The future of cloud computing in malaysia

In this day and age, cloud computing is a hot topic anywhere across the nation and Malaysia is not to be left behind. Therefore, since the effects of cloud computing are said to be enormous, this research study will cover few objectives in order to examine the future of cloud computing in Malaysia through distinguishing the classification or types of cloud computing, analyzing its potentiality, identifying its pros and cons and its security measures. Nonetheless, before the term “Cloud” computing is further discussed, it is briefly explained as a web-based technology whereby a number of data are hosted and managed through the internet and web to support business process. IT professionals are adapting to this technology in order to get in line with the fast growing new era of technology nowadays. Compared to the previous technology, this advance revolution of cloud computing is claimed to be very much cost and time saving.

However, while cloud computing is on the rise there are many questions raised by various companies considering our current use of information technology. They are particularly the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing, its future potentials and risks and whether the organization across the nation should adapt or acquire cloud computing.

Recently, as cited by President and CEO of Mimos, Datuk Abdul Wahab Abdullah in The Star Online (Monday July 13, 2009), “Cloud computing is the next logical step in ICT (information and communications technology),” Further more he stated that “With a headstart in our involvement in its research, we will be on par with other countries in cloud computing and Malaysia will be able to reap the benefits as an early adopter.” This shows the interest of participation towards the technology of computing in the clouds which has become a hype talks in forums and website among the IT professionals and CEOs anywhere around the globe nowadays.

The terms used for this research paper includes SaaS which refer to an acronym for Software as a Service and PaaS which refer to an acronym for Platform as a Service. According to an online journal of Cloud Computing and SOA (http://www.mortengryning.dk/Work/coa.pdf), PaaS is defined as a platform delivered as a service which can run web services and applications, and which is an abstraction from the infrastructure underneath. PaaS if difference from a normal platform in that PaaS does not require knowledge or care about the underlying infrastructure’s hardware or software. In addition, it stated that cloud services means cloud computing functionality offered such as storage, processing and so forth. In other words, cloud computing is claimed to be able to replace the current IT trend of running software services and applications and utility services as the extra attached services which are executed in the cloud platforms developed by the developer. According to Moore & Hebeler(2009) in the journal Computing in the Clouds cloud applications can be created through two major implementation which are the Amazon Web Service (AWS) and Google Application Engine (GAE).

There are few different definitions used for cloud computing or also known as computing in the cloud. In this research paper, the different definitions are explored in order to get better overview of its terms and use as well as to devise a definition use for cloud computing. First, according to an online article on Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View of Cloud Computing http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2009/EECS-2009-28.pdf), “Cloud Computing refers to both the applications delivered as services over the Internet and the hardware and systems software in the datacenters that provide those services. “The services themselves have long been referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS), so we use that term. The datacenter hardware and software is what we will call a Cloud.”

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Meanwhile, according to an online journal on IBM cloud computing (http://download.boulder.ibm.com/ibmdl/pub/software/dw/wes/hipods/Cloudcomputing_wp_final_8Oct.pdf), “”Cloud computing is a term used to describe both a platform and type of application. A cloud computing platform dynamically provisions, configures, reconfigures, and deprovisions servers as needed.” Third, according to an online article on by Rich Trenholm, CNET.co.uk on An introduction to cloud computing (http://asia.cnet.com/,), “The “cloud” represents the Internet: Instead of using software installed on your computer or saving data to your hard drive, you’re working and storing stuff on the Web, in cyberspace. Data is kept on servers run by the service you’re using, and tasks are performed in your browser using an interface provided by the service.”

As a summary based on the three different definitions of clouds computing, cloud computing is actually mostly defined in the different sources however similarities among the definition exists. The similarities are critically reviewed in this research topic whereby the cloud computing may bring about major change in our information technology industry. The questions which might arise based on the reviews are in terms of the pros and cons concerning to the risks and security measure that cloud computing can provide to users and organization. This is because as cited earlier, saving all the data and working and storing them on the web or cyberspace can be very time saving whether by individuals or the whole business organization but then this is also depend whether the data are kept on the servers safely or they might also exposed to the hackers and crackers. Hence, for example having to purchase installation software for individual might not be obviously costly, but in a larger unit such as an organization with hundreds of staffs, eliminating the cost for installation software and its maintenance would make a great difference in reducing the yearly budgets.

