Cloud computing


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Detailed Paper on Cloud Computing with its pros and cons. This paper was presented in a National Conference.

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Cloud computing

  1. 1. A Study Deciphering Benefits, Risks and Recommendations On Cloud Computing By 1. Tarvinder Singh R. Research Associate (IT) ITM Business School Kharghar, Navi Mumbai 2. Sneha Joshi B.E( Computers)Abstract:Cloud computing means using number of computer servers through a network, which appears as asthey are one single coherent computer. Cloud computing in recent times is one of the fastestemerging technology trend. The goal behind opting for Cloud computing is to save huge costs onbuilding IT infrastructure. This papers elaborates the evolution of Cloud computing and how thecloud computing has been adopted by various enterprises. Cloud computing has been adopted inalmost all the enterprise in todays world. This paper also explores on the technical description of theCloud computing and the way it is different from Software as a Service (Saas).Key Words: Cloud computing, Saas, Components of Cloud Computing.1. Introduction:Cloud computing can also be refferd to as the practice of using a network of remote servers hostedon the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or personal computer.Cloud computing can benefit and organization by saving costs on IT infrastructure, Scalability,Automatic updates, Remote access, Reliability, Skilled vendors etc.
  2. 2. Figure 1: Inter-relation between Cloud and SaasSource: www.catencio-sdm2009.blogspot.comCloud Computing refers to both the applications delivered as services over the Internet and thehardware and systems software in the datacenters that provide those services. The services aretermed as Software as a Service (SaaS). The datacenter hardware and software is reffered to asCloud .As per a Forrester Report (Dec 2008) more than 70% of IT budget is spent on maintenance ofcurrent IT infrastructure instead of adding new one. Inorder to better utilize the IT budgetcompanies are opting for cloud computing.Cloud computing differs from the client-server model by providing services from a server that areexecuted and managed by a clients web browser, with no installed client version of an applicationrequired. Centralization gives cloud service providers full control on the versions of the browser-based applications provided to clients, which removes the continuous need for version upgrades ormanage individual licenses of client computing devices.Figure 2: The diagram shows various features of Cloud.Source: www.catencio-sdm2009.blogspot.comThe phrase "Software as a service" (SaaS) is sometimes used to describe application programsoffered through Cloud computing. SaaS has been lucrative, because it removes all complexactivities like installation, deployment, maintenance, and it is globally accessible and affordable.SaaS resides in the “cloud” and takes care of the traditional worry some problems of VPNs . SaaSwas the first progress towards Cloud computing. The main drawback of SaaS is that the data is notcompletely yours .The vendor can also move our data from one physical location to other which
  3. 3. may result in increasing the latency. SaaS is vendor controlled. The SaaS vendor has control over it.SaaS service can be used for single user also by paying license cost for 1 user.Cloud software builds on Cloud Infrastructure. Similar to SaaS, Cloud Software provides instantscaling, taking mere minutes to configure and run. Depending on the vendor, Cloud Software is aseasy to maintain and update as SaaS, and is globally accessible. The main difference is that, yourdata and applications reside on the servers that are controlled by you.Global Delivery models have changed to an extent over the years. In the beginning we hadApplication Development done in a Global Delivery Model (GDM) and as systems and processesimprove, packaged applications were also done in a GDM. The next phase of GDM involves CloudComputing. Cloud computing is here, and hopefully will move consumers towards GlobalVirtualized Enterprises, where outsourcing and computation are integrated. While there are manydefinitions of Cloud, let us however start with one that we all can agree on to an extent.Consumer products and business products, services and solutions, delivered and consumed in real-time over the Internet.National Institute Of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines Cloud computing “as a model forenabling convenient, on- demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computingresources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidlyprovisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”Figure 3: General View of Cloud
  4. 4. Source: www.devcentral.f5.comCloud infrastructure services or "Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)" provides computerinfrastructure, virtual environment as a platform, as a service. Rather than spending money onbuying servers, software’s, data centre place or network elements, clients buy those resources as aservice as per requirement.2. Benefits of Cloud:Figure 4: Comparisons of various Infrastructure solutionsSource: www.iitweb.bloomu.edu2.1 High availabilityAny web application should be available to legitimate visitors from across the globe. An efficientCloud creates and spans multiple access points at various geographic locations around the globe.The Cloud provider must effectively receive and route incoming requests to the appropriatevirtualized application on the cloud on behalf of its customers.Google and Microsoft replicate each application instance to multiple physical locations. AT&TSynaptic Hosting spans multiple locations for its enterprise customers.2.2 Service on demandCloud enables service on demand. We have use resources for as small as couple of hours and payfor them accordingly. This the key advantage of the Cloud.Example: Let’s consider the case of a University website. The web site does not expect much trafficnormally. But during the display of the exam results, the traffic may increase exponentially. But theincrease of traffic happens only once or twice a year during the results so it is not wise for themanagement to buy huge infrastructure. In such a situation Cloud could really help where theuniversity can hire infrastructure for a weeks time and just pay a small cost.
