Free Cloud Computing Research Proposal Example
This paper is dedicated to the topic of cloud computing, in particular, its history, development, prospects for the future and problems that may arise in the process of its exploitation. This technology was recently invented in the world of science, but is very rapidly gaining trust of thousands of people worldwide. Along with the development of internet, software and hardware technologies, cloud computing is becoming more and more relevant to the needs and desires of people of different backgrounds and occupations. In the paper, there is described the history of cloud computing, its advantages and disadvantages. Additional attention is paid to the security of data in the cloud, as it is one of the most important problems and obstacles on the way of its development. For the successful growth and distribution of the technology, it is vitally important to find ways of secure treatment of people’s data. As a result of the literature research, the research question was formulated and the current problems of cloud computing. Further research is required to get answer to this question and make a valuable contribution into the field of cloud computing development.
Key words: cloud computing, internet, saas, paas, msp.
Cloud computing is a technology of distributed data processing, in which computing resources and power are provided to the user as an Internet service. The essence of the concept of cloud computing is to provide end users with remote dynamic access to services, computing resources and applications (including operating systems and infrastructure) through the Internet. Development of the sphere was due to the need that arose in the software and digital services that could be managed from within, but that would be at the same time more cost-effective and efficient through economies of scale.
Used today, the term cloud computing is applicable to any services that are provided through the Internet. Cloud computing is a powerful approach to resource-intensive computations. It gets more and more popular. Each user at least once has appealed to the services that provide the opportunity to work with applications without installing them on their computer.
Software market had until recently a fairly simple vector of development. Programmers developed applications that were further distributed in the usual way - on the media - and installed on the computer. For program to work, the PC must have met certain system requirements: there was specified system requirements: performance of the processor, RAM, free space on the hard drive and so on (Mell & Grance, 2009). In parallel, there developed the Internet - server hardware, which served the work of sites, was also improving. But at some point it turned out that it was possible to combine the computing power to support the software services similar to those which were utilized by ordinary users - for example, text and spreadsheet processors. Thus began the story of cloud computing in the sense in which the term is used in recent years.
History of the Term
The word cloud was used in the 1990s for metaphoric symbol of the Internet: a global network was then something mysterious, vague in its spatial boundaries, indistinguishable from its internal elements and fast-paced. Recorded in an article entitled “ORGs for Scalable, Robust, Privacy-Friendly Client Cloud Computing” definition of cloud computing, says that this is a case when information is permanently stored on servers in the network and temporarily stored on the client side - for example, desktop computers, tablets, laptops, mini-computers, and so on (Marinos & Briscoe, 2009). The idea of cloud computing was formulated in 1960 by John McCarthy, a specialist in computer science, known for his publications on the theory of artificial intelligence. He suggested that someday calculation would be organized on the principle of public services, which are to be provided for a fee. In 1993, the term cloud was first used for commercial purposes to describe large networks, employing the technology of a high-speed simultaneous transmission of all types of traffic (data, voice and video) in networks with dialup. There appeared intermediate virtual connection between sender and receiver, which simplified the process of transferring information.
At the beginning of the XXI century, the term cloud computin" began to be used in relation to the direction SaaS (Software as a Service). The pioneer in this respect was the online store Amazon, which got out of a difficult situation during the crisis of dotcoms by transferring their data center solutions to Open Source (Li et al., 2009). 90% of the company's servers began to work on the basis of the operating system Red Hat Linux (with the Web server application Stronghold, one of the variants of Apache), and hardware was replaced with a low-cost model of servers based on chipsets from Intel and HR. In 2002, there were created web services of Amazon. They represented what five years later became known as the cloud - a set of services, located on remote servers, which the user could access via a web browser from any location where there was Internet.
