Rewind the clock to ten years ago, when every company with a connection to the Internet would have a server (or many) and hosted it (or them) in a remote computer room. In order to serve these servers, the company will also recruit one (or a group of) network administrators, who will take care of them carefully, take care of them diligently, and be ready to fight against hackers at any time to ensure the security of the servers. Inside and out, it’s really a lot of money.
Today, such a picture has been completely changed by cloud computing – now if you want a server, you can rent a “cloud” server from a cloud service provider. The computing performance, storage space, and network bandwidth can be adjusted as needed. For adjustment, you don’t have to worry about whether the server is outdated or not. As for the daily maintenance and basic security of the server, the cloud computing service provider will do it for you as a packaged service, which saves money and worry.
Cloud computing has completely changed people’s habit of using network infrastructure such as servers by concentrating scattered computing resources for efficient configuration and utilization, and it can also “centralize computing power to do big things”. The rise of applications is also behind the credit of cloud computing.
After successfully “clouding” server resources, cloud computing has now aimed at the next object that can be subverted, which is the computer (PC) around us. At the Yunqi Conference held not long ago, Alibaba Cloud released the first “cloud computer” with a high profile – Wuying.
The so-called cloud computer, as the name implies, is to hand over the computing tasks that we usually hand over to the PC to complete, and also to the cloud for processing, just like the companies using cloud servers no longer need to purchase and maintain their own servers, using cloud computers, We personally no longer need such a complex PC as today, and let those computing hardware such as CPU, memory, and hard disk fade out of our desktop and disappear without a trace.
According to this line of thinking, Ali’s “Shadowless” basically outlines the outline of a future cloud computer for us:
Low cost: only a business card-sized cloud computer is needed to access and log in to the device, connect to the Display screen, and connect to the cloud through the network to use it. Since local computing and storage resources such as CPU and hard disk are not required, a cloud computer with the same performance can be used. It’s half the price of a traditional PC.
· High performance: Since the computing and processing work is handled by the cloud with abundant computing power, the performance advantage of cloud computing is obvious. Alibaba Cloud demonstrated the same video rendering at the press conference. It takes 90 minutes for a traditional PC, and “Wuying” only takes 90 minutes. 10 minutes; even if 300 web pages are opened at the same time, the cloud computer will not freeze.
Easy to expand: “Wuying” supports unlimited expansion, and single application resources can be flexibly expanded to 104-core CPU and 1.5T memory, and it is synchronized with the development of cloud computing resources, minimizing the sunk cost caused by the upgrading of its own equipment.
· Safer: It enjoys the same level of security protection capabilities as Alibaba Cloud Data Center, and users of “Wuying” no longer have to worry about trivial matters such as anti-virus and data protection.
Speaking of which, everyone must have such a question in their minds: Since cloud computers are so “perfect”, will they really become the terminator of PCs?
The answer: yes and no. “Yes” means that under the impact of cloud computing, the PC will definitely undergo some changes, and will no longer exist and develop in the face we are familiar with; while “no” means that the PC will disappear completely and It is not an overnight thing. In the process, various technical and commercial games are likely to shape the PC into a new “species” and embark on a new evolutionary path.
We can’t predict the future, but we can still make some guesses about this new evolutionary path for the PC.
From a more realistic point of view, the “landing” of cloud computing still requires a terminal device to interact with users, at least input and output devices such as screens, keyboards and mice. In other words, cloud computers only replace the core computing resources of traditional PCs, and in terms of HMI human-computer interaction, there are still articles to be done on the user side – the future new PCs (or clients of cloud computers), focus on It will not focus on computing power, storage, etc. like traditional PCs, and innovation in HMI is likely to become a key fulcrum. The integration of VR, the introduction of intelligent voice, and the new audio-visual experience… are all opportunities to exert force.
In addition, judging from the current law of cloud computing development, with the development of the Internet of Things, centralized architecture is not the only optimal solution. The power of cloud computing is also accompanied by a more intelligent edge. The rise of edge computing in recent years is a evidence. The same development path is also very likely to happen to cloud computers – when the computing power of PCs is transferred to the cloud, and when the application of cloud computers unleashes users’ greater imagination, new PCs at the edge of the network close to the user end will What kind of new needs are generated and what changes are brought about? Everything is possible!
The journey of cloud computing has just begun, especially with a pusher like Alibaba Cloud, its pace will be significantly accelerated. What will the computers around us as productivity tools look like in the future? Maybe, only “cloud” knows…
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