Ambient Cloud is bunk and irrelevant
Every couple of weeks, I hear about computing resource scavenging projects of some sort (think Folding@Home). Indeed, there is an astonishing amount of latent processing power out there, just think of those billions of idle personal computers.
Latest news, the scavenging thingy has been renamed Ambient Cloud. Unfortunately, the Ambient Cloud is both bunk and irrelevant, as far raw processing power is concerned.
Energy amount for more than 50% of the total amortized cost of a modern data center. Doing computation anywhere else but in a data center, increases the energy cost by x2 to x10 depending of your configuration. Modern data centers are industrial units optimizing energy consumption in ways that are simply not available to home and office environments.
If we include the energy costs related to data transport, the figure is probably even worse.
Hence, with the Ambient Cloud, although you’re might be saving pennies on hardware assets, you end up wasting truckload of dollars through energy bill. Energy is rather cheap and people tend to neglect that running any electrical device, however small, costs very real $$$ at the end of the month.
Hence, there is an astonishing latent processing power around us, but it comes with:
- Massive energy overheads, which equate massive financial overhead.
- Low latency, low bandwidth and unreliable connectivity which is not suited for 99.99% of the situations.
Which bring me to the initial point that Ambient Cloud is bunk and irrelevant as far intensive computing is concerned.