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Connected Next Century - Gravity

What is it about the idea of virtual that makes that polarizes the the idea of the future being scary or so enticing waiting for ways to innovate?  In the early days of compute, physical configurations were by their nature bespoke and there was a one to one relationship between machine and application. When the physical component is disconnected from the application, we find the new relationship bounded only by imagination. This new relationship between the hardware and the application means that developers no longer have to worry about maximizing resources and scale and can instead focusing on more important matters like performance, security, and the API’s.  This idea of modularity, applications designed to do one thing, and do it well and all running along side other peer or dependent applications in an environment owned, managed, and maintained as a service by a 3rd party company today is called “The Cloud.”  The magic of the cloud is not its hosted or managed, but it’s ability to transform the way software and creative minds work.

While cloud compute is still unknown and therefore presumed insecure, the technical reality is that the burden the future always challenges first is the perception of change is bad.  The “customer never will”, the “consumer won’t”, or the “bad guys will always”; as scare tactics such absolutes only succeed in arresting development and are rarely correct over time. Companies evolve, technology adapts, and creative people are an endless fountain of ways to disrupt the envelope.  Cloud is not by it’s nature insecure any more than airline travel is less safe than automotive or train, it’s the sensationalism that focus on the single large. Technology systems do not create their own defects but are presumed guilty by association with the unknown.  Perceived weaknesses are a product of the human element.  

In the future, open source gives way to open systems, component ecologies, autonomous entities (AE); sometimes hardware, sometimes software, become the empowering tools with security controls and policies that will allow and wrap insecurities within small zone of access.  Compromising one AE will not allow transitive access to it’s neighbor.  Passing nefarious or even erroneous information between AE’s will either result in isolation or denials.  Audit logs and chains of custody will be instantaneous through logging and behavioristic API’s.  Something that is rarely seen or dreamed about today in environments where in-house and not invented here rules the need to recreate the wheel.   Firewalls, VPN’s, and air gaps are not the future of security, and reliance on will become the false security albatross that impedes innovation. The future of cloud means pervasive computing that enable speed, performance, interaction, creating a data gravity well where data becomes the immovable object and stops chasing the sun and the talent becomes nomadic.  Public, Private, Hybrid, are just names that are used to comfort the wary and impede the true capabilities of speed and performance.  The virtualization of the desktop, upends the paradigm and allows the data and compute remain secure, and latency becomes the oppressor.

Often overlooked is that metadata is the future of security in the cloud.  Each and every data object should contain or conform to security standard that checks and authenticates access and an unlimited history file record that is updated continuously in real time as each object is touched.  Access is granted based on source, credential, syntax, context, and pre-determined policies. Everything is logged and anything else alarmed.  

In a world where AE security is known and trusted, such creates a potential for collaboration, and creativity by bringing the application to the data where actions are faster, cheaper, and verdant.  As cloud services adoption increases because of price, flexibility, and popularity, data gravity will continue to create a data singularity surrounded by equally massive layers of compute.  Such centralization will cause a tectonic shift in how and where creative and talented people live and work.  Companies will be pulled into the gravitational field of the nucleus to compete and remain because of the talent and way innovation is evolving.