Speculations On Where The State-Of-The-Art Will Be In Cloud Computing Research Paper Sample
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“It is impossible to have an IT modernization discussion that doesn’t include ‘the cloud.’” –Jason Buffington
IT modernization requires that unstructured data be stored using cloud storage technology. This is because this kind of data is the “fastest growing and most voluminous content” (TechTarget, n.d., p. 5). Therefore, it is a necessity that this data be stored in a manner that will not cost “administrative pains” for an enterprise or any individual choosing to use this technology. The four main types of cloud computing deployment models: public cloud storage, private cloud storage, community cloud storage and hybrid cloud storage. The new trends in cloud computing include: mobile interactive applications, parallel batch processing, the rise of analytics, extension of compute-intensive desktop applications and “earthbound” applications (Armsburst et al, 2009, p. 7). These current trends in cloud computing ensure that web technologies are shifted from Web 1.0, which is “‘high-touch, high-margin, high-commitment,’” to Web 2.0, which is “‘low-touch, low-margin, low-commitment’” (as cited in Armsburst et al, 2009, p. 6). Although cloud storage is not suited to structured data, considering the costs of storing data, cloud computing is becoming increasingly important because cloud computing makes buying, managing, and maintaining hardware storage and cloud computing reduces data centre and administrative costs.
The Reasons Why Enterprises Use Cloud Computing
The business benefits of cloud computing storage are varied. However, the main advantages of using such as technologies include the following: “savings on storage costs,” “increased agility,” and “resource consolidation” (Cole, 2014, p. 2).
Small, medium, and even large enterprises are able to save a significant sum of money by using cloud computing storage since these businesses would not need to finance the upkeep and managing of hardware, which can be a monumental investment for a business, especially one that is of a small size.
According to survey conducted by Rackspace, the businesses were able to experience significant cost reductions in their operations. For instance, 66% of businesses that participated in the survey noted that their cloud computing reduced their IT costs (Columbus, 2013). In addition, cloud computing has enabled 62% of these businesses to “invest more money back” into their operations (Columbus, 2013, para. 6). Furthermore, the survey indicated that cloud computing has “reduced the need” for the IT teams of these businesses to “maintain the infrastructure,” and given them the opportunity to “focus on strategy and innovation” (Columbus, 2013, para. 6).
Below is a depiction of the results of the Rackspace survey:
(Source: Columbus, 2013, para. 6)
Moreover, it should be noted that 62% of the businesses that participated in the survey have reinvested money saved by “cloud computing efficiencies” (Columbus, 2013, para. 6). This increased these businesses’ “total investment by an average” of 23% (Columbus, 2013, para. 7).
Below is an illustration of these companies’ “prioritization of [their] investments” (Columbus, 2013, para. 8):
(Source: Columbus, 2013, para. 8)
As depicted in the results above, it is clear that most of the investments (62%) were made in product and service innovation (Columbus, 2013, para. 8). On the other hand, 56% of the investments were made in expanding product and service offering; while 46% of the investments are made to boost sales efforts (Columbus, 2013, para. 8).
The Types of Cloud Computing Models
As mentioned previously, the major cloud computing models include the following: public cloud, private cloud, community cloud and hybrid cloud (Columbus, 2013). This section will attempt to clearly describe these various cloud computing deployment models.
Public Cloud is a “cloud infrastructure” is designed for “open use” by the general public. This may be “owned,” “managed,” “operated” by an academic, business, or government organization (or a combination of these) (Intelligence and National Security Alliance [INSA], 2012, p. 4). It exists on the “premises” of the “cloud provider.” Below is a depiction of a public cloud computing architecture:
(Source: Open Security Architecture.org)
Private Cloud infrastructure is designed for “exclusive use by a single organization comprising multiple consumers” (INSA, 2012, p. 4). This type of cloud computing deployment model may be “owned, managed, and operated by the organization” or a “third party (INSA, 2012, p. 4). It can also be owned by a combination of an “organization and a third party” (INSA, 2012, p. 4). This infrastructure also has the ability to exist on or off premises (INSA, 2012, p. 4). A diagram of the private cloud infrastructure of Sprint is illustrated below:
Community Cloud infrastructure is a “composition of two or more clouds” (INSA, 2012, p. 4). In addition, it should be noted that cloud infrastructure is “shared by several organizations” and “supports a specific community” that has mutual concerns (INSA, 2012, p. 4). These concerns can include “mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations” (INSA, 2012, p. 4). This infrastructure can be managed by the “organizations” or a “third party” and has the ability to exist on or off premises (INSA, 2012, p. 4). Below is a picture of the community cloud architecture.
