Advances in cloud computing
Title: Cloud Computing
This paper describes cloud computing technology which is a technology that allows users to store and process data over the internet. The technology is based on ‘reusability of IT capabilities. Types of cloud services include; private cloud, community cloud, hybrid cloud and public cloud. Cloud computing allows users to access information in real-time over the internet. Internet-based companies have tried to produce low specification and cheap devices optimized for cloud data and services. Cloud computing technology has several benefits such as increased efficiency, customized information consumption, scalability and creation of new business opportunities. Trust and information security and privacy are some of the challenges in cloud computing.
Cloud computing can be described as a computing paradigm that allows several systems to be connected in private or public networks (Durao, Carvalho, Fonseka and Garcia 2014). Cloud computing technology allows storage and retrieval of data and programs over the internet instead of the conventional computers’ hard drive and local servers (Huth and Cebula 2011).
Types of Cloud services
There are different types of cloud services such as private cloud, community cloud, hybrid cloud and public cloud. Public cloud services are provided over the internet and are managed by the cloud provider (Sen nd). Public cloud includes services provided to the general public such as online pictures storage, email services and social networking sites. Additionally, the public cloud can provide enterprises services. The private cloud infrastructure is managed by a particular organization or a third party. Community cloud services are shared by several organizations. The community cloud infrastructure can be controlled by either the organizations or service provider. A hybrid cloud can be described as a combination of several cloud services such as public and community clouds (Sen nd).
Image 2: Cloudnewsdaily.com nd
How cloud computing works
The per-per-use-demandmode technology can easily access shared information technology resources over the Internet. These resources include server, network, storage, and programs. This enables dynamic scalable infrastructure for programs, data and file storage.
Image 1: gdv.com, nd
Cloud computing has significantly reduced cost of computation, program hosting, content storage and transmission. The technology is based on the ‘reusability of IT capabilities’ which is a primary principal. The technology seeks to reduce conventional computing issues such as hardware and software resources availability and correlated aspects. The cloud computing technology has resulted in major changes in use of information.
According to Eujeong (2013, p.105) the technology has five characteristics namely; “on-demand self service,” “broadband network access,” “resource pooling,” “rapid elasticity” and “measured service.» Users have the capacity to access and share information in real-time over the internet at anytime and any location.
Users can access services that required high level specifications to store and process large data in real time. This is possible due to availability of low specification devices such as “smartphones, Google’s voice search services, Siri from Apple and S voice from Samsung Electronics” (Eujeong 2013, p.105). In addition, cloud technology has allowed several people to share one smartphone while maintaining one’s unique phone number. This services stores personal data such as phone numbers to the cloud and allow online access.
Advantages of Cloud computing technology
Customized information consumption
The ability to analyze huge amounts of personal information through cloud computing allows a customized user lifestyle. Users can store names, career background, and everyday activities details in the cloud. For instance, in 2012, Yahoo Japan designed a cloud-based Smartphone program that has the capacity to record users’ movements in real time. Evaluating the data collected in the cloud allows creation of a personalised lifestyle that indicates users’ preferences and habits (Eujeong 2013, p.105).
Moreover, several users can work using a single device connected to the internet. The cloud technology has solved the issue of inadequate storage space which has resulted in a significant increase in the number of offsite workers.
Cloud computing has improved information sharing and businesses can perform several tasks at a reduced price and high speed. The cloud technology has led to great financial and time savings in the IT, healthcare and distribution sector. For instance, Elly Lilly and Company analysed gene processes using the cloud computing technology. The cloud helped Lilly to easily share information between departments and avoid the 12-week process of buying and installing hardware. The process was completed within 20 minutes and cost $6.40 only. Instead of sending pictures r videos to global production locations, some companies use cloud video meeting services to distribute such information. Additionally, both small to medium-sized companies can easily penetrate the global markets by creating low cost IT resources over the cloud (Eujeong 2013).
New business opportunities
Transplanting industries like autos, machinery, and power to the cloud will create new value and business opportunities. Drivers can get entertainment and telematics new value by connecting automation and cloud technology. Azure is a Microsoft’s cloud service that Toyota plans to use to upgrade their telematics service. The ability to collect and monitor information on products distributed has facilitated improved maintenance and repair services. Companies such as Komatsu install sensors and GPS applications so as to access information about the operating status of its products across the globe. (Eujeong 2013).
Cloud computing provides unlimited processing and storage space. The cloud allows easy access to programs and documents in any location across the globe. Cloud computing allows businesses to concentrate on innovation and product development.
Disadvantages of cloud computing
Philosophers have widely discussed trust issues in cloud computing from several dimensions. There are several trust mechanisms in cloud which addresses one aspect of trust. The cloud users’ choice of cloud services is determined by the reputation of cloud services. Cloud service providers aim to create and maintain great reputation. The general view of users towards a particular cloud shows that reputation of the cloud service provider. When choosing a cloud service, reputation can be of great importance, however, it becomes inadequate later on. Service Level Agreement verification based trust involves «Trust, but verify» when managing the relationship between cloud users and cloud service providers (Huang and Nicol 2013, p.3). The cloud user and cloud service provider enters into a legal contract known as service level agreement. Trust management in cloud computing involves quality of service (QoS) monitoring as well as SLA verification. However, the SLA tends to address the «visible» elements of cloud service performance and ignores security and privacy which are said to be «invisible» elements (Huang and Nicol 2013, p.3). It’s impossible for cloud users to execute grained QoS monitoring and SLA verification without involving a third party service provider. Users in the private cloud obtain QoS monitoring and SLA verification services from a trusted authority.
privacy and security issues
A major issue in cloud data security and privacy include data protection, data privacy, data availability, secure transmission and data location (Sen nd). There is a potential of data stored or processed in the cloud being accessed by unauthorised users. Users have no control over their data when it is stored and processed in the cloud. This results in unauthorised access, misuse or theft of data. Moreover, there is no clear transparency about how data is stored in the cloud (Sen nd).
Cloud Transparency mechanism
Transparency and accountability are important when it comes to gaining trust among cloud users. The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) introduced the «security, Trust & Assurance Registry (STAR)» program so as to increase transparency in cloud computing. According to Huang and Nicol (2013, p.4) the STAR program is a registry that provides free access to cloud service providers who want to publish self-assessment of their security controls. Service providers can choose between a «Consensus Assessments Initiative Questionnaire (CAIQ)” and «Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM)” (Huang and Nicol 2013, p.3). CAIQ comprises over 140 questions which can be asked by cloud users and auditors. The CCM gives guidelines on how cloud provider should align with the CSA security plan (Huang and Nicol 2013, p.4). CloudTrust Protocol (CTP) ensures that cloud users obtain specific data about a particular cloud service provider. The transparency mechanism entails configuration, vulnerability, audit log, service management as well as service statistics. CTP facilitates internal observations of cloud service operations by cloud users (Huang and Nicol 2013, p.3). However, all the accessible information is obtained from the cloud service providers themselves. It’s possible for dishonest providers to alter information. This results in trust issues regarding the reliability of the data.
Future of cloud computing
The cloud environment provides services that had been deemed costly in the past. The cloud stores and process huge quantities of information at cheap prices giving great value to users. Eujeong (2013, p.105) urges that this value is expected to result in great changes in services, devices, lifestyles and business management. Additionally, it will lead to development of new markets as well as business models. Internet-based companies have released low specification and cheap devices optimized for services and data from cloud. For instance, Amazon’s Kindle and Kindle fire have been used to access Amazon’s digital data effectively. Other companies trying to penetrate the cloud based mobile device market include Chinese internet service providers like Alibaba and Baidu.
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