Cloud Computing Concerns and Issues
Cloud Computing Technology
There are some events that could be considered the main reasons that triggered the development of this technology (the rise of social networks and the requirement of data storage, the division of companies into regions and the need to have information, software, internal resources in every region, etc.), but they are not enough to understand its success. We will try to understand this phenomenon by analyzing its features, benefits, risks and current trends.
There are many definitions of cloud computing on the internet. Some are made by official organisms. There are even some books talking about this new technology. We do not intend to give it a definition. We want to present cloud computing main characteristics to understand its meaning.
Cloud computing is a technology based on the internet system that provides remote data centers to manage information services and applications. Cloud computing allows basic internet users and companies to manage files, information and applications without installing any software on their computers. Cloud computing’s only requirement is having Internet connection. Finally, we can consider that this technology offers a more efficient use of resources, such as storage, memory, processing and bandwidth because of the control applied to ensure issues such as high availability, security and quality.
This technology is usually organized into three layers resembling to a pyramid:
- Application Services:The application services layer hosts the applications that fit the SaaS model. These applications are running on cloud and are available to internet users and enterprises on what we might call a pay-as-you-go, anytime and anywhere. They are usually free and the providers obtain benefits from advertising or other campaigns, but we can also find paid applications. Some of the most common examples of SaaS applications are Gmail and Microsoft’s Online Services.Something that may not be as noticeable to the general public is the fact that there are numerous applications in the application services layer that are geared towards the business community. There are offers of hosted software available, which deal with payroll processing, human resource management, collaboration, management of customer relations, managing relationships with business partners, etc. A good example could be the famous Salesforce.com.
In both cases, applications that are delivered using the SaaS model benefit consumers and avoid having to install and maintain software, and can be used by licensing models that are based on payment for the use made.
- Platform ServicesThis is the layer in which we see emerging the application infrastructure as a set of services. Including the ones without limitations, middleware as a service, integration as a service, information as a service, connectivity as a service, etc. Here, services try to provide support for applications. It is possible that these applications run in the cloud or may run at a more traditional business data. To achieve the scalability that a cloud requires the services offered are often virtual. Examples of offers related to this part of the cloud are the virtual images of IBM WebSphere Application Server or Amazon Web Services.This platform allows consumers to make sure that their applications are equipped to meet the needs of users, because it provides an infrastructure application based on demand.
- Infrastructure ServicesThe bottom layer of the cloud is the infrastructure services layer. Here, we see a set of physical resources such as servers, network devices and storage disks that are offered as customer service provision. Here, services support the infrastructure application and a much more significant amount of consumers. If we talk about the platform’s services, virtualization is often the method used to rationalize resources. Among the examples of infrastructure services are Amazon EC2 or Microsoft Azure Platform.Infrastructure services address the problem of adequate equipment for data centers by ensuring computing power when it is needed. In addition, due to the fact that commonly used virtualization techniques in this layer, it is possible to save costs through more efficient use of resources.
Cloud Computing: Benefits Vs. Risks
As with all kinds of businesses, we must consider the benefits and risks of this technology in order to draw relevant conclusions.
- Low prices
- Independence of devices and location
- Scale on demand
- Connection dependence
- Service provider dependence
- Technology dependence
- Foreign security dependence
Watch this video to make things more clear:
Cloud Computing Providers
Nowadays the market related to cloud computing is quite large and we can find providers specialized in the sector we are interested in. Below we show an overview of the top three cloud computing providers and the services they offer.
- Amazon – Amazon Web Services (IaaS)
Maybe it is the most important current provider, according to many top ten cloud computing providers ranks. This company offers Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) for companies who need computing power, storage and other services. Here are some services provided by Amazon:
- Elastic Compute Cloud(EC2): This is a web service that allows customers to create virtual machines (servers called Amazon Machine Image), where software can be stored.
- Simple Storage Service(S3): It is a web interface that allows data storage and recovery wherever and whenever you are connected to the Internet.
- Google (SaaS,PaaS)
- Google’s platform as a service (PaaS) offers web applications based on Google Infrastructure to build and host their apps. These applications, programmed with Python and Java languages, are usually free. If you require additional services, you will have to pay extra fee.
- Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is aimed for companies to provide business e-mail, Gmail, Calendar, Talk, Docs and Sites.
- Microsoft Azure Service Platform (PaaS)
This Service Platform provides an operating system, called Windows Azure, that offers to run applications in real time. It also offers a group of services: SQL, Live and .NET Services.
Cloud Computing Trends
There are a lot of people who think cloud computing will be the only option in the future, because of the imperative need of data storage and the global distribution of the companies. Providers will need to focus on solving the risks it presents and focus their improvements in safety and reliability in order to achieve indecisive people to trust this technology.
This doesn’t only refer to enterprises across the world, but also to individual users. Cloud computing will be a necessary solution to synchronize your documents, photos, maps with all devices you usually use. We can mention Dropbox as an example – a famous widely used storage provider. This multiplatform storage service offers different accounts that provide different storage capacities. There is a free basic account that can store up to 2GB. There are other types of accounts (different prices depending on the required capacity), that have a capacity of 1,000 GB or unlimited.
In short, cloud computing will not be just an option for storage and business management, but will become the only way to store files and diverse synchronized information that is available anywhere, regardless of the fact if it’s used by an individual user or a company. As a matter of fact, this was a hot topic at this year’s edition of the Mobile World Congress, where there was discussed the amazing amount of benefits of cloud computing.
You can find extra information in this infographic:
But what will happen in the following years?
By 2020, the worldwide cloud computing market will reach up to $241 billion and it is expected that more than a quarter of all the apps will be available in the cloud and. It is also expected that there will be more than 8.2 billion active mobile devices.
On the other hand, cloud computing will be widely used by enterprises that think it will be a strategic distinguishing feature (56%), and 58% of them spend more than 10% of their annual budgets on cloud services.
Moreover, they will also implement the use of the hybrid cloud, since it is gaining popularity, and it is expected that there will be more than 50% companies using this type of oCloud computing.
In addition, software will be available via cloud, since it’s easier and faster to develop applications.
Finally, due to the increasing of the competence at the cloud field, companies will “fight” against between them to launch the best products and services and there will be an exponential increasing in terms of innovation.