smart Phones or hand held devices like tablet computers, but someday it might. The computing hardware platform it employs are servers. All sizes of servers and in particular low-wattage, compact MicroServers to achieve the massive volume needed to reach a Billion Nodes. BACKGROUND BNC blends three existing technologies to create a computing environment with global financial and productivity implications. The three technology areas are – 1. High-performance, Low-wattage and Compact MicroServers. In the last year, the industry focus on low-wattage, server computing platforms is finally yielding significant results. One example of this is the US Micro PC, CriKitMicroServer and the CriKit Desktop Private Cloud – http://www.crikit.info . For the first time, end users can have significant server-class computing power in a small form factor and combine the compute engines to create low-wattage cloud and cluster solutions on a desk. Today, one CriKitMicroServer is the compute equivalent of an Extra-large instance in Windows Azure or Amazon Web Services. This is significant because it also means that these MicroServers can run many small or extra-small virtual machine instances very adequately. This compute capacity in such a small form factor with low energy consumption dramatically changes the dynamics of computing and allows anyone to create clusters of nodes that can be combined into cloud solutions. 2. The Maturity of Cloud Computing Software Solutions. Cloud computing software has become sophisticated enough to be able to manage a large number of nodes regardless of where those nodes reside. A great example today is the Enomaly offering from VirtuStream. http://www.enomaly.com With the SpotCloud service, organizations and even individuals can “rent out” their hardware resources and hypothetically generate revenue from their participation in the SpotCloud environment. This unique service changes the balance of Cloud Computing by allowing anyone to generate revenue from participation in a revenue generating cloud ecosystem. This capability will be probably be adopted by other cloud providers over time to create extremely large cloud computing environments. Other cloud software vendors have been talking about the capability to have one large integrated cloud and are in varying stages of providing something that could accomplish the concept of a Billion Node Cloud. In reality, the Billion Node Cloud may not be a single entity, but be more modeled after the human lymphatic system and be comprised of a “cloud of clouds”. © Copyright 2012 Paul Morse – All rights reserved – may not re-publish without prior written consent from author.1
  • 3. 3. High Speed Wireless Connectivity. There are many new technologies and solutions in various stages of availability that provide adequately high speed data transfer through cellular networks and also satellite communication environments. An example of upcoming satellite broadband technology that makes high speed networking ubiquitous is Kymeta Corporation – http://www.kymetacorp.com . Relatively high connectivity speed is crucial to access cloud system compute resources that could very well be mobile or in “remote” locations, where land lines don’t exist, or are impractical. Further, current 4G capabilities are becoming widespread and have the speed necessary to allow large numbers of nodes to participate in a cloud environment for a limited type of cloud processing. Namely, those applications that don’t require huge data sets to be transferred to cloud nodes. Fortunately, there are many cloud application types where non-ethernet speeds are adequate for data transfer of light applications and small data sets. Current, high speed land line connectivity will certainly play a major role to achieve a Billion Node Cloud, but it is the mobile aspects which give the concept highly disruptive and innovative qualities. BRINGING IT TOGETHER OK, so let’s combine these resources into a cloud solution. The CriKitMicroServer draws around 50 Watts and .8 amps when fully exercised by applications. There are many environments that can provide 50 Watts of electricity as a matter of operation. Autos and trucks are two examples. Imagine if a long haul truck was configured with a small datacenter of, say, 6 compute nodes and it was connected to the “cloud network” via wireless. The “truck datacenter” would draw 300 watts and provide 6 extra- large compute instances as part of the overall Spot Market cloud. An extra-large instance costs approximately $20 per day with additional costs for bandwidth and transactions. If utilized, a trucker could make $120 a day for simply having the data center in his truck. Multiply that by 10,000 and a large trucking firm would have the potential to make $1.2 Million A DAY while their trucks are on the road being used as “cloud nodes”. They have the space and the electricity, so why not make some money by implementing a few MicroServers and wireless in the truck? Think for a moment of all the cars and trucks on the roads of this planet. Now imagine they contain compute power and is integrated into a global cloud infrastructure where anyone can buy and sell compute resources. We are much closer to that reality than you may think. Now, let’s take it down to Taxis and regular commuters. One or more MicroServers in the vehicle could generate revenue while moving or sitting in traffic. Further, the concept is certainly not limited to mobile vehicles. Homes, educational institutions, cash- strapped government entities and businesses of all sizes could take advantage of this revenue generating solution without significant electrical or space investments. © Copyright 2012 Paul Morse – All rights reserved – may not re-publish without prior written consent from author.2
