CLOUD COMPUTING: A BETTER WAY TO MANAGE DATA

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Session C11

Paper #
3230


University of Pittsburgh

Swanson School of Engineering

1

November 3, 13

CLOUD COMPUTING: A BETTER WAY
TO

MANAG
E

DATA


Chen Su (
chs161@pitt.edu
), 0012, Budny, 10:00
am


Abstract

-

From the creation of the Internet to

the

complete
integration of modern information technology into daily life,
we have seen great advancements. Corporations struggle to
keep up with the latest technologies. However, during the
recession, cut backs to the Information Technology (IT)
sector and

the

reallocation of funds resulted in an overflow
of data. To address the constant incoming stream of data of
a flourishing society and prevent the overflow of data
centers, large corporations sought an immediate solution
that would address their IT probl
ems [1].


Cloud Computing is the future of the Internet and is the
key to solving a great deal of computer data problems, but
also creates a few of its own.
Since the creation of cloud
computing
, analysts speculated the security of this
technology was in

it
s

early stages [
2
]. The possession of
having all of your company’s data in the ‘Cloud
’, the coined
term for software
accessible from anywhere that is
connected to the
Internet,

may seem insecure.
In t
his paper
we will explore what exactly cloud comput
ing

is and if the
cloud is a viably
secure alternative to the world’s data
management. We will discuss how companies have a
lready
begun implementing the cloud
in their computer technology.
We begin with a brief history of the theory behind the
creation o
f clo
ud computing starting in 1969 [3
].
Next, we
include the importance of the numerous terms that a Cloud
Service provides, for e
xample: IaaS, PaaS and

SaaS

[4]
.
Finally
,

we will analyze the immediate, as well as long
-
term,
benefits and r
isks of
cloud com
puting through an

economic
standpoint
and
reaffirm

that

the Cloud is a plausible
solution to the world’s data management.


Index Terms


Cloud Computing, Cloud, Data Management,
Cyber Security
, private cloud, community cloud,
Information Technology.

BRIE
F HISTORY


In 1969
,

J.C.R Licklider presented the idea that the entire
globe would be interconnected and data

would be

easily
accessible from anywhere. At the time
,

he worked on a
project called the ARPANET, which
later
led

to the
development

of the
computer networking and the
Internet.
Year
s

later
in

1994,
when computer technology and the
Internet

was capable enough to

handle
the bandwidth
required for
Lickli
der’s theory
of cloud computing, his
dream

became a reality.

This new development allowed businesses to access
software over the
Internet

through a simple website, such as
salesforce.com
[
3]. In

today’s modern age, tec
hnology is
quickly evolving and trends continue to show development
increases
faster every year according to Moore’s Law, which
states

that every 18 months the size and processing power of
a chip will double.

[
5
]
.

The rapid evoluti
on of technology
forces businesses to keep up to date in order to be a relevant
force in the economy. Therefore,
corporations

quickly
switched over from
localized

data centers to the hyped up
cloud.




Although the cloud was the latest technology to dat
e,
skepticism around the credibility of the cloud
arose
. Many
people still
merely
have a vague understanding of cloud
computing and most have no idea what implications
may
follow from switching
so hastily
to such a new development.

Cloud Computing
is an

area of discipline under
Computer Engineering because it involves mainly software
,

but it also addresses an Information Technology problem
that computer engineers have been working on. Cloud
Computing is an alternative to how many corporations
manage the
ir data
,

but only

a

better and more efficient

way
.
Unfortunately, there is very little involvement with the
hardware aspect.

FIGURE 1


This f
igure shows a diagram of how the Cloud co
nnects the user and the provider [7].


Chen Su


University of Pittsburgh

Swanson School of Engineering

2

November 3, 13

THERE

S MORE THAN ONE TYPE OF
CLOUD
?!


The cloud is actually
composed

of mult iple layers
and
services:

Information as a Service

(
IaaS)

is

when the
consumer

does not have to purchase the equipment used to maintain
the infrastructure. Instead the client will pay the provider

on
a “pay per use” basis

for
network resources
, server use, and
data center
storage. All the client needs is a
pplicati
ons or
operating systems to run

[7][9]
.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

allows
the
consumer

to
access the provider’s application with
a
ny

d
evice that
accesses the Internet. This relieves the
consumer

of
the
burden of purchasing and maintaining hardwar
e and
softwar
e that the provider already has

[7][9]
.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

gives the
consumer

use of
only the application and leaves all the capabilities, storage,
servers, and operating syste
ms for the provider to maintain

[7][9]
.