In 2007, to a similar project (Academic Cluster Computing Initiative), which was attended by Google and IBM, joined several American universities. For them, these companies have built data centers for 1600 servers and equipped them with the appropriate software for the management and implementation of remote access to computing resources. Also to the race for the clouds joined Yahoo!, Microsoft and eBay, and in 2008 the computer industry already met under a cloud: analysts excitedly touted new strategy to optimize costs by eliminating the high-performance computers in favor of Internet services such as Documents Google.
Types of Clouds
Since cloud is the notion of a collective character, it makes sense to classify them according to some criteria. Below there are two classifications of clouds, one of which was offered by InfoWorld publication, and the other – by commercial Director of the ParallelsCompany, one of the market leaders in virtualization.
InfoWorld analysts propose to divide all the clouds into seven types:
- SAAS - direct application as a service (e.g., Zoho Office or Google Apps).
- Support computing - for example, virtual servers.
- Web services in the cloud - optimized for virtual environments online services (e.g. Internet banking).
- PAAS - platform as a service, which is a new generation of web applications that allow building a range of options as desired (e.g. Live Mesh from Microsoft).
- MSP - Managed Service Provider, serving service providers (e.g., built-in anti-virus scanners for mail portals).
- Trade platforms for services - the union of PaaS and MSP (for example, Cisco WebEx Connect).
Clouds can also be public or private. Public cloud services can be used by anyone. At the moment, Amazon Web Services is the most famous and largest provider of services in the public cloud (Ostermann et al., 2010). The main difference between public and private clouds - providing a service from the cloud in a closed from public access infrastructure to a limited number of users. There is another definition of virtual private cloud, when the provider uses public cloud infrastructure to organize a private cloud. In this organizational structure, a part of the customer’s data is stored and processed by the resources of its own infrastructure, and part of the resources of the external provider. As an example, a virtual private cloud service of Amazon is called Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC).
Cloud computing - advantages and disadvantages
- Cheap computers for users. Users do not need to buy expensive computers with more memory and disks to use programs through the web interface. There is also no need for CD and DVD drives, as all the information and programs remain in the cloud (Foster et al., 2008). Users can switch from conventional PCs and laptops to more compact and convenient media.
- Increased performance of custom computers. Since most of the programs and services are run remotely on the Internet, users' computers with fewer programs will start and run faster. One good example is the antivirus solution Panda Cloud Antivirus, which allows you to scan data for viruses remotely on powerful servers and thus by 2 times reduces the load on the user's computer.
- Reduced costs and increased efficiency of IT infrastructure. Conventional servers of an average company have a load of 10-15%. In some periods of timeб there is a need for additional computing resources, in other cases these valuable resources are idle. Using the required amount of computational resources in the cloud at any time, companies reduce costs of equipment and its maintenance up to 50%. At the same time, there is considerably multiplied the production flexibility in an ever changing economic environment. If a large enough company is concerned that valuable information will be stored and processed on the side, for such a company it is necessary to build your own cloud and enjoy all the benefits of virtualization infrastructure.
- Less maintenance issues. Since physical servers with the introduction of Cloud Computing becomes smaller number, they become faster and easier to maintain. On the software side, the latter is installed, configured and updated in the cloud.
- Less cost of purchased software. Instead of purchasing software packages for each local user, the company buys the necessary programs in the cloud (Nurmi et al., 2009). These programs will only be used by those, who need these programs for work. Moreover, the cost of programs oriented to access via Internet is much lower than their counterparts for personal computers. If the programs are not often used, they can simply be rented. The cost of software upgrades and support in working condition for all workers are reduced to zero.
- Constantly updated programs. At any time when a user runs a remote program, he can be sure that this program has the latest version - without the need to reinstall anything or pay for the upgrade (Youseff, Butrico & Da Silva, 2008).
- Increase of the available computing power. Compared with PC, the computing power available to the user of cloud computers is virtually limited only by the size of the cloud that is the total number of remote servers. Users can run more complex tasks with a lot of necessary memory space for their data, if necessary. In other words, users can, if desire, easily and cheaply work with supercomputer without any actual acquisitions.
