Cloud computing

Cloud computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure "in the cloud" that supports them. The concept incorporates infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) as well as other recent (ca. 2007–2009)[6][7]technology trends that have the common theme of reliance on the Internet for satisfying the computing needs of the users. Cloud computing services usually provide common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers. The term cloud is used as a metaphor for the Internet, based on how the Internet is depicted in computer network diagrams, and is an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it conceals.

Brief
Comparisons
Cloud computing is often confused with grid computing ("a form of distributed computing whereby a 'super and virtual computer' is composed of a cluster of networked, loosely-coupled computers, acting in concert to perform very large tasks"), utility computing (the "packaging of computing, such as computation and storage, as a metered service similar to a traditional public utility such as electricity") and autonomic ("computer systems capable of self-management"). Indeed many cloud computing deployments as of 2009 depend on grids, have autonomic characteristics and bill like utilities — but cloud computing can be seen as a natural next step from the grid-utility model. Some successful cloud architectures have little or no centralized infrastructure or billing systems whatsoever, including peer-to-peer networks like BitTorrent and Skype and volunteer computing like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SETI@home.[12][13]

Architecture
The majority of cloud computing infrastructure, as of 2009, consists of reliable services delivered through data centers and built on servers with different levels of virtualization technologies. The services are accessible anywhere that has access to networking infrastructure. The Cloud appears 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 are critical to the growth of cloud computing and open source software has provided the foundation for many cloud computing implementations.

Goggle. Users can generally terminate the contract at any time (thereby avoiding return on investment risk and uncertainty) and the services are often covered by service level agreements with financial penalties. which is analogous to how traditional utilities like electricity are consumed. A side effect of this approach is that "computer capacity rises dramatically" as customers do not have to engineer for peak loads. They consume resources as a service. which can reduce costs significantly while increasing the speed of application development. as servers are not left idle. resources consumed. shared infrastructure and costs.g. Instead. software and services. It is being adopted by individual users through large enterprises including General Electric and Procter & Gamble History . Microsoft and Yahoo are some of the major cloud computing service providers. Consumption is billed on a utility (e. According to Nicholas Carr the strategic importance of information technology is diminishing as it becomes standardized and cheaper. paying instead for only the resources they use. like electricity) or subscription (e. like a newspaper) basis with little or no upfront cost. Companies IBM. including capital expenditure (CapEx) and operational expenditure (OpEx) Cloud computing users can avoid capital expenditure (CapEx) on hardware. while others are billed on a subscription basis. Sharing "perishable and intangible" computing power among multiple tenants can improve utilization rates. He argues that the cloud computing paradigm shift is similar to the displacement of electricity generators by electricity early in the 20th century. rather paying a provider only for what they use. 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. Many cloudcomputing offerings have adopted the utility computing model. time based.Characteristics The customers engaging in cloud computing do not own the physical infrastructure serving as host to the software platform in question. Economics Diagram showing economics of cloud computing versus traditional IT. Amazon. they avoid capital expenditure by renting usage from a third-party provider. low management overhead and immediate access to a broad range of applications. Other benefits of this time sharing style approach are low barriers to entry.g.

