That next-generation cloud requires a more apt technology, one that takes advantage of the economics of density. Crawford said that's what Vapor IO is set to deliver.
Industry analysts predict by 2020 we will see some 40 billion connected devices around the world producing a whopping 40 zettabytes of data. At current disk densities and form factors, you would need to stack drives beyond the moon and back to store that information.
"We're going to have to do more with less, but we're going to be able to do more with more," Crawford told CRN. What he means is that data center providers will be working with less power and less physical space at any one site, but they will have many more locations from which to choose.
The big public clouds are driving the cost of hardware lower and lower. As hardware becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous, interfaces will need to talk at a much greater scale.
That new paradigm will require a big data analytics platform to manage infrastructure in a low-touch manner, which Crawford described as "more like cattle, and not pets." When considering the Internet of Things, he revised the metaphor to "more like insects."
"We need to generate an abstraction layer that allows you to talk to your rack and your data center much more holistically," he said.