- Unlimited amount of stored data. Compared with an available place to store information on PCs, storage capacity in the cloud can flexibly and automatically adapt to the user's needs (Pearson, Shen & Mowbray, 2009). When information is stored in the cloud, users can forget about the limitations imposed by conventional disk - cloud dimensions reach billions of gigabytes of available space.
- Compatibility with most operating systems. In Cloud Computing, operating systems do not play any role (Ryan, 2011). Unix users can share documents with users of Microsoft Windows and vice versa without any problems. Access to programs and virtual machines is done by a web browser or other means of access that are installed on any personal computer with any operating system.
- Improved compatibility of document formats (Qian et al., 2009). If people use a cloud software for creating and editing documents, they have no incompatibility between versions and formats, as opposed to those who, for example, will receive a Word 2013 document and will not be able to read it on their computer with Word 2003 or OpenOffice. A good example is compatible office suite Google Docs, allowing collaborating on documents, presentations and spreadsheets having at hand any computer with a web browser.
- Easiness of collaborative work with a group of users. When working with documents in the cloud, there is no need to send each other one’s versions or edit them consistently. Now, users can be sure that what they see is the latest version of the document and any change made by one user is immediately reflected in the other (Armbrust et al., 2010). Just imagine how 100 people simultaneously edit the layout of the book - working together in real time!
- Ubiquitous access to the documents. If the documents are stored in the cloud, they can be available at any time and anywhere. There is no longer such a thing as forgotten files: if there is internet - they are always there.
- Availability on a variety of devices. Cloud Computing users have a much wider range of devices to access documents and programs. Now you can choose between a conventional personal computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone or netbook (Buyya, Pandey & Vecchiola, 2009).
- Friendliness to nature, economical use of its resources. Cloud Computing allows you to not only save electricity, computing resources, physical space occupied by the servers, but also offers a reasonable approach to the use of natural resources. Data processing centers, which the clouds really are, can be placed in a cooler climate; users can replace heavy, demanding computers and laptops to netbooks, easily and economically. This saves not only energy and space, but also the materials from which it is all made (Buyya et al., 2009).
- Resistance to data loss or theft of equipment. If the data is stored in the cloud, copies are automatically distributed across multiple servers, possibly located on different continents. In case of theft or damage to the personal computer, user does not lose valuable information that he also can get from any other computer. Someone might argue that backup to another personal computer or other storage media such as DVD drives or flash drives, will also protect the data (Velte, Velte & Elsenpeter, 2009). But in the latter case, it is necessary to consider two things. First, you have to remember about backup and need to follow it regularly. Second, these methods do not provide physical security, such as fire, theft and so forth. Remarkable case of the passenger who has lost his computer with valuable information during a forced landing of the aircraft on the river. He had a copy of the data on the second computer, but the latter was in the hold of the aircraft.
- Permanent connection to the Internet. Cloud computing always requires an Internet connection. Or almost always. Some of the cloud programs are downloaded to the local computer and used at a time when the Internet is unavailable. In other cases, if there is no Internet access – there is no work, programs, documents. This is probably the strongest argument against Cloud Computing (Buyya, Yeo & Venugopal, 2008). But to be honest, how can a modern person live without the services available on the Internet? It is necessary as well as a mobile phone, payment cards, and more. Many people cannot live even one day without the web. Therefore, given the development of the modern world, the Internet will be available at all times and wherever you are, the same as electricity and water.
- Poor work with slow Internet connection. Many of the cloud programs require a good Internet connection with high bandwidth. Still, today, there is less and less common older lines of Internet access; speeds are increasing, and prices - are falling (Takabi, Joshi & Ahn, 2010).
- Programs may run slower than on the local computer. Some programs, which require a significant amount of information will run on the local computer faster not only due to the limitations in speed Internet access, but also due to congestion problems and remote servers in the path between the user and the cloud.
