The Outline Of Cloud Computing Information Technology Essay

Cloud computing is something where Internet is commonly visualized as clouds with computation being done through the Internet. Database resources can be accessed via Internet from anywhere without the need to worry about maintenance or management of actual resources. Data of multiple customers is stored at one common location. Cloud computing should have proper techniques for proper segregation of data to ensure data security and confidentiality. Security measures are needed to make sure that data of one customer does not affect another customer’s data. Providers of cloud computing must be equipped with proper disaster recovery policies.’

Key terms –

Saas, Iaas, Paas, SOA, Grid Computing, Resource sharing, Web2.0

Introduction

In the recent years, cloud computing has grown from being a promising business concept to one of the fastest growing segments of the IT industry. But as more and more information on individuals and companies is placed on cloud, we need to consider how safe an environment is.

Cloud computing is an independent platform in terms of computing. The best example of cloud computing is Google Apps where any application can be accessed using a browser and can be deployed on thousands of computer through the Internet.

Architecture –

Characteristics of cloud computing –

a) Dynamic computing infrastructure – Foundation for the dynamic infrastructure is a standardized, scalable and secure physical infrastructure. Levels of redundancy must be implemented to ensure high levels of availability but is must be easy to extend as usage growth demands it without architecture rework.

b) IT service centric approach – Users of the cloud generally want to run some business service or application for a specific, timely purpose which means giving preference to quickly and easily accessing a dedicated instance of an application or service.

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c) Self service based usage model – Self service provides users the ability to upload, build, deploy, schedule, manage and report on their business services on demand.

d) Minimally or self managed platform – For a service provider to efficiently provide a cloud for its constituents, they must leverage a technology platform that is self managed.

e) Consumption based billing – Cloud computing is usage driven. Consumers pay for only what resources they use and therefore are charged or billed on a consumption based model.

Types of services –

The main services provided by cloud computing service model can basically be divided into three main categories namely Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provides virtual servers with unique IP addresses. Also, it provides blocks of storage on demand. Customers benefit from an API from which they can control and manage their servers. This service is also known as utility computing since the customers can pay for exactly the amount of service they use. It provides grids, clusters and virtualized servers, networks, storage and systems software designed to expand or substitute the functions of an entire data center. The best example of IaaS is Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud [EC2] and Simple Storage Service.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is a set of software and development tools that are hosted on the provider’s servers. Developers can create applications using the provider’s API’s. PaaS basically provides virtualized servers on which users can run existing applications or develop new ones without being worried about maintaining the operating systems, server hardware, load balancing or computing capacity. PaaS also allows a lot of scalability by design. Google Apps is one of the most famous Platform-as-a-Service providers. Other good examples include Microsoft’s Azure and Salesforce’s Force.com.

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The third type which is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) makes the broadest market. It is the most widely known and broadly used form of cloud computing. In this service, the providers allow the customers only to use their applications. The software through user interface interacts with the user. However, these applications are provided through a Web browser, and not by a locally-installed application. It reduces worries to a great extent about application servers, storage, application development and other common concerns of IT. Salesforce.com, Google’s Gmail and Apps, instant messaging from AOL, Yahoo and Google, Twitter and VoIP from Vonage and Skype are some common examples of SaaS providers.

Example of cloud architecture –

Amazon s3 cloud computing- The Amazon S3 provides a web service interface for the storage and retrieval of data in the cloud. Setting a maximum limits the number of objects that can be stored in S3. S3 uses the concept of buckets as containers for each storage location of objects. The data is stored securely using the same data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses for its e-commerce web sites.

Security issues –

Securing confidential data is an important area of concern as unauthorized users may get access to it. Large organizations dealing with sensitive data have laid out regulatory compliance policies. Sometimes the network utilizes resources from another country or they might not be fully protected, hence the need for appropriate regulatory compliance policies.

In cloud computing, it is very common to store data of multiple customers at one common location. Cloud computing should have proper techniques where data is segregated properly for data security and confidentiality.

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Breached security system –

Providers of Saas and Paas boast of robustness of systems claiming that security in cloud is tighter than in most enterprises.

Risks involved –

The idea of multi tenancy and decoupling between specific hardware resources and applications exists at the heart of cloud infrastructure. Companies need to be vigilant. An important measure of security often overlooked by companies is how much downtime a cloud service provider experiences.

Change in the software –

Companies need to know whether a software change might actually alter its security settings.

Local law and jurisdiction –

Data that might be secure in one country may not be secure in another. Users of cloud do not know where their information is held.

Incentives of CC –

It is ideal for a small firm that has to occasionally batch process a ton of calculations to produce a data product. It is cheaper and economies of scale make cloud computing more economical. Organizations and individuals can benefit from mass computing and storage provided by large companies with stable and strong cloud architectures. Companies that desire to build massive, scalable environments, utilizing virtualization and cloud computing will increase their future margin of success. It may be more environmental friendly. Reducing the number of hardware components needed to run applications on the company’s internal data center and replacing them with cloud computing systems reduces energy for running and cooling hardware. By consolidating these systems in remote centers, they can be handled more efficiently as a group.

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