Outsourcing data storage and computing power to cloud computing providers offers many benefits; however, nearly one-third of server capacity goes unused, and most of the market share is consolidated among three companies: Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
StorX addresses the lack of efficiency and centralization in the cloud computing market with a decentralized marketplace that connects entities seeking cloud services to providers eager to rent out their excess compute resources.
Although the old guard of cloud computing uses more than one server, it can still exercise totalitarian power over its data centers, which are full of many servers. With cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure accounting for over 60% of the cloud computing market, most of the internet’s data lives on centralized networks at the behest of only three owners.
On the Importance of Cloud Computing
No one is shielded from the omnipresent cloud. You utilize cloud technology every day, whether it's your phone, car, streaming service, or social media accounts. In its simplest form, cloud computing allows you to access services on the internet instead of on your machine.
In the archaic days of DVD players, the only legal way to watch Disney movies was by physically purchasing the DVD and inserting it into the player connected to the television. Watching many movies required purchasing a collection of these discs. The cloud changed the mechanics of this physical interaction while keeping the same product, films. By storing the archived film data and running backend processes of the Disney Plus streaming service on remote servers, Disney eliminated the requirement for users to have product-specific hardware (DVD players) so it could deliver the same product through the internet.
Disney doesn’t just use the cloud to host customer-facing applications like its streaming service. For the operational side of its business, Disney and many other companies use cloud technology for data protection, data analytics, storage backup, server virtualization (virtual machines), and software development. But companies like Disney don’t need to own the server infrastructure that facilitates these necessary operations. Instead, most companies outsource server management to cloud service providers.
Before the prevalence of Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, companies had their own onsite data centers. From hiring IT teams that manage hardware updates and maintenance to purchasing large plots of real estate and paying colossal energy bills, costs related to IT infrastructure would be recorded as capital expenditures. However, paying for cloud computing where the cloud provider absorbs all of the costs associated with IT infrastructure is considered an operational expense and tax-advantaged. Although deploying applications to a big three cloud provider comes with monetary benefits and improved operational efficiencies, cloud consumers are locked into vendors and have limited control over their deployments in a centralized cloud environment.
As more enterprises understand the higher levels of scalability, flexibility, and cost savings they can achieve by outsourcing IT infrastructure to cloud service providers, Gartner predicts that in 2022 end-users will spend $482 billion on cloud services. This is up 54% from the $313 billion spent in 2020. The pandemic’s push for remote-hybrid work is only helping to accelerate the growth of the cloud computing industry. According to Flexera, 92% of U.S. companies already utilize cloud technology, with 90% claiming usage is higher than initially planned due to the pandemic. This is in stark contrast to Europe, where only 42% of enterprises were on the cloud in 2021, up from 19% in 2016.
Despite the rapid growth and prevalence of cloud computing, 30% of server capacity sits idle in many data centers. As the market for cloud computing continues to grow globally, a convergence will emerge among providers seeking to rectify supply-side inefficiencies and enterprises looking for the flexibility to scale their business, outsource IT infrastructure, and avoid the complications caused by centralized entities.
StorX is an open-source platform with a distributed peer-to-peer cloud marketplace that connects users seeking cloud services to infrastructure providers with excess computing resources. Its platform is hosted and managed deployments and contains cloud management services.
These users, called tenants, are typically developers seeking to deploy Docker containers to cloud providers that meet specific criteria. A Docker container essentially contains packaged code and its dependencies and ensures the corresponding application runs the same on any computing environment. For example, even if the configurations of an application differ when it is developed on a laptop, tested in a sandbox, and sent to the cloud to run, containers can support all three environments without requiring changes to the code.
The StorX marketplace functions through a reverse auction model, allowing users to name a price and describe the resources they want for deployed containers. When a cloud provider, which can range from an individual to a data center, underutilized computing resources, it rents those resources out by bidding to host deployments, in the same way Airbnb hosts can rent out their extra space. Deploying containers on StorX costs roughly 10 times less than any of the big three cloud service providers (Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure).
All records of requests, bids, leases, and settlement payments are stored on-chain using the StorX Token (SRX)
StorX, a Distributed Cloud Storage Powered by XDC Blockchain Network
The StorX Network is built on the XDC Network, the XinFin Delegated Proof-of-Stake (XDPoS) consensus algorithm. To simplify the seven or eight buzzwords used in the previous sentence, at its core, StorX uses the XinFin DPoS engine as the security and networking layer of its blockchain.
The StorX mainnet is about to launch, and SRX is an XRC-20 utility token that powers StorX data storage Marketplace. StorX is a Truly Decentralized Cloud Storage
StorX helps you securely encrypt, fragment, and then distribute important data across multiple hosting nodes spread worldwide. StorX provides a democratic marketplace for hosting data, replacing the centralized intermediaries with a decentralized blockchain network. Exercise complete control and grant access to your data sets without any centralized intermediary.