  5. 5. 2.3 SecuritySecurity could improve due to centralization of data, increased security-focused resources, etc. Asthe Cloud is maintained by the Cloud provider enterprises need to be involved in security. TheCloud provider has the professionals who would further secure the Cloud. SMEs may not be able tohire highly paid security professionals, so it’s better for them to hire resources on Cloud.2.4 MaintenanceMaintenance cloud computing applications is not difficult, since they need not to be installed onusers computer. Due to this it is easy to support and to update because the changes can be done toclients instantly. Cloud infrastructure services or "Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)" providescomputer infrastructure as a virtual platform, as a service. Rather than purchasing servers, software,data centre space or network equipment, clients instead buy those resources as a fully outsourcedservice.2.5 Reduced Costs:Users of cloud need not to pay any upfront amount. They have to pay incrementally for the servicesthey use, saving huge costs.2.6 Flexibility and AutomationCloud computing offers more flexibility that traditional methods. Cloud is able to to change rapidlyin response to the different need to different users.3. HistoryThe term “Cloud computing” originates from 1960, when John McCarthy said "Computation maysomeday be organized as a public utility"; indeed it shares characteristics with service industry of1960s.The term Cloud was used as a Metaphor for Internet. The actual term "cloud" borrows fromtelephony where telecommunications companies, who primarily offered dedicated point-to-pointdata circuits till 1990. Later they began offering “VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK (VPN)”services with similar QOS and lower cost.The first player in the development of Cloud computing was They discovered thatthey were using about 10% of the capacity of their data centres. So they came up with the plan ofAmazon Web service (AWS) in 2006. In 2011 it is reported that many of the big corporate likePfizer, Netflix, Foursquare, Quora etc live on Amazons web services.4. Types of CloudDepending on the utility of the Cloud and types of users, Clouds can be classified as follows.4.1 Community Cloud:A community cloud may be established where several organizations have similar requirements andseek to share infrastructure so as to realize some of the benefits of cloud computing. The cost can beshared by the organisations taking part. This option may offer a higher level of privacy, security,and/or policy compliance. In addition, it can be economic and attractive as the resources (storage,workstations) used and shared in the community have reached their return of investment. Examples
  6. 6. of community clouds include Googles “Gov Cloud”.4.2 Private Cloud:Douglas Parkhill first described the concept of a "private computer utility" in his 1966 book TheChallenge of the Computer Utility.Private cloud sometimes also termed as internal cloud are implementations that some vendors usethese days to describe Cloud computing on private networks. A private cloud is a system orcollection of many systems that provide hosted access to all the systems and applications that areinternal to an organization.4.3 Public CloudPublic cloud or external cloud describes cloud computing in the traditional way, where resourcesare dynamically provided on a fine-grained, self-service basis over the Internet. It is as termed aspay as you go manner and service is sold as Utility computing.4.4 Combined CloudTwo clouds joined together are more correctly called a "combined cloud". A combined CloudComputing Environment consists of multiple internal and/or external providers, that are generallyused by Enterprises.4.5 Hybrid CloudsThe main responsibility of the IT department in a non-IT company is to deliver services to thebusiness. With the growing use of cloud computing (both private and public) and the fact that ITdepartments must also provide services by traditional, in-house methods, this gave rise to the termcalled “hybrid cloud computing”. Hybrid cloud is also called hybrid delivery by the major vendorsincluding HP, IBM, Oracle, VMware and Fujitsu who offer technology to manage the complexity inmanaging the performance, security and privacy concerns that are results of mixed deliverymethods. Hybrid delivery is expected to become the norm in data centers5. Structure of Cloud Computing:
