From every good idea, another is born. This concept is what has propelled civilizations for eons, and won’t be slowing down anytime soon. The ability to store information in a “cloud” was a life-changing advancement that has allowed international businesses to become more efficient, allowed small businesses and individuals to back up their data without costly equipment and has become the go-to storage for virtually everyone, now accounting for more than 250 petabytes of stored information. To put that into perspective, 250 petabytes is 25 followed by 16 zeros.
Now, cloud storage is being taken to the next level, and is becoming decentralized. A new autonomous decentralized system and marketplace that is blockchain based, SONM, is available, and allows users and lenders to rent computing power. It does this through what is known as fog computing.
Fog computing was first introduced by Cisco, and refers to the extension of cloud computing to the edge of an enterprise’s network. It is used to facilitate computer operations, including storage, computation and network services, between end devices, as well as for cloud computing data centers.
The SONM marketplace is comprised of consumers and suppliers who rent out or purchase computing power for a variety of tasks. Individuals are able to choose rental times or purchase available power, for which the costs are then calculated based on the amount needed. The buyers can then use the power resources to take advantage of the capabilities offered by SONM to perform functions such as hosting apps or websites, machine learning, managing data storage, making scientific calculations or rendering videos. Suppliers of the resources are paid through SONM’s own SNM digital token.
Since SONM is completely decentralized, it offers enhanced transparency and is free from ownership, making it less expensive than similar centralized offerings. The company’s cofounder, Aleksei Antonov, explains, “Blockchain enables the creation of a genuinely open decentralized system without a single control center. Additionally, using blockchain to manage settlements on-platform with the help of the SNM cryptocurrency allows the interests of participants to be protected.”
At the end of last year, SONM attracted $42 million in funding to help build the project. An MVP Testnet was launched in December, giving developers the ability to test the system and provide feedback and tweaks to enhance the platform. “More than 500 participants of the SONM community have been involved in beta-testing of the platform and are giving us valuable feedback,” says Antonov.
Now that the beta testing has ended, it’s time to begin a real-world roll out. According to Antonov, “On June 30, we released the first version of SONM IaaS [infrastructure as a service]. The next release will differ by its enhanced IaaS functionality. New functions will be added for consumers of the service. Down the line, we are also planning integration with software for automated deployment, scaling, and management of Kubernetes containerized applications.”
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