Staking SRX on StorX
Because StorX staking responsibilities vary on validators, validators operate nodes to secure the on-chain StorX network. However, anyone can become a validator, only those with the computing resources and technical expertise to run a StorX node.
The minimum system requirements that StorX recommends for operating validator nodes include One Processor Core Minimum of 1 TB of available disk space minimum of 10 TB of available bandwidth a month Minimum upload speed of 25 MBPS Minimum download speed of 25 MBPS. Ensure Node availability 24/7 Farm Node Staking Requirements it Farm storage Node Setup, farmers have to stake SRX Token Minimum as per Incremental Model, and Maximum 1 Million SRX tokens can be at stake.
A farmer on the StorX Network contributes to a new decentralized, secure, private, and affordable internet. Get rewarded for your efforts and investment by earning SRX Tokens.
StorX can create a distributed cloud storage capacity with our farmers' collective efforts. Users/Consumers can store data without restrictions at a nominal cost compared to monopolized entities. Our network is trustless, and every bit of data is encrypted, making it far more private, secure, scalable, distributed, and cost-effective than other players in the industry.
Decentralized Cloud Competition
StorX is not the only project disrupting the nearly half-trillion-dollar cloud computing market. Other decentralized competitors include Dfinity (Internet Computer), Ankr, and Cudos. Although Ankr launched with a similar model to StorX, today, Internet Computer and Ankr both approach cloud computing from different perspectives.
Dfinity / Internet Computer
While Internet Computer is mostly considered a smart contract platform, it seeks to decentralize everything in its protocol, from the consensus algorithm to the servers the validation nodes connect to when approving network transactions broadcasted through the internet.
It’s not that unique to claim decentralization of the consensus algorithm. Nearly every project claims it, but few adhere to it (looking at Solana — validators can’t plan a network restart on a decentralized system). However, Internet Computer also claims to decentralize the servers its validator nodes utilize to perform consensus. This contrasts with Ethereum, where roughly 25% of the nodes were operated on centralized AWS infrastructure in 2019.
Internet Computer is not a direct competitor to the StorX marketplace for underutilized computing resources. Instead, it created a system where independent node operators pay data centers to host their nodes while cloud providers get compensated for contributing computing capacity that facilitates network activity. By pairing computing resources provided by independently operated data centers around the world with its node operators, Internet Computer has attempted to make a truly decentralized protocol running on a decentralized network of data centers as opposed to AWS-owned servers. Despite using excess computing power similarly, Internet Computer does not generate market activity for cloud computing like StorX. It may take a share of potential cloud providers but does not seriously threaten the StorX marketplace.
The Ankr project was launched to use idle computing resources in data centers to build an open-source cloud that it was going to call the “distributed cloud computing network.” This would have made Ankr a near replica and direct competitor to StorX. However, instead of letting users run any application on Ankr’s proposed cloud service, it pivoted to provide access to Web3 infrastructure via RPCs (Remote Procedure Calls) that are used for making requests of server processes.
Exclusively focusing on Web3, node providers join the Ankr network to offer cloud services that connect those building decentralized apps, protocols, and smart contracts to various blockchains through API endpoints. Ankr uses its global node delivery system and developer toolkit to service over 50 PoS blockchains. Like the Internet Computer, the nodes in Ankr’s ecosystem that support its RPC layer may only threaten the number of providers StorX can connect to. Again, this does not seriously threaten the StorX marketplace.
Cudos is another item in the product line offered by the Cudo Network. With Cudo Network’s Cudo Miner product (different from Cudos), any user wishing to mine must download the Cudo Miner application, select a token to mine, and the application will mine the selected token while the machine sits idle. In the same spirit of utilizing idle compute power, Cudos will offer a very similar product to StorX with a marketplace that would connect cloud providers with underutilized resources to builders wishing to deploy WASM containers and virtual machines.
Cudos is building its mainnet using the Cosmos SDK, while its test net is accessible from the Big Dipper block explorer. Despite connecting idle compute power with builders, Cudos has no plans to operate its marketplace with a reverse auction or make its source code open-source like StorX. With yet to launch its mainnet.
A Compliment, not a Killer
StorX is not meant to replace the centralized cloud computing industry but will simply complement it. If the conspirators are right, Ethereum might get killed by XDC Network. Cloud Computing and StorX fit in the industry are different. Like Airbnb is not destroying hotels, StorX is not destroying centralized data providers. Both Airbnb and StorX simply allow individuals to rent out unused capacity.
StorX may entice cloud customers by offering prices at a fraction of the cost of the big three providers, as well as providing the flexibility of no vendor lock-ins and control over the resources used to host deployments. As traditional enterprises build out crypto divisions and become more literate in Web3 technologies, StorX will be at the forefront of the decentralized cloud computing space with a functioning mainnet and a business model that alleviates supply-side inefficiencies.