The hybrid cloud infrastructure is comprised of “two or more clouds (private, community, or public)” that remain “unique entities” but are “bound together” by “standardized or proprietary” that facilitates “data and application portability” (INSA, 2012, p. 4). For instance, the “cloud bursting” for “load balancing” between “clouds” (INSA, 2012, p. 4). A diagram of the hybrid cloud architecture is shown below.
The State of the Art in Cloud Computing Technologies
Armsburst et al (2009) suggests that in the near future “multiple Cloud Computing” providers will be the only feasible solution to “very high availability” (p. 14). These researchers explain that in the past the high-availability computing community has long adhered to the mantra “‘no single source of failure’” (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 14). However, they posit that the operation of a Cloud Computing service provided by a “single company is in fact a single point of failure” (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 14). This is because although the company has “multiple datacenters” in diverse geographical locations using “different network providers,” it is possible that they have “common software infrastructure and accounting systems” (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 14). Armbrust et al (2009) argue that the best opportunity for “independent software stacks” is for them to be provided by “different companies” (p. 14). They explain that it has been difficult for single company to justify “creating and maintain two stacks in the name of software dependability” (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 14). This implies that one of the state-of-the-art technologies is the use of multiple Cloud Computing providers for services, such as Amazon Simple Storage Service, AppEngine, and Gmail (Armbrust et al, 2009).
An upcoming trend in cloud computing technology is the implementation of measures to lock in data in the Cloud. Armbrust et al explain that customers find it difficult to “extract their data and programs from one site” to the next because the APIs for Cloud Computing “itself” have not been the subjected to “active standardization” (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 15). The researchers advise that the clear solution is to “standardize the APIs” so that Software as a Service (SaaS) could execute services and data “across multiple Cloud Computing providers” so that the shortcoming of a single company would not “take all copies of customer data with it” (Armbrust et al, 2009). Armbrust et al (2009) indicate further that such measures would not “flatten the profits of Cloud Computing providers” (p. 15). This is because the “quality of the service” is just as important as the price, and the customer will not necessarily go to the Cloud Computing provider that gives the lowest price (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 15). Furthermore, the standardization of APIs also ensures that a “new usage model” in which the “same software infrastructure” can be utilized in a Private Cloud and in a Public Cloud (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 15). This option would allow “extra tasks” to be “captured” by the Public Cloud when they cannot be easily “run” in the private cloud due to “temporarily heavy workloads” (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 15).
Armbrust et al (2009) contends that many enterprises mention that they prefer that their “‘sensitive corporate data will never be in the cloud’” (as cited in Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 15). The scholars explain that “[c]urrent cloud offerings” are, in fact, public, rather than private, networks (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 15). There the system is quite vulnerable to attacks (Armbrust et al, 2009). The researchers suggest that these security “obstacles” can be “overcome immediately” with well-understood technologies such as “encrypted storage, Virtual Local Area Network, and network middleboxes,” such as “firewalls and package filters” (Armbrust et al, 2009).
Steve Durbin, global vice president of the Information Security Forum, was quoted as saying that with “‘the rising threat of cybertheft and the simple requirement to be able to access data’” when it is needed, organizations need to “know precisely to what extent” they depend on “‘cloud storage and computing’” (as cited in Cole, 2014, p. 7). Therefore, upcoming trends in cloud computing technologies suggest that there will be an “increased focus on compliance regulations, hands-on data governance and risk management” (Cole, 2014, p. 7).
Cole (2014) explains further that “[e]merging privacy rules” require “certain data protection” and “management processes” (p. 7). Moreover, “rapidly advancing cyberthreats” from various sources require “cutting-edge information security tools” (Cole, 2014, p. 7). This means that the state-of-the-art in CloudCcomputing requires that innovative security tools are designed to deal with impending and increasing security threats.