Nonetheless, according to another source from an online article on Above the Clouds (http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2009/EECS-2009-28.pdf), “…a Cloud is made available in a pay-as-you-go manner to the general public, we call it a Public Cloud; the service being sold is Utility Computing. We use the term Private Cloud to refer to internal datacenters of a business or other organization, not made available to the general public. Thus, Cloud Computing is the sum of SaaS and Utility Computing, but does not include Private Clouds. People can be users or providers of SaaS, or users or providers of Utility Computing. In addition, according to an online journal on Cloud computing and SOA (http://www.mortengryning.dk/Work/coa.pdf) utility computing is the broad definition of supplying computing resources as telephoning is supplied while cloud computing is a more specific technological term for a specific supply method of the computing resources. In relation to the technology “pay-as-you-go manner” term provided in the cloud computing cited earlier, it refers to the use of service of SaaS and PaaS used at that particular time only.

Next, there are pros and cons of acquiring cloud computing. Despite the advantages offered by cloud computing, the advantages do exist too which cause organization or companies might refuse to adopt into cloud computing for their particular needs According to an online journal on Cloud Computing To be or Not to be (http://www.mscmalaysia.my/codenavia/portals/msc/images/pdf/rnd_grant/series2/07_Cloud-SS-2009_dr%20simon%20seev1.1.pdf), the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing can be illustrated as the following diagrams of benefits and challenges or issue of cloud computing.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

According to in the article Inside Cloud Computing, MacVittie (2009) states that cloud computing “… is the infrastructure and model of deployment that defines whether something is or is not cloud computing. Hence, based on the diagram Benefits of Cloud Computingcited from an online journal on Cloud Computing To be or Not to be (http://www.mscmalaysia.my/), there are eight benefits illustrated with its level of importance. The most important level of benefit is “Easy/fast to deploy” which indicate the percentage of more than half. This shows that besides offering latest functionality that is fifty percent of the importance level cloud computing can provide, the highest ranking of benefit involve the most time saved to increase productivity and performance of participating organization. For instance in Malaysia, the MIMOS president and chief executive officer, Dato’ Abdul Wahab Abdullah (http://mis-asia.com), states that “…the creation of dynamic cloud services from our collaboration has the potential to enrich, even transform, the everyday lives of the general public in Malaysia.”

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Challenges of Cloud Computing

Nevertheless, there are many challenges and issues which arise in accordance the cloud computing technology. Hence, to in the article Inside Cloud Computing, MacVittie (2009) states that “… it’s a very scary scenario when you consider that shared resources necessary mean shared security risks.” Therefore, as illustrated in the diagram Challenges of Cloud computing cited from an online journal on Cloud Computing To be or Not to be (http://www.mscmalaysia.my/), there are nine challenges or issues illustrated with its level of significance. The security shows the most insignificance of nearly seventy five percent. The security of data is essentially important to any organization no matter what their business backgrounds are. For instance, as cloud computing is about keep data on a web based, when it comes to security of data in a country such as in Malaysia, the country wont be able to risk even a little of the confidential data within a country such as citizenship and monetary banking records to be exposed to computer crimes such as hacking.

Meanwhile the following table shows another way of contrasting between the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing through the obstacles and opportunities for Growth of Cloud Computing as quoted in the online journal Cloud Computing To be or Not to be (http://www.mscmalaysia.my)

As a summary, there are no exact measure to determine whether cloud computing bring more harm than good in a small or large business organization. According to an online journal (http://www.CloudPlatform/Chappell.pdf), Chappel mentions according cloud computing pros and cons that “An organization can investigate the current status quo for and assess whether the control issues for cloud computing are problematic for the intended uses of cloud computing.” Also, Chappel states “Cloud computing might be an improvement of security instead of a deterioration compared to the current situation.” Therefore it is mainly the responsibility of each organization such as HP collaboration with MIMOS in Malaysia that the risks associated with the participating in cloud computing and analyze the level of importance and significance of acquiring cloud computing to improve their company’s performance and productivity whether in short or a long term basis not to mention also considering possibility of the risks of cost and large investments in resources of the organization.