  7. 7. Figure 5: Structure of Cloud5.1 HardwareCloud requires huge infrastructure that include hardware and software to manage the hardware.Rick Rashid of Microsoft said that around20% of the worlds servers are sold to four companies,Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and Amazon. Three of the above four companies are cloud sellers. Theyrent small slices of their computing capacity to businesses all over the world.5.2 Cloud StackCloud providers handle an entire stack of infrastructure required to deliver web applications atscale. A solid cloud computing environment abstracts the basics of a computing environment awayfrom the implementers and lets them focus on adding value with each new application. Managedcloud hosting providers need to offer the following basic layers to stay relevant in a webdeveloper’s world.5.3 Efficient OSWeb applications rely on a stable, efficient operating system to interface with hardware, manage filesystems, and allocate resources. The cloud server OS is a version of standard installations whichdoes not need a direct hard drive interfaces or other peripherals.5.4 Programming Language Business LogicEvery Cloud computing platform involves use of a dynamic language virtual machine and anappropriate web services gateway. Language functions too closely associated with the parentoperating system and its libraries are stripped away, leaving only a pure operating environment for amachine interpreter5.5 Database storageDatabases are the preferred way of persisting structured data powering web applications. Cloudservice providers have fine tuned and rewrote database functionality for the cloud and opened newscope for scalable data services across multiple instances of dynamic application. Cloud databasesare distributed, replicated, and are transactional.5.6 CacheOur web applications receive multiple requests for the exact same resource. We should be able toplace a pre-assembled version of our web pages, images, and data into a local memory cache forfast serving on multiple requests. The cloud architecture must include a storage cache as its firstlayer of request processing.
  8. 8. 6. Discussions and Recommendations:6.1 Thoughts of the some giants against the Cloud Computing:Although Cloud computing is considered as a useful emerging utility, but it is not appreciated andencouraged by some of the scholars in the industry. Thoughts of some of those people are listedbelow.According to Larry Ellison, “The interesting thing about Cloud Computing is that we haveredefined Cloud Computing to include everything that we already do. . . . I don’t understand whatwe would do differently in the light of Cloud computing other than change the wording of some ofour ads.”As per Andy Isherwood, “A lot of people are jumping on the [cloud] bandwagon, but I have notheard two people say the same thing about it. There are multiple definitions out there of “thecloud.”Richard Stallman, known for his advocacy of “free software”, thinks Cloud Computing is a trap forusers. If applications and data are managed “in the cloud”, users might become dependent onproprietary systems whose costs and service terms may changed unilaterally and adversely.Richard Stallman used really harsh words for Cloud. He states that, “It’s stupidity. It’s worse thanstupidity: it’s a marketing hype campaign. Somebody is saying this is inevitable — and wheneveryou hear somebody saying that, it’s very likely to be a set of businesses campaigning to make ittrue.”6.2 People favouring the concept of Cloud computing:Thought by some of the pioneers of the industry are against the concept of Cloud computing butthere are large number of people who still thinks that Cloud computing is one one of the most usefulemerging technology and provides a solution not only to SMEs and new starters but also to bigplayers.Brad Jefferson in the favour of Cloud Computing States that, “Cloud computing is really a no-brainer for any start-up because it allows you to test your business plan very quickly for littlemoney. Every start-up, or even a division within a company that has an idea for something new,should be figuring out how to