Armbrust et al (2009) the opportunity exists in state-of-the-art Cloud Computing which facilitates the quick scaling down and up in “response to load in order to save money, but without violating service level agreements” (p. 18). This means that Cloud Computing will ensure that there is an automatic response to load “increases and decreases,” as in the case of the Google AppEngine (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 18). The users of cloud computing sources are “charged by the cycles used” (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 18). Furthermore, it should be noted that scaling is not only cost-effective, but it also conserves resources (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 18). Armbrust et al (2009) indicate that thoughtful use of resources could “reduce the impact of datacenters on the environment” (p. 18). This is presently receiving a significant amount of “negative attention” (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 18). Armbrust et al (2009) reveals that by “imposing per-hour and per-byte costs,” scaling encourages computer programmers to pay “attention to efficiency” (p. 18).
Another issue that will be addressed in the future pertaining to cloud computing technologies is the use of virtual machines in Cloud Computing. Virtual Machines (VMs) are important in getting rid of “bugs” or “errors” in these very “large scale distributed systems” (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 18). VMs are important because they help “capture valuable information,” with the help of virtualization, which would be difficult to do without these machines (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 18).
Armbrust et al (2009) explain that “reputation fate sharing” is another issue that is speculated to be addressed in the near future, as it relates to Cloud Computing. The academics reveal that one person’s bad behavior can affect the entire “cloud” (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 18). It is suggested that in the near future there would be “reputation-guarding services” that are like the “‘trusted email’” services (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 18). Services such as these will allow customers to experience only a “microcosm” of the problem (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 18).
Another issue which needs to be addressed in the near future will have to be performance unpredictability (Armbrust et al, 2009). The academics explain that “I/O sharing” is “problematic” (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 17). The figure illustrating the average memory “bandwidth for EC2 instances running the STREAM memory bank” is shown below:
(Source: Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 17)
The average bandwith is “1355 Mbytes per second,” with a “standard deviation of just 52 Mbytes” per second, under 4% of the mean (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 17).
Below is a diagram illustrating the “average disk bandwidth for 75 EC2 instances each writing 1 GB files to local disk” (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 17). The average “disk write bandwidth is nearly 55 Mbytes per second with a standard deviation” of a little above “9 Mbytes/sec,” exceeding 16% of the average (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 17). In other words, the diagrams are revealing the “problem of I/O interference between virtual machines” (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 17).
(Source: Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 17)
Speculations concerning the future of Cloud Computing suggests that “architectures and operating systems need to be improved so as to “efficiently virtualize interrupts and I/O channels” (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 17).
Armbrust et al (2009) mention that unpredictability concerns the “scheduling of machines for some classes of batch processing programs,” especially for high performance programming (p. 17). The researchers explain that many “HPC applications” need to make sure that all threads of a program are “running simultaneously,” currently modern virtual machines do not provide a “programmer-visible” way to ensure this (Armbrust et al, 2009, pp. 17-18). The academics advice that “gang scheduling” for Cloud Computing (Armbrust et al, 2009, p. 18).
The one of the things that I learned while conducting my research on this topic is that Cloud Computing, although cost efficient in certain respects, need to be improved when one considers the impending cyberthreats that can prove hazardous to an enterprise. Another key point which I recognized while conducting this research is the necessity to improve the performance of Cloud Computing technologies so as to ensure they are suited to performing well in conditions which require high availability. This research is going to be important in understanding how Cloud Computing can be enhanced to suit the demands of a globalized, high-tech, and fast-paced business environment.
I intend to take this research further by exploring the possibilities of Cloud Computing performing well in conditions requiring high availability, especially during peak hours. In addition, I would like to explore the ways in which Cloud Computing technologies can be more secure for enterprises. This research is very important for me because it enabled me to understand the financial benefits that can be had when using Cloud Computing technologies as well as the disadvantages of using such technologies.
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Cole, B. (2014). The Cloud Influence on GRC. Newton, MA: Tech Target.
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Mell, P., & Grance, T. (2009). The NIST definition of cloud computing. National Institute of Standards and Technology, 53(6), 50.
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