Next, in examining the future of cloud computing in Malaysia, as cited in an online journal on Malaysian Government Pushes Cloud Computing (http://mis-asia.com), MIMOS president and chief executive officer, Dato’ Abdul Wahab Abdullah states “The cloud is the next stage in the evolution of the Internet, the means through which everything will be delivered to you as a service, from computing power to business processes to personal interactions, wherever, however, and whenever you need it,” he said. “This collaboration provides the opportunity to place Malaysia on the cloud computing research community world map.” According to the online journal, the MIMOS president and CEO shows positive feedback to support participation in implementing cloud computing.

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Additionally to the cited journal, MIMOS president and chief executive officer, Dato’ Abdul Wahab Abdullah mentions “”I am confident MIMOS and HP will be able to elevate research done in Malaysia to a world-class level. More importantly, the creation of dynamic cloud services from our collaboration has the potential to enrich, even transform, the everyday lives of the general public in Malaysia,” he said. “MIMOS gets to contribute to world-class research and provide our local research community with a platform to collaborate with the global community,” he explained. Then he stated that “Malaysia has made major strides in advancing ICT development in the country with the establishment of MSC Malaysia and the ministry of science, technology and innovation’s emphasis on advanced technology R&D and building a knowledge society. Cloud computing is the next step…”

To compile with, on the contrary to the positive feedback by the CEO of MIMOS, an article in STAR newspaper oinline (http://star-techcentral.com) states that “security and privacy concerns have been raised over a multimillion-dollar proposal by Los Angeles to tap Google Inc’s Internet-based services for government e-mail, police records and other confidential data. Also, Cloud computing is the storing of data and computer applications online rather than on individual computers under a company’s or government agency’s direct control. The shift toward doing more over the Web could make it much easier for hackers to gain access to corporate or government files.” As reviewed in earlier on disadvantages of cloud computing, the security issues have always been debated in order to ensure firm security of the organization’s data. Hence, the future of cloud computing in Malaysia, should have a firm secure coding as an absolute requirement for cloud computing as a wide variety of application on the network security later in the cloud computing infrastructure. Only then, the risks can be minimized for the stability of its participation in cloud computing.

As a conclusion to this research study on The Future of Cloud Computing in Malaysia, cloud computing can have a great influence on the way organization works. As a result, despite the limited scope of this research study, the implications of implementing cloud computing in Malaysia should be put into high consideration as computing in the clouds may cause enormous impact even though it brings a new era of IT technology to people. Furthermore, it is crucial to analyze critically all the possibilities of pros and cons as at times cloud computing might not always meet the organization’s expectation.

Bibliography

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Gulrajani, N.G. & Bowler, D.B. (February 2009), “Software Development in the Cloud”, Dr. Dobb’s Journal, vol., no. 416, pp. 14,27.

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(July 2007), http://www.mscmalaysia.my/. Cloud Computing To be or Not to be. Available from: Nanyang Technological University, HPC and Cloud Computing, Sun Microsystems, Inc. Web site: http://www.mscmalaysia.my/codenavia/portals/msc/images/pdf/rnd_grant/series2/07_Cloud-SS-2009_dr%20simon%20seev1.1.pdf [Accessed: June 6, 2009].

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Miller (7 March 2008), http://www.informit.com/. Are You Ready for Computing in the Cloud?. Available from:,. Web site: http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=1234970 [Accessed: July 27, 2009].

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Armbrust, M.A., Fox, A.F. & Griffith, R.G. (10 February 2009), http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu. Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View of Cloud Computing. Available from: University of California at Berkeley, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Web site: http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2009/EECS-2009-28.html [Accessed: July 21, 2009].

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Mertz, M.M. & Gryning, M.R. (20 March 2009), http://www.mortengryning.dk/. Cloud Computing and SOA. Available from: University of California at Berkeley, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Web site: http://www.mortengryning.dk/Work/coa.pdf [Accessed: April 19, 2009].

6

http://star-techcentral.com/. HP, Mimos seeding cloud computing research. Available from: University of California at Berkeley, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Web site: http://star-techcentral.com/tech/story.asp?file=/2009/7/13/corpit/20090713142538&sec=corpit [Accessed: July 28, 2009].

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