Cloud Computing Technology

 :: Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is Internet-based ("cloud") development and use of computer technology ("computing"). The cloud is a metaphor for the Internet (based on how it is depicted in computer network diagrams) and is an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it conceals. It is a style of computing in which IT-related capabilities are provided “as a service” allowing users to access technology-enabled services from the Internet ("in the cloud") without knowledge of, expertise with, or control over the technology infrastructure that supports them. According to a 2008 paper published by IEEE Internet Computing "Cloud Computing is a paradigm in which information is permanently stored in servers on the Internet and cached temporarily on clients that include desktops, entertainment centers, table computers, notebooks, wall computers, handhelds, sensors, monitors, etc."

Cloud computing is a general concept that incorporates software as a service (SaaS), Web 2.0 and other recent, well-known technology trends, in which the common theme is reliance on the Internet for satisfying the computing needs of the users. For example, Google Apps provides common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers

Architecture:

The majority of cloud computing infrastructure currently consists of reliable services delivered through data centers that are built on computer and storage virtualization technologies. The services are accessible anywhere in the world, with The Cloud appearing as a single point of access for all the computing needs of consumers. Commercial offerings need to meet the quality of service requirements of customers and typically offer service level agreements. Open standards and open source software are also critical to the growth of cloud computing.

Characteristics:

As customers generally do not own the infrastructure, they are merely accessing or renting, they can forego capital expenditure and consume resources as a service, paying instead for what they use. Many cloud computing offerings have adopted the utility computing model which is analogous to how traditional utilities like electricity are consumed, while others are billed on a subscription basis. By sharing "perishable and intangible" computing power between multiple tenants, utilization rates can be improved (as servers are not left idle) which can reduce costs significantly while increasing the speed of application development. A side effect of this approach is that "computer capacity rises dramatically" as customers do not have to engineer for peak loads. Adoption has been enabled by "increased high-speed bandwidth" which makes it possible to receive the same response times from centralized infrastructure at other sites.

Key Features:

  • Customer capital expenditure is minimized and thus lowers barriers to entry, as infrastructure is owned by the provider and does not need to be purchased for one-time or infrequent intensive computing tasks and services are typically available to or specifically targeted to retail consumers and small businesse
  • Device and location independence enables users to access systems regardless of their location or what device they are using (e.g. PC, mobile)
  • Multi-tenancy enables sharing of resources (and costs) among a large pool of users, allowing for:

     
    • Centralization of infrastructure in areas with lower costs (e.g. real estate, electricity)
    • Peak-load capacity increases (users need not engineer for highest possible load levels)
    • Utilization and efficiency improvements for systems that are often only 10-20% utilized

     
  • Performance is monitored and consistent, but can be affected by insufficient bandwidth or high network load
  • Reliability is enhanced by way of multiple redundant sites, which makes it suitable for business continuity and disaster recovery, however IT and business managers are able to do little when an outage hits them, historical data on cloud outages is tracked in the Cloud Computing Incidents Database
  • Scalability meets changing user demands (e.g. Flash crowds) quickly, without users having to engineer for peak loads, massive scalability and large user bases are common but not an absolute requirement
  • Security typically improves due to centralization of data, increased security-focused resources, etc., but raises concerns about loss of control over certain sensitive data, accesses are typically logged but accessing the audit logs themselves can be difficult or impossible
  • Sustainability is achieved through improved resource utilization, more efficient systems and carbon neutrality, nonetheless, computers and associated infrastructure are major consumers of energy

Cloud applications:

A cloud application leverages the Cloud in software architecture, often eliminating the need to install and run the application on the customer's own computer, thus alleviating the burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation, and support. For example:

  • Peer-to-peer/volunteer computing (Bit torrent, SETI@home, Skype)
  • Web application (Facebook)
  • Software as a service (Google Apps, Salesforce)
  • Software plus services (Microsoft online Services)

 

Cloud clients:

A cloud client is computer hardware and/or computer software which relies on The Cloud for application delivery, or which is specifically designed for delivery of cloud services, and which is in either case essentially useless without it. For example:

  • Mobile (Android,iPhone, Windows Mobile)
  • Thin client (CherryPal, Zonbu gOS based systems)
  • Thick client/Web browser (Google Chrome,Mozilla Firefox)

 Cloud infrastructure:

Cloud infrastructure (e.g. Infrastructure as a service) is the delivery of computer infrastructure (typically a platform virtualization environment) as a service. For example:

  • Full virtualization (GoGrid, Skytap)
  • Grid computing (Sun Grid)
  • Management (RightScale)
  • Paravirtualization (Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud)

Cloud platforms:

A cloud platform (eg Platform as a service) (the delivery of a computing platform and/or solution stack as a service) facilitates deployment of applications without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software layers. For example:

  • Web application frameworks Python Django (Google App Engine) Ruby on Rails (Heroku)
  • Web hosting (Mosso)
  • Proprietary (Azure, Fossrce.com)

Cloud services:

A cloud service (eg Web Service) is "software system designed to support inter operable machine-to-machine interaction over a network" which may be accessed by other cloud computing components, software (eg Software plus services) or end users directly. For example:

  • Identity (OAuth, OpenID)
  • Integration (Amazon Simple Queue Service)
  • Mapping (Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps)
  • Payments (Amazon Flexible Payments Service, Google Checkout, PayPal)
  • Search (Alexa, Google Custom Search, Yahoo! BOSS)
  • Others (Amazon Mechanical Turk)

Cloud storage:

Cloud storage is the delivery of data storage as a service (including database-like services), often billed on a utility computing basis (eg per gigabyte per month). For example:

  • Database (Amazon Simple DB, Google App Engine's Big Table data store)
  • Network attached storage (MobileMe iDisk component, Nirvanix Cloud NAS)
  • Synchronization (Live Mesh Live Desktop component, MobileMe push functions)
  • Web service (Amazon Simple Storage Service, Nirvanix SDN)

Traditional storage vendors have recently begun to offer their own flavor of cloud storage, typically supporting existing software products (e.g. Symantec's Online Storage for Backup Exec) or on delivering cloud storage services (EMC's Atmos).

Advantages Of Cloud Computing:

  • Ordinary People
  • They can use complicated programs easily
  • They can save data on supercomputers
  • Social Networking
  • They can access their hard drive through the internet
  • Collaborate
  • Can Use and Post Multimedia
  • Small Business
  • Can Compete with large companies

  • Achieve economies of scale – increase volume output or productivity with fewer people. Your cost per unit, project or product plummets.
  • Reduce spending on technology infrastructure. Maintain easy access to your information with minimal upfront spending. Pay as you go (weekly, quarterly or yearly), based on demand.
  • Globalize your workforce on the cheap. People worldwide can access the cloud, provided they have an Internet connection.
  • Streamline processes. Get more work done in less time with less people.
  • Reduce capital costs. There’s no need to spend big money on hardware, software or licensing fees.
  • Improve accessibility. You have access anytime, anywhere, making your life so much easier!
  • Monitor projects more effectively. Stay within budget and ahead of completion cycle times.
  • Less personnel training is needed. It takes fewer people to do more work on a cloud, with a minimal learning curve on hardware and software issues.
  • Minimize licensing new software. Stretch and grow without the need to buy expensive software licenses or programs.
  • Improve flexibility. You can change direction without serious “people” or “financial” issues at stake.

 

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