The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Amazon Silk is a game changer and now the cloud makes sense

Once in a while a technology shift is big enough to require mention.  Amazon Silk fits that category.  I was sitting with some developer folks listening to a conversation about this stuff and relating it to what Amazon has done.  Basically browsers are not very smart and work on architecture that is more than 20 years old.

In simple terms when you click a link today, it sends several requests to the server and receives the responses. If there are 20 pictures on the page, you need 20 requests and responses, plus a few others for handling the general page.

Silk changes all that by handling all the heavy lifting that the browser did on the server side, and only sending the final product to the browser.  Silk is able to do that because of the Amazon cloud otherwise known as Amazon Web Services (AWS), thus reducing the number of requests and responses required.

This is fascinating and changes everything.  Today we assume that speed is driven by higher bandwidth and processor speed. This new approach means that low speed devices such as mobile phones can receive instant rendering of pages/ movies/ pictures.

Relevance to Bankwatch:

Until now cloud computing has meant either server replacement or an alternate storage device (another hard drive).  This new approach views the cloud and the user device as one.  The connection between your CPU and your hard drive is replaced by an internet connection.  This allows forward thinking companies like Amazon to engineer solutions such as Kindle Fire that have unique browsing capabilities which are ultra fast.

The big shift here is the integration of the cloud and the user device in ways that we have not seen before and that provide speed and usability which is un-precedented.

Written by Colin Henderson

September 29, 2011 at 23:05

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Honestly, this is getting ridiculous. Skyfire has been doing server side rendering for ages now.


    September 30, 2011 at 03:24

  2. I wouldn’t quite agree that “browsers are not very smart”. Modern browsers have been a hotbed of innovation. For instance, Google’s javascript runtime engine, v8–a cornerstone of their Chrome browser–is so remarkable that its now being used server-side to power Node.js.

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