I recently sat down for a chat with our CTO, Peter Nickolov. During a discussion about all things cloud optimization, Peter brought up an interesting concept: “Cloud-by-wire computing” or “fly-by-wire computing”.

Peter’s phrase comes from the idea of “fly-by-wire flying”.  If you’re anything like me, the term may be foreign to you. Fly-by-wire is the historical technology where airplanes were flown through physical wire connections. Back then, airplanes had to be controlled manually, with the wings being controlled by the yoke. If you moved the yoke left, the wings would go left. 

As technological advancements came, everything became controlled by computers, thus the term “fly-by-wire”. The element of electronic control made the entire process cheaper, lighter, and more reliable than the manual way of flying.

Importantly, with this advancement, the birth of autopilot was born. Pilots had more resources and more flexibility to be able to create a feature where the computer-controlled how the airplane ran. 

This fundamental technological change has been mirrored in computing, where fly-by-wire approaches to infrastructure now mean that systems can run independently.

We see this phenomenon coming to fruition with the cloud. Previously, everyone had their own servers and data centers. Then the cloud was born, and you could virtually run your app via machines no longer on your premises. We essentially use “wires” to control everything, hence “cloud-by-wire.” And we now see the same pattern arising, and producing more autonomy.

Continuous Optimization uses a closed-loop operation which enables the machine to make autonomous decisions to change the overall configuration. The machines have the ability to evaluate the consequences and the impact of what they are doing. They can back out, or try a different configuration. If there is a better way, then they can continue moving in that direction.

Continuous Optimization ensures that your operating expense doesn’t go unchecked, but instead gets checked continuously upon every release. Fly-by-wire computing at its finest!