The future of the Internet – How we can get control back from the giants

I am so happy that NEC Platforms displayed the prototype of the first home router / server yesterday at ET & IoT Technology 2018, Yokohama, Japan. This is something new for most of you so that I need to explain about the product.

NEC-P Waffle Cell

It is a home router but it is also a server that you can host your own apps / services like Nextcloud. It is versatile, and you can easily install other services like Mattermost, NAS, virtual machines, thin client environment and much much more. With its default operating system, Waffle Cell,  it provides DDNS, router control, and other features that makes you a server expert in a few minutes. 🙂

NEC-P Waffle Cell

It has 8 GB of memory and HDD. It has a HDMI port, but you usually use it headless. Yes, it is like your own cloud server at home / office.

NEC Platforms plan to release this router / server in the first quarter of 2019.

Here’s my presentation at the Nextcloud Conference 2018, Berlin. This explains what we want to do to change the Internet infrastructure.

How I met these guys in Berlin – 2018

This blog entry is in English or Engrish.
今回はへたくそな英語で書きます。

In the early July, 2018, I found out that the Nextcloud Conference would be held in Berlin from August 23 to 30, 2018. A few minutes later, I had already written an email to the Nextcloud GmbH CEO, Mr. Frank Kerlitschek, asking if the community would accept me attending the conference. I was so excited by his reply, and I immediately reserved air tickets to Berlin via Helsinki.

Beforehand I would like to write about the background. I have been working on the Waffle Cell project. Waffle Cell is a server operating system which is meant to be an OS for distributed network and personal. It is easy to use, even a girl/boy next door can set up a sever for her/his own. The killer app is Nextcloud, but you can easily deploy apps like Mattermost, VM, virtual desktop, NAS, VPN gateway, groupware, and much more.

The new version of the OS was about to be release in June, 2018, and we were preparing an event for Waffle Cell v2. Since Nextcloud is the killer app, I emailed Frank asking a comment for our new product. I was fortunate that he wrote me back, and kindly accepting to give us a comment for the Waffle Cell event. His email made me want to visit Frank in Stuttgart and talk about the future of the network as well as the Internet privacy. Thus I visited him a few weeks later.

Stuttgart
Stuttgart May,2018

I had two hour meeting with Frank. I informed him that NEC Platforms, a computer manufacture, was going to introduce a router/server device to the Japanese market by Feburary, 2019, and Waffle Cell would be pre-installed. We also discussed how we could get back control from the giants. If you knew me, you would imagine what our talk was like. 🙂 It was full of passion, of course.

Anyway, it was fun.

A few weeks after I returned to Tokyo, Frank emailed me, and informed me that he was visiting me in Tokyo in June, and would talk on Nextcloud at the Waffle Cell v2 event! Wow! His visit was great for both of us. Frank met the major players in the router/server project at NEC Platforms, and I believe he realized that the truly distributed network would be soon in our hands, and the infrastructure would be more secure, safer, more privacy friendly, and more efficient.

Frank at the Waffle Cell v2 event, Tokyo 2018

So, I wanted to meet not only Frank again, but also the Nextcloud contributors at the conference. It is very important to meet and talk in person and exchange different ideas and stimulate each other. We live in the real world. I always love to feel the different atmospheres.

I had great meetings with Frank, Jos, Andreas of Nexxtcloud GmbH, and the contributors from all over the world.

I also met a German guy who lives in San Francisco named Johannes Ernst. He has his own project called UBOS, another OS for distributed network. East meets West, and our crazy projects are in fact quite similar. We both want to place a server at each node of the network. By the way, I later found that Johannes was one of the founders of OpenID. Wow! He and I share a lot in the ideas of the future Internet. We are like identical twins. 🙂 By the way, He flew from California to Berlin via Helsinki, too. West meets East again.

Frank gave me an opportunity to have a talk on my project in front of the Nextcloud contributors at the conference. There, I was so excited to announce that Nextcloud GmbH, NEC Platforms and Waffle Computer/TEGLET were going to cooperate to create a new market together.
Japan to add millions of new nodes to federated Nextcloud network

There were so many things I learned during my six-day stay in Berlin. But most of all, I realized that we developers should meet in person and exchange ideas more frequently. This is the best way to stimulate our creativities.

And, one more thing. I was lucky to attend opera two nights in row. Deutsche Oper had the summer special performance, the Magic Flute. These were the best Magic Flute I have ever listened.

Nextcloud Conference 2018 (3)

今回のNextcloud Conferenceの目玉はNECプラットフォームズ、Nextcloud社、そしてWaffle Computer社(テグレット)との提携に関する発表です。

NEC プラットフォームズはWaffe Cellを搭載したルーターを開発中で、その上でもNextcloudは動作します。ただ重要なのはこのルーターが「量産」され、超分散の世界が実現できる可能性があります。

役割としては

  • NEC プラットフォームズ:ハードウェア、それも世界初のルーターとサーバーが一体化されたもの
  • Waffle Computer:OSにあたるWaffle Cellの提供
  • Nextcloud:Dropbox+Skype+Office 365+アルファの提供

です。

Nextcloud 社のニュースリリースはこちらからご覧いただけます。(英文)

2018年6月21日Waffle Cell v2 発表会

2018年、6月21日にニッポン放送本社イマジンスタジオにてWaffle Cell v2の発表会をおこないました。今回はゲストスピーカーとして

  • NECプラットフォームズ社(中山様)
  • Nextcloud社(創業者のフランク・カーリチェック様)
  • Advasa社(久保田様)
  • Skeed社(宮島様)
  • 高崎商科大学の皆様

にご講演をいただきました。

NECプラットフォームズ・中山様からは「ルーターとサーバーの一体型商品の概要」の説明がありました。実はカーリチェックさんも同じ構想を以前持っていて、ヨーロッパのルーター最大手に提案をしたことがあります。これはうまく行かなかったのですが、今回の来日はこの構想に世界で一番近いNECプラットフォームズ社の技術者と話をしたい、というのが大きな理由の一つでした。両者をつなげたのが「調整役」のWaffle Cellです。

カーリチェックさんからは彼のNextcloudについてその機能を中心に話をいただきました。Nextcloudは確実にDropboxを超えています。彼と私の夢は、各家庭に設置された小型サーバーでNextcloudを動かし、各自、各家庭、各事務所毎に分散して自分の管理下でデータを利用することです。

私もいつもの繰り返しで「分散について」話をしました。(人がいないように見えますが、上の写真は午前中に行われた記者向けの概要説明のものです

さらにWaffle Cell v2完成に向けて協力をしてくれた高崎商科大学の学生の皆さんです。ここに詳細があります。(彼らがデザインしたロゴやキャッチフレーズが紹介されています)