Web Hosting Industry Perspective on Future Services

March 4, 2005
March 4, 2005 – (HOSTSEARCH.COM) – Once the average desktop PC is capable, in terms of speed and memory, of hosting a fully fledged e-commerce site with thousands of visitors a day and network speeds increase sufficiently what will their be a need for web hosts or will there just be ISPs? Will technological innovation push web hosting the way of the horse and buggy?

Consider this; IBM, Sony and Toshiba recently combined forces and created the Cell chip. Currently used for the PlayStation 3 and the height and width of a thumb tac, the Cell will soon be capable of processing data at 256 billion floating point operations per second (256 gigaflops) or 10 times the speed of the newest PC processors. It integrates 234 million transistors and is fabricated with 90-nanometer SOI technology.

Now think about Hewlett-Packard’s latest innovation. HP has created a crossbar latch system at a molecular level which will radically shrink the size of a standard computer chip. The space between the wires in HP’s new transistor replacement can be as small as 2 nanometers. In other words, more than 1,000 of these circuits can fit on the tip of a human hair.

Imagine these 2 current day technologies combined in a few years. Forget about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin, how many 256 gigaflop processors?

In a recent ZDNET article, Intel discussed the lack of need to research bandwidth technologies for the time being.

“Copper wire connections can transfer data at 2.5 gigabits per second today and will be able to do four times that without any exotic technology,” said Pat Gelsinger, Intel's former CTO. A fourfold bandwidth increase is “good for well past 2010.”

Meanwhile, the military’s nearly completed Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion (GIG-BE) network will be able to transmit 10 gigabits per second of useable IP over fiber.

In 10-20 years just what will web hosts offer clients when they can host web sites themselves besides internet access and domain registration?

The big data centers of today may still be around but they will probably offer processing time and software services instead of hosting web sites. A big jump will come from data centers being the central processing point to processing being distributed. Truly powerful data centers may act as coordinators for highly powerful individualized computers and web sites. For example, imagine a data center controlling the routes traffic uses to flow through a city while onboard computers control the steering and breaking for individual vehicles.

Not exactly web hosting, but in 20 years there won’t be a need for a 3rd party to host a simple shopping cart site. Instead, a web host might dynamically aggregate the kinds of items a web surfer is shopping for from many sources and offer them in a meaningful way back to the surfer. Think on-the-fly RSS e-commerce. A web host might offer to coordinate translation services for its subscribers, whether, a foreign traveler on vacation using his cell phone to translate for the doctor or an artificial intelligence customer service program handling service calls worldwide. A hospital might have a server that hold the past medical records of all patients, research data, and an active program dedicated to collecting information from chips imbedded in its patients while a web host offers the software to organize data and compare all the data in comparison with all the other hospitals in the world and suggest a treatment plan or find like symptoms and vital statistics and suggest a diagnosis or compare past treatments for similar patients..

Data centers of the future will provide all the software and computing power for an entire office or perhaps just coordinate the different subscriber services different groups within the office need at their dummy terminals. Joe’s Hosting might be hosting the Windows Office Suite and providing it to different offices from Denver to Bangkok.

In the Orwellian sense computer technology could be used for truly frightening applications. Currently, hackers are using Trojans to access people’s web cams. In the future every household appliance, electrical use, and even vital statistics and GPS location could be tracked by the Department of Homeland Security (or criminals). Or CIA web spiders might constantly be aggregating data about what we’ve purchased, where we’ve been, what we’ve said on our cell phones, emailed to our friends, watched on TV, typed on our keyboards, our banking transactions, and what times the lights have gone on and off in which rooms of the house. In the future you better be careful, visit zone-h.org or drive near the local mosque one too many times and here comes the Homeland Security torture jet to take you on an all expense paid trip to Lebanon!

In short, there will be plenty for web hosts to do in the future but if the best service you offer is FTP and free domain registration you better start to worry now.

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