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What is Jungle Computing?

Jungle computing is the practice of using untapped, surplus computing resources and services to solve specific problems. This isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a solution that’s been around for decades. It’s also one that continues to grow in popularity and usage as the digital age progresses and new innovations arise. In this article, we’ll discuss what Jungle Computing is, why it matters, examples of jungle computing applications, and how you can use it in your company.

What is Jungle Computing?

Jungle Computing is the practice of using untapped, surplus computing resources and services to solve specific problems. It’s a 21st-century solution to a 20th-century problem: namely, that there are more computing needs than there are computing resources available to meet them.

The term “jungle computing” was first used in the early 1990s, as the Internet was expanding and the boundaries between computing environments were falling away. In the context of the Internet, jungle computing describes the use of distributed, heterogeneous, and decentralized computer resources to solve a given problem.

Why use Jungle Computing?

The goal of jungle computing isn’t to create a new way of doing things; rather, it’s a way of making the most of the resources you already have. The benefits of jungle computing are numerous:

  1. Access to More Resources - One of the biggest advantages of jungle computing is the ability to access more computing resources than you might have on hand. When you need to solve a problem that requires more computing power than you can access on-premises, you can often find what you need in the cloud.
  2. Reduced Costs - Jungle computing can also reduce costs for your business by allowing you to take advantage of cloud-based services that are cheaper than traditional computing resources.
  3. Access to Specialized Hardware - Another benefit of the cloud is that it allows you to use specialized hardware that might be difficult to find in your region. For example, if you’re monitoring water conditions in the Amazon rainforest, you might find that nearby computers are too slow to process the data. However, you can locate a computer elsewhere in the world with the power to solve the problem.
  4. Access to Specialized Software - The ubiquity of the cloud also allows you to access specialized software that might not otherwise be available to your company.

Examples of Jungle Computing Applications

There are many examples of jungle computing applications. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

  1. Image Recognition - Image recognition is one of the most popular applications of jungle computing. In this application, untapped CPU resources are used to analyze images, providing insights into a range of things, including weather patterns, crop conditions, and more.
  2. Voice Recognition - Voice recognition is another common type of jungle computing application. In this application, computing resources are used to convert human speech (often from a telephone call) into text.
  3. Natural Language Processing - Natural language processing is another jungle computing application in which unprocessed text is broken down into structured data.
  4. Medical Imaging Analysis - Medical imaging analysis is a jungle computing application in which unprocessed medical images are broken down into data.
  5. Robotics - Robotics is the application of artificial intelligence to solve specific problems, such as automated trading in financial markets.

How to Practice Jungle Computing

There are some core practices that are important to follow when implementing jungle computing. They include:

  • Make Sure Your Resources are Secure - Jungle computing relies on access to various untapped resources, including servers, network connections, and more. As such, you must be careful to protect your data when using these resources.
  • Know What You’re Getting Into - When you use other people’s resources for jungle computing, you don’t have full control over those resources. You should know the terms under which you’re using those resources so that you can make informed decisions.
  • Use Multiple Providers - The best way to protect your data during jungle computing is to use multiple providers, including public cloud providers and private cloud providers.

Limitations of Jungle Computing

Jungle computing isn’t a silver bullet. It has some limitations that you should be aware of:

  • It Requires Expertise - Jungle computing requires in-depth knowledge of specific computing environments, including how they work, how they’re managed, and how they interact with each other.
  • It Can Be Costly - Jungle computing can be costly, depending on the resources you use and how much you use them.
  • It Can Be Time-consuming - Depending on the specific applications you use, jungle computing can take a long time.
  • It’s Not Sustainable - Jungle computing cannot be used as a long-term solution for long-running problems. Instead, it’s best suited for one-time challenges with specific timeframes.

Key Takeaway

The term "jungle computing" refers to the process of utilizing unused or underutilized computing resources and services to address a problem. Jungle computing can provide access to more computing resources than would be available on-premises, it can reduce costs, and it can even allow you to use specialized hardware and software, such as image recognition software.

Jungle computing has some limitations, including the fact that it requires in-depth knowledge, it can be costly, it can be time-consuming, and it isn’t sustainable. Despite these limitations, jungle computing can be an effective tool to solve specific problems with limited resources.