Stratus Sphere


It is clear that we live in a world “post” personal computer (the PC), where we have a large variety of compute devices (PCd), all of them at personal level.
The desktop PC and the smart-device are the most “visible ones”, and both are general purpose devices, because they usually are used to do LOTS of things for us...



Nowadays, thanks to smaller and cheap compute devices, we can choose to run applications “outside” the desktop PC and the smart-device, putting them into, for example, a Single Board Computer (SBC), exclusively dedicating it to run few specific apps (of functions, services).



Because SBCs are cheaper, consume low power and are very small, it is possible to think of a collection of low power compute devices, doing things 24 hours and running independent of the desktop PC and the smart-device...
As an example, you can use a cheap SBC to play music or videos, so that you don’t need to rely on the PC or the smart-device to listen to music or watch movies...
When we put all them together, the PC, smart-device and all other compute devices, what we have is a collection of compute devices that we can call: PERSONAL CLOUD!
I am using the word STRATUS, because it is the technical name used to describe low altitude clouds in the sky, so, in this case, “low altitude” means a CLOUD inside the house or office, contrasting with the CLOUD which is “out there”...



It is no longer a PC or a smart-device, it is something else...
So, the new PC is a Personal Cloud, with a variety of Personal Compute Devices connected...



Considering that the cheapest SBC are in the range of $5/$7 US Dollars, and when we combine them with the Stratus (local personal cloud), then, LOTS of ideas are turned possible... ideas that don’t makes sense when we think of them using a desktop PC, smart-phone or tablet...
I personally believe that the PAIR SBC and Stratus will help make lots of interesting ideas into practical applications...



After accepting the notion that we all have a PERSONAL CLOUD at some level, then, then next logical step is to think about how to connected then together into a kind of peer to peer or federated fashion, so the idea of a Stratus Sphere is the “next thing” to think about...



All the hardware, software and network connection links needed to connect Stratus(s) into a global Sphere ALREADY EXISTED and are ALREADY PAID by the worldwide community of users... so the Stratus Sphere already have all the money, all the needed hardware infrastructure and all the needed software is already being create, all the time!



Now lets do some mental exercise:
Lets think about putting all bandwidth power of individual users into a bandwidth pool.
Also, lets think about putting all storage resources of individual users into a storage pool.
And so, lets thing about putting all the compute power of individual users into a compute power pool.

What is the size of such pools, if we consider all the planet?
How much money really are already available in these pools?
What are the things that we can do which such pools of resources?



When users of GNU/Linux operating systems want to download a fresh copy of installation disks, or when they want to update/upgrade their systems, they know that they can choose to download from a place near to them so that the download speed is higher... and lots of universities around the world offer the most common GNU/Linux software for download.
These universities offer to share their storage and bandwidth power because they themselves benefit from GNU/Linux and they want to help others to have access to the same benefits... and, in doing so, they become part of a LARGE POOL of download resources which in turn becomes part of the overall power of the GNU/Linux itself.
This is a real example of organic cooperativeness to achieve a BIG POOL of resources...

Then, if we think ONLY around organizations like universities and ask ourselves what if we can build a HUGE POOL of storage, compute power and bandwidth of all universities into a UNICLOUDPOOL?

How immense this pool can be?
For universities users alone, what such power do have to offer?
How about building this cooperative power and joining/merging it to a LARGE POOL...?



FOSS organizations in general, I believe, can play a central role in developing strategic components of that allow large pools to be formed...
For me, this IS THE NEXT STEP for FOSS, a natural continuation of the mission that they set themselves to accomplish...
Back then, when they all started, the desktop PC (connected by Internet servers) was the main tool around which all the progress was created...

Now, we have this mass of mixed compute stuff around us, to which we are calling Personal Cloud in this text, so it is somehow natural to think of FOSS, again, playing the guiding role to lead us to discover and walk open ways to this NEXT thing... which leads me to the next slide...



This is the idea that I want to put here...
A large federation of POOLS of resources, into a more big one POOL...
So, we can think of the Stratus Sphere joining/merging with the UNICLOUDPOOL and all the others cloudpools that we can think of... and there are MANY...



Of course, we don’t need to think of EVERYTHING from EVERYBODY, instead, we should start thiking about such and such resources from such and such cooperating groups... some groups will offer storage, others will offer only compute power, etc...

The challenge is to have all things connected by open protocols into a truly open way...

Also, we should not forget to include commercial business, that will be offering premium storage spaces, premium compute power and premium bandwidth for users and business that need anything above the average user need...



Just want to say that we are talking about, in general terms, 3 kinds of resources:
a) storage
b) compute power
c) bandwidth (connectivity)



If we choose to do all kinds of things, which I believe is now possible, we face 3 major obstacles:
1) We need infinite amount of time
2) We need infinite amount of money
3) We will face 7 billions competitors

Instead, we can choose to do very few things (doing less)...

YES, there are things that we MUST DO, specially regarding the distribution/federation aspect, which is, creating ways (protocols) to deal with the interconnection of all resources... my point is that we must start by using existing software and trying to connect them together... it is more like to build a GNU/Linux Distribution, where the task is to GLUE existing things together... Then, the “GLUE” itself is the task to start with...


2018/JUNE/14
Valter Fukuoka
(cc) Creative Commons

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