How is the Cloud changing the PC industry?
You hear the word Cloud all the time, but honestly what does that mean and, more importantly, how is it changing technology around me?— 5 April 2020 ago
The Cloud: is it important to me?
You’ve probably heard a lot about the cloud, in some way, shape, or form. And maybe you nod your head when you really want to ask, “What the heck is this cloud?” We get it. The cloud has become a bit of a buzzword (just like ‘synergy’ in 2015 haha). But honestly, there are a lot of implications the cloud has in today’s age. There is a good chance that the cloud affects at least one aspect of your life and you may not even know it.
Let’s just clear something really quick regarding the cloud so we can all be on the same page. Cloud computing refers to storing and accessing data (and programs) over the internet instead of using your computer's hard drive. If this helps you see it better, the cloud is really basically a metaphor for the internet. Okay, so what does that have to do with you? Well, for today, we’ll discuss the implications of how bypassing your local hardware limitations has drastically changed the PC industry.
How it works
To get a better understanding of how the cloud works, it’s best to think of it from its two halves: the front end and the back end. These two components are connected to each other through a network (in most cases this would be the Internet). The front end is what you would call the “client” - aka the computer user. The back end is the “cloud” portion of the system.
The front end incorporates the client’s computer, the computer network, and the application that allows the computer to connect to the cloud.
The back end consists of various computers, servers, and data storage systems that constitute what you think of as “the cloud”. A cloud computing system could potentially include any computer program (i.e. video games) - each most likely with its own dedicated server.
What unlocks cloud computing power
Once a consolidated data center with servers is in place, unlocking that computing power is key, and incidentally the tricky part. Through a technique called server virtualization, a physical server is manipulated into thinking that it’s actually multiple servers with independent operating systems. This method allows for the sustainability of multiple clients utilizing the cloud at once.
When it comes to the PC industry, traditionally you have had specific computing power established by the specs of your local hardware (your local CPU, RAM, hard drive, graphics card, etc.). To have a powerful PC, you would need strong components for each of these. The thing is… these components can rack up quite the price tag. And then you have to take into consideration the most important aspect: digital obsolescence.
The rate at which PCs become obsolete is growing rapidly, where some hardware components will be obsolete within the year. A lot of this has to do with the fact that programs are increasing how powerful they are so quickly in this day and age. Gaming, editing software, design tools, and so on. It’s quite phenomenal how fast programs are improving. It’s not bad that these tools are growing in capacity. The problem is that hardware can’t keep up and is extremely costly to replace. So, that’s just the reality? Well, it was. The cloud provided the solution the PC industry needed.
Cloud: changing the way we view a PC
With the PC industry’s barrier to entry on the rise, the question became, “Who would actually spend upwards of $2000 on a PC?” The answer was not too many people. Gamers make up a large portion of the powerful PC users. And this is because you realistically cannot game without a powerful PC. But then that begs the question, “What if I want to try gaming? What if I want to try editing or designing?” The answer? You can’t. Or… you couldn’t. The cloud changed that.
The cloud allows you to put all the necessary computing power into data centers, and simply stream that computing power onto your device. Okay, that probably sounded a little confusing (extremely confusing). Basically, you don’t use your own PC’s hardware, you utilize hardware from outside and use the internet to leverage it on your device. Pretty cool, right? So, what does this do? Well, let’s break it down into the two big issues and how the cloud solves each:
- Upfront costs: by not needing your own personal hardware, but instead using powerful centralized hardware, you can have a powerful $2000 PC for a fraction of the cost.
- Digital obsolescence: since you are streaming outside hardware’s computing power, it’s easy to change the components you are using with stronger ones.
Theoretically, the cloud provides a perfect solution to the biggest consumer issue in the PC industry. But is there actually a solution that utilizes that capability? Yes, there in fact is (perfect set up to talk about us, we know).
Oh hi there, didn’t see you there. We’re Shadow (we apologize for that joke in advance if it caused you any emotional pain). But seriously, everything we just talked about above, that’s what we do. We use the cloud to stream you an entire ultra-powerful, never obsolete computer to any device. We wouldn’t expect you to just drop thousands of dollars to try a powerful computer. That doesn’t make any sense. So we thought, “What if you could leverage cloud technology to get that strong PC, but for a fraction of the cost?” And that’s just what we did (we’re making it sound super simple, it was actually extremely hard technology to create - shoutout to our ridiculously talented developers).
We hold all of the powerful PC components, and you just pay to use those components. And voilà, you are now streaming a super PC onto your old device. Heck, even stream a PC onto your mobile device. No seriously, a PC onto your phone. Super cool stuff going on.
Don’t believe us? Check out a satisfied Shadower:
No, no. It doesn’t work like that (we can’t just make you Jim Carrey channeling Morgan Freeman). But what we can say is that what you do with that PC is up to you. That’s what Shadow is: Stream Freedom. We don’t limit you. We don’t push you into something you haven’t done before. All we give you is power. The powerful computer you need, where you can do what you want with it. Check your never-ending email inbox. Edit your videos for your up and coming YouTube channel. Play the games you never could on crazy-high graphics. Learn how to code games on Unreal Engine. Or just binge movies all day. Do you. We’re just here to support your endeavors using all the cloud has to offer. :)
Implications for the future
With so much application spending being reserved for service based applications (including cloud computing), the cloud computing market is growing rapidly. Cloud computing is powerful and expansive and will continue to grow in the future and provide many benefits. So, what does this mean for the future?
Cloud computing is extremely cost-effective and companies can use it for their growth. This can range from simplified storage capacity to enhanced data analysis. It is predicted that a majority of CRM (customer relationship management) processes will become cloud-based. The future of companies’ ability to interact with their customers is looking like it could be cloud-based.
Additionally, the cloud’s ability to reduce the need for individual local hardware will most likely change the accessibility of higher end PC use cases, including gaming. The cloud may be able to put everything a PC has to offer in the palms of each person’s hands. A complete revolution.
Excited to get started? We got you. Want to learn more? We have everything you need to know.
We’re so excited to bring you the solution to your PC needs!
Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter if you want to stay informed about the latest news regarding Shadow!