Blockchain and the Future of Web Hosting StoragePublished: December 29, 2018 / Article by: Siarhei Kulich
Years since its inception, many industry experts still view blockchain as an emerging technology. A technology which has the potential to bring about a lot of positive changes around the globe, but one that is, unfortunately, facing a myriad of issues.
Current Issues in the Field
The key issues facing this technology can be broken down into five smaller ones:
- Ethical – This technology continues to raise a series of ethical questions, top among them being:
- Blockchain’s ability to facilitate criminal activities
- Blockchain’s negative effect on the environment.
- Legal – Blockchain has been facing lots of questions related to the legal sphere. The troubling factor is that many of these questions do not yet have a definitive answer.
- Regulatory – Cryptocurrencies have begun to face all sorts of regulatory pressure as many governments around the world are starting to take an interest in this promising technology and as its market capitalization continues to rapidly expand.
- Privacy – The fact that all the transactions are recorded means that they can be viewed by anyone, regardless of the location of the viewer. Although this does not mean that one can be easily identified, it still indicates that there is a lot of personal, legal and financial information available to the public.
- Security – Blockchain’s security benefits are mainly drawn from its decentralized nature. However, its design means that the technology is always vulnerable to hacking and intrusion attacks.
Four Scenarios of the Future
When you look at the future of storage, you will note that mankind is currently determined to do away with physical media, e.g., hard disks and magnetic tapes, which have in the past demonstrated that they can easily fail. For this reason, many researchers have started looking towards developing devices that can overcome issues such as longevity, speed, power, and space capacity. Future scenarios that are currently being explored include:
I. Hard Disk Drives
To date, hard drives still stand as some of the longest-serving computer storage devices ever used. Some industry insiders believe that these devices will still be in use fifteen to twenty years from now.
II. Helium Drives
They are very similar to the HDDs from the exterior, but their interior is quite different. Instead of being filled with normal air in their interior, these drives come with a sealed casing that is filled with helium.
III. DNA Storage
For many years now, scientists have been able to read, synthesize, as well as assemble different nucleic strands. They have also started looking into how DNA can be used to store information. This technology would involve chemically engineering nucleotides and still has a long way to go before it’s implemented.
IV. Holographic Storage
This type of storage aims at storing data in multiple bits using photosensitive optical materials. It is a method that is completely different from the two-dimensional system comprising single bits used by disk-based media.
Current Situation—The Rise of Cloud
Web hosting signifies the rise of cloud hosting. This is a combination of dedicated and shared hosting solutions which have traditionally been used together. Today, hosting encompasses cloud hosting, VPS hosting, and managed hosting. This has led to shared hosting prices taking a nose dive with dedicated hosting remaining on the other end of the pricing charts.
Decentralization/Blockchain – Is It the Future?
When the blockchain technology is used to hold information, the information being stored ends up being shredded or chopped up into tiny pieces, which are then distributed across various recipients or nodes. Data storage, therefore, works in the same manner as its distributed ledger system. The fact that the data ends up in numerous nodes means that it is breach-proof.
The above implies that even if a hacker was to access a certain piece of information, they would not be able to make any sense of it, since the data itself would be encrypted. In addition, the hacker would only end up with a small piece of the puzzle , making it impossible for them to discern what the data means.
Big Data Problem
The cloud computing industry continues to develop at a very high rate with each passing year. For many business owners, it is a welcome relief since it does offer them more choices, with each business looking to outshine its competition. This is a decision that ultimately comes down to the kind of IT infrastructure that has been employed in your business.
Cloud computing has come as a welcome relief to many as it has also brought about numerous options. The current systems in place are literally drowning in files. These are the files that must be secured for the business to regain its normal functions. And this is where Big Data comes in.
Although this is still a new technology, Big Data servers seek to use asynchronous writing methods. The technology is in no way based on the constraints put in place by the database engines. This, in return, means that there will be no delays when it comes to writing. In general, the process will be much faster compared to the one involving your regular server.
What Will Hosting Services Do?
Cloud hosting or decentralized hosting allows users to enjoy tremendous speeds as opposed to what they are used to with traditional hosting. Some experts estimate that the gains in terms of speed will be as high as six hundred percent. Mind you, this technology is just coming to fruition so this may certainly change as it is adopted on a mass scale.
Imagine a future where you will not have to rely on expensive server setups. These are the very same setups that are bound to get hacked or crash at any moment. Imagine a scenario where your business is connected to hundreds of nodes spread out across the globe. These are nodes that share storage space and computing power. The reliability and scalability of this technology is bound to make current hosting plans obsolete.
Blockchain hosting providers include:
What Problems May Hosting Services Encounter?
It is essential to note that blockchain and web hosting happen to be two very different things. This means that even if it was possible for you to store a particular service in the website that you intend to connect to an blockchain-supported API, it would still be impossible for you to store the whole website on a blockchain platform.
And even if it was possible, the exercise would be expensive, considering the fact that it costs a lot of money to store information using this technology. In addition, it is impossible to use ledger technology instead of web hosting. This is because blockchain comprises immutable data, while websites and tables are always changing.
Using blockchain will enable the realization of factors such as true redundancy and decentralization, order-of-magnitude cost reductions and total privacy. These are the advantages that were previously unavailable in the cloud storage infrastructure provided by the major industry players, such as Google. Keeping this in mind, it is only a matter of time before the blockchain storage marketplace completely surpasses the current infrastructure. There is much for businesses to be enthusiastic about as we head towards a completely decentralized web.