- Not all programs or their properties are available remotely. If we compare the programs for local use and its cloud analogues, the latter ones are losing functionality. For example, Google Docs tables have far fewer features and functions than Microsoft Excel.
- Data security can be threatened. Here the key word is "can". It all depends on who provides the cloud services. If that someone is securely encrypts your data, always makes back-up copies, works for more than a year in the market of such services and has a good reputation, the threats to the security of data can never happen. In the words of a renowned expert in cryptography and computer security, Bruce Schneier, the whole question is of trust (Zhang, Cheng & Boutaba, 2010).
If your data in the cloud is lost, they are lost forever. This is a fact. But the loss of data in the cloud is much more difficult than on a local computer. Despite the fact that the number of pluses exceed minuses, in a given situation, they are of great importance, or, conversely, have no value. Everyone chooses for themselves (Yan, Rong & Zhao, 2009).
Security for the Cloud Computing
Today, cloud computing, enabling companies to outsource their data handling processes to commercial providers of such services have become popular, became already quite large and growing market. But the nature of cloud computing makes customers think about data protection and security of such services. If data or its processing is not under the direct control of the company - the owner of the information has a cause for concern.
Quantitative and qualitative assessment of the cloud computing market shows its stability and steady growth. Different analysts estimated its volume in 2009 from 7.5 to 7.8 billion dollars, forecasting 2014 growth to 12.5-14.0 billion dollars. The reports of analyst firms cited figures that in surveys about half of IT managers reported using or planning to use cloud computing.
The main problem of such services - the lack of market acceptance of a large part of the standard security of cloud computing (Vouk, 2008). Despite the existence of different certification procedures and tests that are based on the criteria and requirements for security, there is no unified approach and techniques to ensure the security of cloud computing, there is no single methodology for testing the adequacy of the protection provider of such services. Customers to get some guarantees of the security of their data, should "wander" in the sea certificates, laws, regulatory requirements, different standards and methodologies that are widely used on the basis of best practices, but not yet formally adopted. Often providers, who know exactly what protection they need, just cannot confirm that such level is achieved. Of particular concern is virtualization.
At the same time, organized in April 2009 Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) is already developing a set of criteria. But today this set cannot be used as a practical tool to confirm the security of potential customers. Guarantee of security in the cloud computing model is important more than in the traditional model, because the movement of data in an untrusted environment is fraught with the danger of losing the data. But there are many potential providers of such services, so the market is interested in solving this, which became the main problem of cloud computing (Dikaiakos et al., 2009). At the same time, ensuring the security of the cloud is an extremely difficult task, since it adds to the existing multiple security issues, laying it all on IT managers.
As long as customers do not have a fast and intuitive way to ensure that cloud computing is well protected, there is a way to accelerate the achievement of this goal - an active education and training of customers, so that they understand the essence of the problems and their possible solutions. This should be done not only by the CSA, but also by the providers of such services.
The research in the sphere of cloud computing is very topical and relevant today. In the dissertation the main research question will be dedicated to the future of cloud computing in the world, as well as the solution of problems and shortcomings that it currently has. This technology is developing and in the view of the changes that take place today, it is likely to become more and more important in the IT sphere. It can satisfy the needs and desires of the people, the use of the wide variety of different gadgets and their synchronization. Thus, it is important to understand how this technology can develop and how it is possible to solve the problems that it currently has.
This work will contribute to the wider knowledge on the cloud computing and the development of technology as a whole. The security questions that arise in the use of cloud computing are very important for the development of this technology, which is why there is special attention paid to this issue in the paper. Thus, one of the most important contributions of the paper is the one it will make in meeting the security challenge of cloud computing. Moreover, it will contribute to the general knowledge about cloud computing and describe the possible ways for its development. In the view of the current rates of growth and development of the IT sphere, this research is topical and can be very valuable.
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