FIGURE 2

In the

diagram we see how each service and layer break
down [8]


The
cloud client

generally consists of the software and
hardware of a computer. It is designed for

the

delivery of
cloud services

[9]
.

The
cloud application

is the delivery system for SaaS
,

allowing the networking and maintenance be in a centralized
location and enabling consumers to access the application
from anywhere with internet access
[7]
[9].


A
cloud platform

not only
services

the consumer to use
both the in
frastructure and server lay
ers, but also the cloud
platform has the benefits of PaaS. This allows the consumer
to develop, test, deploy,

and host web applications. An

example of
a
PaaS provider is
Salesforce.com [7][9].

The

hierarchy
depicted in Figure 2

shows restrictions of

users

where each level, represented by each section of the
pyramid.
Access

depends

on the certificate(s) a user
possesses.

The figure also
suggests

the amount of control a
user potentially has
over

the entire process.

Beginning from
IaaS
,

the user has complete control over everything from the
type of software to be used
,

to the end product. As we
continue up the pyramid, we see that control lessens because
PaaS takes care of the hardware and software aspects
,

leaving the consumer to atten
d to the creation of the
applications. Finally, SaaS is the end product of what
companies like Salesforce.com, Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle
have created, where the consumer has access to the
applica
tion through a cloud client

[6
][9]
.


HOW ARE BUSINESSES
UTILIZING

CLOUD
TECHNOLOGY TODAY?


By 2012, most of the world’s top companies have
implemen
ted cloud techno
logy into their business models
;
one

of the most apparent and commonly used cloud products
is from Google Inc. Google has created it’s own cloud fro
m
the ground up

starting with the Google Drive

th
e company
has the resources
to build

a massive centralized location
for
their

hardware and created their own software, literally
designing a

hard drive, the Google Drive. Of course the
centralized server serves a very convenient purpose,
however, Google may have decided to have mult iple servers
across the globe that are in place in case another fails.
They
included the Google App Engine, the

platform for which
they
develop

and
deploy

apps to the consumers
: us.

We see
in Figure 3 (below) the SaaS contains the most
products we
recognize and use today.


T
his is because as a consumer we
generally
see the end product and
do not recognize

the
driv
ing force underneath the top of the cloud pyramid
(Figure 2).


FIGURE 3




This is a

depiction of Google Inc.’s services and products.
[10
]

Chen Su


University of Pittsburgh

Swanson School of Engineering

3

November 3, 13

BENEFITS OF THE CLOUD


EASY MANAGEMENT


The maintenance

to support data storage
of

the
infrastructure
, hardwar
e, s
oftware
and general infrastructure
is simplified

greatly
.


From having each organization
purchase and maintain it’s own data center is costly and
consumes a great deal of space. To
removal of the
business’s data center and having the provider back up all
the data and provide the organization with speedy
maintenance.
Also applications
are
easier
and quicker to

implement

in the cloud environment
than
an organization
that implements it’s own applications through other means
.
Yet,
best of all
,

to access the c
loud, one simply

needs
is a
web browser with Internet
connectivity
.

[9]



BUSSINESS COMPETITIVENESS


There are two things that a business really cares about:
Time and Money. The more of both the organization can
obtain the better off the business will be.
Through cloud
computing, IT depart ments save

substantially

on application
development, deployments,
security, and maintenance time
and costs, while benefiting from economies of scale.

As the
cloud becomes an increasingly effective data management
tool, more businesses are recognizing the potential cloud
computing possesses for
the future of their organi
zation.
The Google Drive example proves that large corporations,
such as Google, have already jumped on the bandwagon.


COST EFFICIENCY


Cloud computing provides compell
ing savings in IT
related costs
.
The first major savings a business will see is
the mit igation of
expensive hardware used to run the
software. Also, the cloud removes the need for purchase of
individual software packages, as long as the company
purchases the programs provided by the clou
d any user with
permission can access the program. Not only may the
company save
hardware related costs but also since the
cloud service is a pay per use system. This allows
the
business to save on the excess space that isn’t being used but
is being stil
l paid for. With the cloud, not only does a
business does not pay for space they don’t use, but also the
company receives unlimited space to store data depending
on the provider [1].

