The user, of course, sees a virtual service (appearing like the data is stored in certain icon), the actual storage could be anywhere, and could vary from day-to-day. This is an advantage to the overall efficiency of the system because storage resources can then be allocated rather than static (Smith, Computing Beyond the Firewall, 2010).
Cloud services are any web-based application -- from calendars and contact applications to word processing, database management, presentations, and even niche market proprietary software applications. If one PC or user application crashes, it has no effect on the others since documents are not machine based, but user based. We can more fully understand this if we think of cloud computing as a triangle, with the server as the base and the user as the pinnacle.
The user, or client consists of computer hardware or software that relies on cloud computing for its delivery -- useless without it (pc, smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc.).
The application is also called the Saas (Software as a Service) and delivers software applications of the Internet, which eliminates the need for installation, running, and maintaining a program.
Cloud platform services, also known as Paas (Platform as Service) deliver a computing platform or solution as a service, using cloud infrastructure and sustaining cloud applications. This makes it far easier to deploy applications without the cost, complexity and time of buying and managing layers upon layers of hardware and software.
Infrastructure -- Cloud infrastructure, Iaas, (Infrastructure as a Service), deliveries' a platform virtualization, raw storage, networking, and the electronic building. This enables organizations to use complex platforms without purchasing servers, data center space, network equipment or more staff for IT. The amount of infrastructure services consumed is typically equal to the level of activity for the organization or project.
Server -- Is the layer of computer hardware and software products and packages designed for cloud services. These include multi-core processors, systems, and combinations thereof. Until multi-core processing was available at a relatively inexpensive rate, cloud computing was not available to the general user (Nimbus is Cloud Computing for Science, 2011; Markoff, 2008; Duffy, 2009).
Advantages-Disadvantages -- As with all technology/tools, there are both advantages and disadvantages to cloud computing. There are a number of direct benefits to the idea:
It is dynamic and scalable -- businesses can draw as much computing power as necessary on an individual basis based on their own internal needs.
Computing needs may be purchased with operational funds rather than capital expenditures. This allows for seasonal growth patterns, certain spikes, and typically requires less approval and strategic planning. The individual or business could, of course, use it for one day, and then move on once the larger project was finished.
Because the computer equipment does not reside in the local facility, it does not require space, electrical wiring, modifications to cooling, or even IT staff.
The services are highly competitive -- if service is not provided to the level needed, one can shift to another company with better prices or services.
The flexibility is enormous, especially for multinationals. Instead of buzzing around the world with zip drives or laptops that may or may not have the most current information or presentation, all materials are available 24/7 through the cloud.
Individuals, businesses, and organizations (colleges, universities, scientific groups, etc.) may work in tandem and collaborate on a wide variety of projects.
Because of the nature of the "cloud," most individuals and small organizations could never hope to have access to such storage and power. The cloud offers affordable "rent" time as necessary.
There are concerns, however:
Many organizations remain hesitant due to security issues, or at least potentials. Thus far, though, there have been no client-to-client penetrations and adequate security seems to be the norm.
Organizations may have concerns over the location of their data; U.S. based companies express concerns about storage in Asia; other countries express concern over storage in the U.S. And the potential of being under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Patriot Act.
Some experienced cloud computing users have noticed a wide variation in the performance of their applications that run in the cloud. Allocation of cloud resources is not something the individual user controls or even has any idea of. If a large organization has a major project one day, then resources might be slim, etc.
There are, of course, small bugs that need to be worked out; there have been crashes with some companies that cause inconvenience to users.
In the same way, some companies have such unique services that it makes it difficult to move resources if needed.
Cloud computing is relatively new, some details still need to be developed (Smith, 2009).
Current Deployment Models- Because of the flexibility of the cloud system, there are various ways it can be organized and parceled for optimization of services. For instance:
Public clouds -- are the traditional mainstreamed use; resources are provided to the general public on a high level self-service basis over the Internet and billed just as a utility would be.
Community cloud -- would share the infrastructure between several organizations with specific concerns (e.g. A multinational corporation or legal operation). These concerns might include security, compliance issues, jurisdiction, etc. The costs are spread over fewer users than a public cloud, but the benefits of sharing are still there.
Hybrid cloud -- a composition of two or more clouds that remains unique but placed together to share multiple benefits (a public side, private side, etc.).
Private cloud -- is infrastructure that operates solely for a single organization and would really be considered more of a private network based on cloud computing (for a multinational corporation, for instance).
Intercloud - is an extension of the Internet by connecting clouds of clouds. It is based on the notion that each single cloud does not have infinite physical resources, and could become saturated, which would then cause it not to be able to satisfy allocation requests. The intercloud addresses this by reallocating other clouds as storage areas (Johnston, 2009; Haff, 2009; Carr, 2011).
The Future of Cloud Computing - It has been years since there has been such a mentioned technical issue in the computing world. Many analysts believe that it is more important for executives, academics, and even polititicans to understand the implications of cloud computing than every. Cloud computing will be the modus operendii of the user, even the average user. The cloud will enable companies to envision and send to maket far more products because of the flexibility, global reach, and ease of use within the business model. Corporate IT departments will change and employees will need only a viewing device (tablet) rather than pcs or even smart phone. Governments will use cloud computing to shore up the economy and countries like India will lose their massive outsourcing because it will no longer be needed. Above all, cloud computing will change the way we think about information, and information is the way we grow, change, evolve and become focused more on results than the technical way we received the data (Alvarez & Cooke, 2011)
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