The underlying concept dates back to 1960 when John McCarthy opined that "computation may someday be organized as a public utility". IBM. Amazon. Gartner Research observed that "organizations are switching from company-owned hardware and software assets to per-use service-based models" and that the "projected shift to cloud computing will result in dramatic growth in IT products in some areas and in significant reductions in other areas. the term "cloud computing" had started to appear. Salesforce. Parker Harris. Cloud Computing is very similar. Up until the '90s data circuits (including those that carried Internet traffic) were hard-wired between destinations."[27] Vendor lock-in concerns Cloud computing has been criticized for limiting the freedom of users and making them dependent on the cloud computing provider. In 1999. The term cloud had already come into commercial use in the early 1990s to refer to large ATM networks. 2007 saw increased activity. and self-optimizing in the management of complex IT systems with heterogeneous storage. and other system elements that can be virtualized across an enterprise. thus utilizing their overall network bandwidth more effectively. It was a hot topic by mid-2008 and numerous cloud computing events had been scheduled.The Cloud is a term that borrows from telephony. indeed it shares characteristics with service bureaus which date back to the 1960s. much like a cloud network. networks.[26] In August 2008. with Goggle.com was established by Marc Benioff. Business users have enthusiastically welcomed the resulting flexibility and speed. The telephone companies were able to offer these VPN based services with the same guaranteed bandwidth as fixed circuits at a lower cost because they maintained the ability to switch traffic to balance utilization as they saw fit. They also provided the concept of "On demand" and "SaaS" (Software as a Service) with their real business and successful customers. As a result of this arrangement it was thus impossible to determine in advance precisely what the path was going to be. The key for SaaS is being customizable by customer alone or with a small amount of help.which described advanced automation techniques such as self-monitoring. IBM detailed these concepts in 2001 in the Autonomic Computing Manifesto -. security mechanisms. In the early 2000s. A common depiction in network diagrams is a cloud outline. As these VMs can be spawned on any given computer as conditions demand.[22] By the turn of the 21st century. and a number of universities embarking on a large scale cloud computing research project. providing access to their systems by way of Amazon Web Services in 2005 on a utility computing basis. self-configuring. having found that the new cloud architecture resulted in significant internal efficiency improvements. The term "telecom cloud" was used to describe this type of networking. applications. Because these virtual instances are spawned on demand. They applied many technologies of consumer web sites like Google and Yahoo! to business applications.com played a key role in the development of cloud computing by modernizing their data centers after the dot-com bubble and. In the '90s long haul telephone companies began offering Virtual Private Network service for data communications. It is indeed only possible to use applications or services that the provider is . servers. self-healing. it is impossible to determine how many such VMs are going to be running at any given time.[25]around the time the term started gaining popularity in the mainstream press. Microsoft extended the concept of SaaS through the development of web services.[23]although most of the focus at this time was on Software as a service (SaaS). Cloud computing relies heavily on virtual machines (VMs) that are spawned on demand to meet the user's needs. they are location in-specific as well. and his fellows.

139. The "Notice of Allowance" it received in July 2008 was canceled on August 6. On September 30. the Free Software Foundation released the Affero General Public License. USPTO issued a "Notice of Allowance" to CGactive LLC (U. resulting in a formal rejection of the trademark application less than a week later. to which users connected via "dumb" terminals.287) for "CloudOS". Good OS LLC also announced their "Cloud" operating system on December 1st. Trademark 77. proprietary systems that would cost them more and more over time."[29] Political issues The Cloud spans many borders and "may be the ultimate form of globalization.g. The Times argues that cloud computing is a regression to that time. A cloud operating system is a generic operating system that "manage[s] the relationship between software inside the computer and on the Web". One technology analyst and consulting firm. a version of GPLv3 designed to close a perceived legal loophole associated with Free software designed to be run over a network.willing to offer. Richard Stallman." by [31] deploying local infrastructure and allowing customers to select "availability Nonetheless. as of 2009 providers such as Amazon Web Services cater to the major markets (typically the United States and the European Union) zones. it limited both freedom and creativity. Users had no freedom to install new applications and needed approval from the administrator to achieve certain tasks. author Neal Stephenson envisaged this as a tiny island data haven called Kinakuta in his classic sciencefiction novel Cryptonomicon. He stated that cloud computing "was simply a trap aimed at forcing more people to buy into locked. Legal issues In March 2007.. where libertarian thinkers felt that "cyberspace was a distinct place calling for laws and legal institutions of its own". Trademark 77. founder of the Free Software Foundation.S. Thus The Times compares cloud computing to old mainframes of the 1950s and 60s.[28] Similarly.082) in the United States. 2008. An application service provider is required to release any changes they make to Affero GPL open source code. there are still concerns about security and privacy from individual through governmental level. particularly software as a service. Despite efforts (such as US-EU Safe Harbor) to harmonize the legal environment. Gartner. such as Microsoft Azure[32]."[30] As such it becomes subject to complex geopolitical issues: providers must satisfy myriad regulatory environments in order to deliver service to a global market. lists seven security issues which one should discuss with a cloud-computing vendor: .355. e. the USA PATRIOT Act and use of national security letters and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act's Stored Communications Act. Overall. Dell applied to trademark the term "cloud computing" (U. In November 2007.S. believes that cloud computing endangers liberties because users sacrifice their privacy and personal data to a third party. 2008[33]. This dates back to the early days of the Internet.[citation needed] Risk mitigation Corporations or end-users wishing to avoid not being able to access their data — or even losing it — should research vendors' policies on data security before using vendor services.