The cloud also offers less required manpower
because of
the
centralized

hard
ware and software
.


To reiterate, the
centralized location of hardware allows the provider to fix
any bugs in the system from their

office instead of having to
send a representative to fix the problem at the company
using the provided service.


In turn
,
the cost of power,
cooling, floor space and storage
for a business
is
reduced
dramat ically
.
Finally
,
operational costs

are reduced
and
users

only

need to pay

for what is used (measured service).

For example,

Google Apps

engine

[12
] lets users run their
web applications on Google
infrastructures
.
In this way,
Go
ogle Apps engine is regarded as

an application

that

is

easy to build, maintain and scale.


DISASTER MANAGEMENT


Organizations do not have to solely rely on the cloud to
manage all of their data. In fact that would not be an ideal
situation, but what the cloud can do for a business is have
o
ffsite backups on top of what the company is already doing
to keep their data safe. Offsite backups are

really
helpful in
dealing

wi
th
a sudden
disaster in data storage

because
cloud
-
computing

services not only keep
your data off premise, but
also
ensur
e

that they have redundancy and systems in place
for disaster recovery.

[13
]


GREEN FUTURE


Green c
omputing or green IT, refers

to

environmentally

sustainable computing or IT

[14
]
.


Nowadays,
the main
disadvantage of computing systems

is
the
elect
ronic waste
generated due to extensive use of
the
systems.

As
previously mentioned
,
c
loud computing helps organizations
reduce power, cooling, storage and space
consumption

and
thereby facilitates more sustainable, environmentally
responsible data centers.

And as a general rule of them less
wattage equals less harm done to the environment.



LIMITATIONS

OF THE CLOUD


Even though there are many advantages
of

cloud
computing technology, there are still several risks that we
need take into consideration.


At this point, top security
concerns of cloud computing ar
e data leakage, client’s trust
,
session

hijacking

while accessing data. It seems that these
security
concerns

are
quite
comm
on in today’s Internet
service;

however,

the cloud consists of a public cloud and
private cloud
.

This means that only persons with accounts
may access the data stored in the cloud. Since, these
concerns are quite common, it is safe to say that
an anti
-
virus protection
software is capable enough to
minimally
prevent these concerns from becoming reali
t ies for now
.
This is the reason for why cloud computing is in it’s early
stages, better ways to secure the cloud are still being
developed.

Another limitation includes, how a
pplications are not
readily to migrate to PaaS environments; therefore PaaS wil
l
succeed in the creation of new application.

It is mentioned
that applications are easily implemented however existing
applications not formatted to the newer specifications for the
cloud will take more time to convert to PaaS.

Also, access to the cloud
requires a permanent Internet
connection with a large enough bandwidth to handle the
amount of data being transferred. H
igh
-
speed Internet is
Chen Su


University of Pittsburgh

Swanson School of Engineering

4

November 3, 13

staple of successful businesses. If the Internet bandwidth is
too low, the application and software accessed thr
ough the
cloud will be too slow to run properly therefore negates the
purpose of switching to a more efficient way to manage data.

Other limitations may include, limited functionality and
customizability. These limitations are major to a company
but the p
rovider will cater to the needs of specific tasks for
the organization purchasing the services. This is where the
provider steps in to separate their service from another cloud
service

[1][9][11]
.


CONCLUSION


Through the overwhe
lming evidence in support

of cloud
computing, it is now clear that cloud computing is not only a
increasingly
safe alternative to the world’s need for data
management, but also a effective way to communicate,
backup data, protect the environment, and achieve the
bottom line,
savin
g

money. Even though the
limitations

appear to have
some strong

points, the benefits of converting
to cloud computing, as many
well known
companies have
already done, greatly outweigh the cons. Evidently, in
today’s society, anywhere we can save money an
d improve
effectiveness of a product is a no brainer choice

and the
cloud
gives us this choice
. Cloud computing even in
its

early stages is already one of the world’s most effective data
management technologies and will continue to
grow and
improve busine
sses and as a result a thriving economy
.


REFERENCES


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[2]
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Converged infrastructure
take market by storm
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A history of cloud
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[6
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[7
]

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http://www.salesforce.com/company/sustainab
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[8
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]

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]

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Chen Su


University of Pittsburgh

Swanson School of Engineering

5

November 3, 13

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


Thank yo
u Tamar for helping me out at the Writing Center.
Also Paul for meet ing with me outside of group meeting
times.