  • 4. In addition, because MicroServers draw such a small amount of electricity relative to their compute power, they could be powered by a few solar cells. The future could hold small, secure cinder-block huts that contain solar-powered mini-data centers generating cloud revenue from a home owner’s back yard. There is nothing “far-fetched” and futuristic about that scenario – everything exits to do it today. If all the components exist to actually begin this new era of cloud computing, the question really becomes, “Why not?” Why not create a computing environment that allows anyone with the required minimal financial resources and expertise to share in the “gold rush” of revenue that cloud computing is ushering in? Why not distribute some of the massive cloud revenue to “the people” instead of just large institutions? To simply entertain and investigate those questions and consider the massive benefit to society through thought experiments starts us down the road to implementation because the answers are overwhelmingly positive and the effort is so minimal. SUPER GREEN COMPUTING? With the vision of using Solar power and existing electricity generating entities – like cars and trucks – to provide the electricity for the compact compute engines, it stands to reason that the additional investment in electricity generation would be minimal. Compare that method of powering compute engines against creating massive data centers with huge backup generators plus incoming grid power and it easy to imagine the electrical savings which translates into huge reductions in the consumption of any resource that is currently used to generate electricity, like goal and natural gas. For a quick overview of how much coal could be saved by using low-wattage MicroServers, please see the video at http://youtu.be/CBZLfkoFkBM FINANCIAL OVERVIEW OF A BILLION NODE CLOUD. There are many complex components to the financial aspects of implementing and operating a Billion Node Cloud outside of traditional data centers and all those aspects can’t be covered here. For simplicity let’s just look at the major component, which is the MicroServers. For a general example, at $1,500 per MicroServer, the total cost for just thecompute hardware of a Billion Node Cloud is $1.5 Trillion Dollars. If there are services components for installation, maintenance, training, etc., the number is significantly higher. That looks like a lot of cost, but savvy business people know it means massive spending and that means money exchange and that is a very positive thing for the economy. It also means JOBS – lots of them – and I will address that in a moment. Further, this money is not a “spending sink”. It is a direct investment to generate revenue with a minimal payback period which we shall see next. © Copyright 2012 Paul Morse – All rights reserved – may not re-publish without prior written consent from author.3
  • 5. That was the cost, now for the revenue generation. This calculation depends on utilization of the installed compute resources in a SpotCloud market scenario. So, let’s say the compute resources are 50% utilized as Extra Large instances and one Billion of the compute nodes exist. This would be roughly 500,000,000 times the revenue generated from an Extra-Large instance today. So, $20 times 500,000,000 equals $10 Billion PER DAY in theoretical revenue generation from One Billion Nodes– again, at 50% utilization of a Billion compute nodes. At this rate of utilization, there is a theoretical 150 day ROI on the total hardware-related investment of $1.5 Trillion. At higher utilization rates the payback is shorter. As a thought experiment into the future, imagine One Billion Nodes of cloud computing happening all around you – cars, trucks, homes, neighborhood condo associations ( “Hey, lets turn that unused closet in the exercise room that nobody uses into a cloud mini-datacenter to pay for landscaping! ” Why not?), etc. Then expand the scope of thought to imagine the ways people make money on the periphery of the concept. Networks, Software, Installation, Repair, Solar Panels, Alternators, Batteries, Mounting Hardware and maybe even gizmos and dangly things on rear view mirrors that say something like ” My Car Computes” . The point being that massive revenue generation also exists around , and because of, a Billion Node Cloud for the every- person to participate in directly. The road to a Billion Node Cloud, and all the revenue it will generate, will take many years. On this journey, there will be substantial new developments and at the current trend of chip development where many, many compute cores are being placed on