as infrastructure is typically provided by a third-party and does not need to be purchased for one-time or infrequent intensive computing tasks. Reliability improves through the use of multiple redundant sites. e. Long-term viability—ask what will happen to data if the company goes out of business. Determining data security is harder.) 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. which makes it suitable for business continuity and disaster recovery. Privileged user access—inquire about who has specialized access to data and about the hiring and management of such administrators 2. A tactic not covered by Gartner is to encrypt the data yourself. If you encrypt the data using a trusted algorithm. Security typically improves due to centralization of data. Performance is monitored and consistent and loosely-coupled architectures are constructed using web services as the system interface. do they offer complete restoration and. PC. Investigative Support—inquire whether a vendor has the ability to investigate any inappropriate or illegal activity 7. Data segregation—make sure that encryption is available at all stages and that these "encryption schemes were designed and tested by experienced professionals" 5. Nonetheless. electricity. seeing how long it takes. Pricing on a utility computing basis is fine-grained with usage-based options and minimal or no IT skills are required for implementation. This lowers barriers to entry. one can best determine data-recovery capabilities by experiment: asking to get back old data. most major cloud computing services have suffered outages and IT and business managers are able to do little when they are affected. mobile. without users having to engineer for peak loads. Data location—ask if a provider allows for any control over the location of data 4. Cost is greatly reduced and capital expenditure is converted to operational expenditure. then regardless of the service provider's security and encryption policies. allowing for: Centralization of infrastructure in areas with lower costs (such as real estate. etc.. Security is often as good as or . and verifying that the checksums match the original data.[37] Multi-tenancy enables sharing of resources and costs among a large pool of users. This leads to a follow-on problem: managing private keys in a pay-on-demand computing infrastructure.g. how will data be returned and in what format In practice. self-service basis near real-time.[37] Device and location independence enable users to access systems using a web browser regardless of their location or what device they are using. Recovery—find out what will happen to data in the case of a disaster. etc.1. Key characteristics Agility improves with users able to rapidly and inexpensively re-provision technological infrastructure resources. the data will only be accessible with the decryption keys. how long that would take 6. As infrastructure is off-site (typically provided by a third-party) and accessed via the Internet the users can connect from anywhere. increased security-focused resources. Regulatory compliance—make sure a vendor is willing to undergo external audits and/or security certifications 3. but raises concerns about loss of control over certain sensitive data. if so.. Scalability via dynamic ("on-demand") provisioning of resources on a fine-grained.

For example: Peer-to-peer / volunteer computing (Bittorrent. in either case.better than traditional systems. BOINC Projects. and carbon neutrality.[44][45] Nonetheless. Skype) Web application (Facebook) Software as a service (Google Apps. and support. or which is specifically designed for delivery of cloud services and which. more efficient systems. ongoing operation. For example: Mobile (Android. in part because providers are able to devote resources to solving security issues that many customers cannot afford. iPhone. is essentially useless without it. SAP and Salesforce) Software plus services (Microsoft Online Services) Client A cloud client consists of computer hardware and/or computer software which relies on cloud computing for application delivery. Sustainability comes about through improved resource utilization. Windows Mobile) Thin client (CherryPal. but accessing the audit logs themselves can be difficult or impossible. Providers typically log accesses. thus alleviating the burden of software maintenance.[46] Components Six layers components of cloud computing Application 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. Zonbu. Mozilla Firefox) Infrastructure . gOS-based systems) Thick client / Web browser (Google Chrome. computers and associated infrastructure are major consumers of energy.

or end users directly. per gigabyte per month. as a service. For example: Database (Amazon SimpleDB. often billed on a utility computing basis. the delivery of a computing platform. such as Platform as a service. or can be delivered to end points directly. Web Services ("software system[s] designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network") which may be accessed by other cloud computing components. For example: Web application frameworks Python Django (Google App Engine) Ruby on Rails (Heroku) . e. such as Infrastructure as a service. For example.[58] Specific examples include: Identity (OAuth.g. e. Skytap) Grid computing (Sun Grid) Management (RightScale) Compute (Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud) Platform (Force.com) Service A cloud service includes "products. The SNIA is creating standards for Cloud Storage. Nirvanix CloudNAS) Synchronization (Live Mesh Live Desktop component. Google Custom Search. Google App Engine's BigTable datastore) Network attached storage (MobileMe iDisk. Nirvanix SDN) Backup (Backup Direct. typically a platform virtualization environment. and/or solution stack as a service. MobileMe push functions) Web service (Amazon Simple Storage Service.Cloud infrastructure. Architecture . Yahoo! BOSS) Others (Amazon Mechanical Turk) Storage Cloud storage involves the delivery of data storage as a service. Google Checkout. software. including database-like services. facilitates deployment of applications without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software layers.com) Platform A cloud platform. PayPal) Mapping (Google Maps.g. Yahoo! Maps) Search (Alexa.. OpenID) Integration (Amazon Simple Queue Service) Payments (Amazon Flexible Payments Service. services and solutions that are delivered and consumed in real-time over the Internet". Software plus services. Iron Mountain Inc services) Cloud storage can be delivered as a service to cloud computing. is the delivery of computer infrastructure..[55] For example: Full virtualization (GoGrid.NET (Azure Services Platform) Web hosting (Mosso) Proprietary (Force.

