Beyond Cloud — The 3rd Computing Era

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve presented a more forward looking view of what lies beyond our current conception of cloud computing at CloudConnect in Las Vegas, a research symposium at UC Berkeley and to the Northern California chapter of the Young Presidents Organization. I’ve used these presentations to outline an evolving set of ideas anchored around the idea that we’re in the middle of the 2nd Era of Computing rapidly evolving towards the 3rd Era. The organizing principle behind the 'Era' concept is the degree of coupling in and between application code and the underlying infrastructure.

During the 1st Era of Computing applications were tightly coupled to underlying hardware in order to optimize the use of scarce and expensive computing resources. The 2nd Era in which we now find ourselves requires loosely coupled architectures to enable resilient, elastic and composable, cloud scale application and service workloads. However, the coming data volume and management demands of trillions of connected devices — the Internet of Things — combined with the need for truly friction free machine-2-machine transactions will rapidly drive the emergence of the 3rd Era of Computing. In the 3rd Era we will move from loosely coupled of truly uncoupled architectures where code is free to execute when and where it is needed enabled by a new fabric of trusted, frictionless, smart contract based transactions.

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