a single piece of silicon, there is the real possibility of an acceleration of the installation of compute nodes. Today, there is some vehicle modification required, where in the future, it may simply be an option from the vehicle dealer, or a server compute unit may be plugged into a standard connector on the vehicle. Once general society and not only technologists are engaged with this ambitious endeavor, the engineering around the solution-set will change to make it easy for the average citizen to provide server compute resources from anywhere they are – car, home, boat, business, wherever. JOBS, JOBS, JOBS The amount of employment around an ambitious concept like the Billion Node Cloud puts other job creation strategies to shame. In the aggregate, the number of people to implement this vision is staggering. We must look at this from an entire supply chain perspective- from planning, design, manufacturing, implementation, maintenance and additional services. Using that broad spectrum of roles and activities as a foundation, if there is one job created for every 100 nodes in this Billion Node Cloud, that would mean approximately 10,000,000 jobs would be created from this single initiative. And many of these jobs would be net new jobs because it is a completely new category of applied computing. © Copyright 2012 Paul Morse – All rights reserved – may not re-publish without prior written consent from author.4
  • 6. NATIONAL SECURITY National Security needs to be considered when discussing a Billion Node Cloud that is partially mobile, and there is some precedent from previous government investment. When DARPA first funded the research that became TCP/IP networks and eventually the internet, one of the design goals was resiliency in case of attack. A Billion Node Cloud made up of discreet compute nodes spread all over the country and possibly the world would ensure that compute capability is available in case the major computing centers were taken down. In many ways BNC achieves a complementary goal to what the original DARPA design was for the internet. The internet provides ubiquitous, resilient connectivity and the Billion Node Cloud provides ubiquitous and resilientcloud computing resources. Imagine, in a time of crisis, organizations being able to quickly utilize a huge cloud infrastructure that is spread out across the country and operates basically without a single point of failure. GENERAL SECURITY CONCERNS Security of applications and data while in vehicles or in homes is a valid concern that will have to be addressed. Initially, encryption of data will be a priority for most situations and better security and compliance verification methods will be developed. In the cloud environment, not all jobs require the same security levels. For example, academic organizations and researchers may find the initial security level of the Billion Node cloud quite sufficient. There will be conscious trade-offs that weigh security, required compute volume and price for consumers to make the best choice for their particular cloud application. For those that need security, strong data encryption and network encryption can help with the operational security aspects of the solution. Hardware design can also assist security with the MicroServer devices being created with minimal access mechanisms and secure logins. Further, an ecosystem of certification of the security of a given installation can be developed, which again, creates jobs. To help customers make the proper decisions around security, the “cloud bidding” software for the spot market can advertise various security levels to customers and they can select which security level is appropriate for their compute needs. © Copyright 2012 Paul Morse – All rights reserved – may not re-publish without prior written consent from author.5
  • 7. SUMMARY The ambitious concept of a Billion Node Cloud does not reside in the realm of computing science fiction. The key components are available today in various stages of sophistication for this specific endeavor. It is simply a matter of having the will to turn this concept into a huge, beneficial reality. Imagine how many problems can be addressed and how much computing can be accomplished with 8 Billion compute threads, 16 Billion GigaBytes of Memory and somewhere in the vicinity of 240 Billion GigaBytes of local storage. In reality, by the time the world reaches One Billion Nodes of cloud compute capacity, those numbers will most assuredly be larger because of the persistent march of Moore’s Law and miniaturization of computing components. In addition to helping solve technical problems through the application of massive computing power, the revenue generated from the implementation and utilization of this capacity is shared by a broad cross-section of society. Billion Node Cloud is metaphorically the rising tide that has the potential to lift many boats at once. To realize the tremendous societal benefits of this concept, we need to begin today. For more information on the Billion Node Cloud concept, please go to http://www.billionnodecloud.com © Copyright 2012 Paul Morse – All rights reserved – may not re-publish without prior written consent from author.6