where metadata operations are centralized enabling the data nodes to scale into the hundreds. It typically involves multiple cloud components communicating [61] with each other over application programming interfaces. each independently delivering data to applications or users. Cloud architecture extends to the client. comprises hardware and software designed by a cloud architect who typically works for a cloud integrator. self-service basis over the Internet. Complexity is controlled and the resulting systems are more manageable than their monolithic counterparts. usually web services. This closely resembles the Unix philosophy of having multiple programs doing one thing well and working together over universal interfaces. from an off-site third-party provider who shares resources and bills on a finegrained utility computing basis.Cloud computing sample architecture Cloud architecture. Types Cloud computing types Public cloud Public cloud or external cloud describes cloud computing in the traditional mainstream sense. Cloud storage architecture is loosely coupled. Hybrid cloud . via web applications/web services. whereby resources are dynamically provisioned on a fine-grained.[60] the systems architecture of the software systems involved in the delivery of cloud computing. where web browsers and/or software applications access cloud applications.

Some organizations realize a subset of the benefits of cloud computing by becoming "internal" cloud providers and servicing themselves. These (typically virtualization automation) products claim to "deliver some benefits of cloud computing without the pitfalls". there is some uncertainty whether they are a reality even within the same firm. Private cloud Private cloud and internal cloud are neologisms that some vendors have recently used to describe offerings that emulate cloud computing on private networks.com was the first such provider. although they do not benefit from the same economies of scale and still have to engineer for peak loads. fast-moving groups to add new features faster and easier. essentially "[lacking] the economic model that makes cloud computing such an intriguing concept". Usually this requires significant resources and expertise in building and managing next-generation data centers. and that future datacenters will look like internal clouds. The term has also been used in the logical rather than physical sense. Amazon. modernizing its data centers which. and server consolidation and virtualization rollouts are already well underway.[24] The companies listed in the Components section are providers. for example in reference to platform as a service offerings. build. The barrier to entry is also significantly higher with capital expenditure required and billing and management creates some overhead. User A user is a consumer of cloud computing. and manage them" and as such do not benefit from lower up-front capital costs and less hands-on management. Analysts have reported on Platform's view that private clouds are a stepping stone to external clouds. capitalizing on data security. While an analyst predicted in 2008 that private cloud networks would be the future of corporate IT. Roles Provider A cloud computing provider or cloud computing service provider owns and operates live cloud computing systems to deliver service to third parties. The privacy of users in cloud computing has become of increasing concern. They have been criticized on the basis that users "still have to buy. particularly for the financial services. and reliability concerns. were using as little as 10% of its capacity at any one time just to leave room for occasional spikes. Analysts also claim that within five years a "huge percentage" of small and medium enterprises will get most of their computing resources from external cloud computing providers as they "will not have economies of scale to make it worth staying in the IT business" or be able to afford private clouds. Vendor . even by small organizations. though such offerings including Microsoft's Azure Services Platform are not available for on-premises deployment. like most computer networks. This allowed small. corporate governance. Nonetheless. significant operational efficiency and agility advantages can be realized.A hybrid cloud environment consisting of multiple internal and/or external providers "will be typical for most enterprises". which is being addressed via a community effort to create a bill of rights. and they went on to open it up to outsiders as Amazon Web Services in 2002 on a utility computing basis. The rights of users is also an issue.

Sun xVM. open standards. HP.Some vendors sell or give products and services that facilitate the delivery. For example: Computer hardware (Dell. IBM) Infrastructure (Cisco Systems. OpenID. Eucalyptus. JSON) Web Services (REST) Storage . g-Eclipse. XMPP) Security (OAuth. Microsoft. have facilitated the growth of cloud computing. a number of existing. Linux including Red Hat[80] and Ubuntu[81]) Platform virtualization (Citrix. adoption and use of cloud computing. typically lightweight. Juniper Networks. including:[82] Application Communications (HTTP. AIX. SSL/TLS[83]) Syndication (Atom) Client Browsers (AJAX) Offline (HTML 5) Implementations Virtualization (OVF[84]) Platform Solution stacks (LAMP) Service Data (XML. VMware. IBM. EMC. IBM. Xen) Standards Cloud standards. Brocade Communications) Computer software (3tera. Sun Microsystems) Storage (Sun Microsystems. Hadoop) Operating systems (Solaris. Linux KVM.

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