use cloud computing in its plan.Mark benoiff, CEO of one of the biggest supporters of Cloud computing said,“The cloud services companies of all sizes…The cloud is for everyone. The cloud is a democracy.”Vivek Kundra, Federal CIO of United states of America said, “There was a time when everyhousehold, town, farm or village had its own water well. Today, shared public utilities give usaccess to clean water by simply turning on the tap; cloud computing works in a similar fashion.Just like water from the tap in your kitchen, cloud computing services can be turned on or offquickly as needed. Like at the water company, there is a team of dedicated professionals makingsure the service provided is safe, secure and available on a 24/7 basis. When the tap isnt on, notonly are you saving water, but you arent paying for resources you dont currently need.”Small businesses will now have the ability to use the same tools and techniques that largercompanies enjoyed for years. They can leverage Web 2.0/ Social Media tools to connect withprospects / customers, build their brand, and use Enterprise 2.0 tools to automate systems within
  9. 9. their workplace using free, inexpensive and simple tools. Sahil Parikh CEO – Synage7. ReportsMcKinsey, the leader of strategy consultants, published a report on the Cloud computing. The reportwas prepared for financial services firm which engaged Mckinsey to assess whether they shouldmove all their systems to Cloud (Amazon Web Service).The outcome of the report has three main basic conclusions are listed below.7.1 Cloud is more expensive:Amazon is more expensive than in house cost of running computing capacity. Amazon costs $366per month per server as compared to $150 per month per server internally.7.2 Companies should not focus on internal clouds:The big task of internal cloud is server consolidation via virtualization. Therefore companies shouldavoid usage of Internal Clouds.7.3 Companies can be almost efficient like Cloud providers:By leveraging server virtualization companies can utilize their servers to 35% which is close toGoogles 38%.7.4 Flaws in the report:The Mckinsey report was not accepted by number of people in the industry due to followingreasons.7.4.1 The Report does not reflect all possible scenarios.7.4.2 The Report tells that the maintenance cost of the server is less internally but it does not putlight on the initial cost of the infrastructure and tedious work of managing and updating thesystems.7.4.3 Also report states that the companies save only 10 %(which is very small than the actualscenario) of the labour by opting for Cloud.8. ResultsThe results state that the utility of the Cloud matches the need of the today’s Business. Because ofthe dynamic changing environments, the workload can shrink or grow very fast which causes aproblem for the enterprise to scale up or down immediately. Moreover the features that were usedby the Technical giants, and not affordable by small enterprises due to heavy pricing can now bemade available to them.
  10. 10. Cloud does not suit well to the Financial enterprise that have sensitive data and are not willing todisclose it to the third part vendors.9. Conclusions:Cloud computing is picking up and there are few early winners who adopted the technology.Companies that used to take 20 years to build up an infrastructure can now be done in merely weeksor months. The most dependable solutions from number of vendors are still in the early stage butwill definitely pick up in very short time. May be the coming years will let us know whether Cloudcomputing is the one of the best emerging technologies of all times or just an over hypedphenomenon.AcknowledgementMy deepest thanks to Professor Dr. Charu Shri and Professor Sudipto Chakraborty for their preciousguidance in writing this document. They have gone through the article and put lot of efforts tocorrect document when needed.
  11. 11. References 1. NIST Definition of Cloud Computing v15 2. Larry Ellison, Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2008 3. Andy Isherwood, ZDnet News, December 11, 2008 4. Richard Stallman, The Guardian, September 29, 2008 5. Brad Jefferson CEO – Animoto 2009 6. Mark Benoiff CEO – 7. Vivek Kundra Federal CIO, United States Government 8. Sys-Con Cloud Computing Journal 9. 10. 11.