Cloud Computing

Introduction: The Cloud is a metaphor for the Internet network diagram. Cloud computing is not a new technology but a new concept that encapsulates a platform of applications. The concept runs on the Internet thereby providing applications to end users without the need of physically installing software or implementing complex infrastructure.

Cloud computing can be divided into several categories: Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service. Cloud computing services are emerging technologies that provide both businesses and individuals many benefits such as lowered costs and ease of accessibility but have also come with issues such as legal and security risks.

Despite that, analysts say Cloud computing represents a sea change in the way computing is done in corporations. Merrill Lynch (banking and wealth management division of Bank of America) estimates that within the next five years, the annual global market for Cloud computing will surge to $95 billion. In a May 2008 report, Merrill Lynch estimated that 12% of the worldwide software market would go to the Cloud in that period. Those vendors that can adjust their product lines to meet the needs of large Cloud computing providers stand to profit.

Definition of 'Cloud Computing: A model for delivering information technology services in which resources are retrieved from the internet through web-based tools and applications, rather than a direct connection to a server. Data and software packages are stored in servers. However, cloud computing structure allows access to information as long as an electronic device has access to the web. This type of system allows employees to work remotely SaaS:

In this model, cloud providers install and operate application software in the cloud and cloud users access the software from cloud clients. The cloud users do not manage the cloud infrastructure and platform on which the application is running. This eliminates the need to install and run the application on the cloud user's own computers simplifying maintenance and support. What makes a cloud application different from other applications is its elasticity. This can be achieved by cloning tasks onto multiple virtual machines at run-time to meet the changing work demand.[51]

Load balancers distribute the work over the set of virtual machines. This process is inconspicuous to the cloud user who sees only a single access point. To accommodate a large number of cloud users, cloud applications can be multitenant, that is, any machine serves more than one cloud user organization. It is common to refer to special types of cloud based application software with a similar naming convention: desktop as a service, business process as a service, Test Environment as a Service, service. The pricing model for SaaS applications is typically a monthly or yearly flat fee per user. Laas:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the delivery of hardware (server, storage and network), and associated software (operating systems virtualization technology, file system), as a service. It is an evolution of traditional hosting that does not require any long term commitment and allows users to provision resources on demand. Unlike PaaS services, the IaaS provider does very little management other than keep the data center operational and users must deploy and manage the software services themselves--just the way they would in their own data center. Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Secure Storage Service (S3) are examples of IaaS offerings. Paas:

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is an application development and deployment platform delivered as a service to developers over the Web. It facilitates development and deployment of applications without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying infrastructure, providing all of the facilities required to support the complete

life cycle of building and delivering web applications and services entirely available from the Internet. This platform consists of infrastructure software, and typically includes a database, middleware and development tools. A virtualized and clustered grid computing architecture is often the basis for this infrastructure software. Some PaaS offerings have a specific programming language or API. For example, Google AppEngine is a PaaS offering where developers write in Python or Java. EngineYard is Ruby on Rails. Sometimes PaaS providers have proprietary languages like force.com from Salesforce.com and Coghead, now owned by SAP.

Advantages of Cloud Computing:

1.Improving time-to-application deployment: Cloud platforms give clients the option of developing and deploying new applications on existing infrastructure as quickly as desired. Traditional platforms can take up to three or four months to procure, install, and configure, stalling the application deployment process. 2. Aligning IT budgets with application demand:

How many Web applications does an organization deploy without exactly knowing how popular they'll be or how much capacity you'll need to accommodate that popularity? Many of the early Cloud adopters host customer- and public-facing Web applications with Cloud providers for this reason. They can pay just for the resources they use, hour by hour. 3. Providing a 'safety valve' for peaks in demand for data centre capacity:

Cloud computing is also good for handling episodic spikes in demand for computing, storage, and network resources. Rather than provision for the expected peak of the holiday shopping season, retailers can push the additional demand into a Cloud environment. Big batch jobs also fit this model. 4. Delivering applications without raising budget:

Cloud computing gives clients the ability to deliver new applications without having to buy gear, curbing the firm's capital expenditures. Application development and delivery can all be handled using operating expenses only. 5. Sharing without putting the data centre at risk:

Many of the early adopters of Cloud computing are looking for an inexpensive and easily accessible way to share information. Medical researchers are an example. Cloud lets these organizations host data on public Clouds rather than having to punch new holes in their organization’s firewall to make it available to external parties.

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing: 1.Security & Privacy: The biggest concerns about cloud computing are security and privacy. Users might not be comfortable handing over their data to a third party, without any security systems to protect their data. Privacy is another issue with cloud servers. Ensuring that a client’s data is not accessed by any unauthorized users is of great importance for any cloud service. After all, the success of a cloud service depends on its reputation, and any sign of a security breach would result in a loss of clients and business. 2.Dependency (loss of control):

* Quality problems with CSP(Cloud Service Providers).No influence on maintenance levels and fix frequency when using cloud services from a CSP. * No or little insight in CSP contingency procedures. Especially backup, restore and disaster recovery. * No easy migration to an other CSP.

3.Cost: Higher costs, While in the long run, cloud hosting is a lot cheaper than traditional technologies, the fact that it’s currently new and has to be researched and improved actually makes it more expensive. Data centers have to buy or develop the software that’ll run the cloud, rewire the machines and fix unforeseen problems. This makes their initial cloud offers more expensive. Like in all other industries, the first customers pay a higher price and have to deal with more issues than those who switch later. 4.Decreased flexibility:

This is only a temporary problem but current technologies are still in the testing stages, so they don’t really offer the flexibility they promise. Of course, that’ll change in the future, but some of the current users might have to deal with the facts that their cloud server is difficult or impossible to upgrade without losing some data, for example. 5.Knowledge And Integration:

Knowledge: More and deeper knowledge is required for implementing and managing SLA contracts with CSP’s ,Since all knowledge about the working of the cloud is concentrated at the CSP, it is hard to get grip on the CSP. Integration:

Integration with equipment hosted in other data centers is difficult to achieve. Peripherals integration Printers and local security IT equipment is difficult to integrate. But also (personal) USB devices or smart phones or groupware and email systems are difficult to integrate.

Future of Cloud Computing: 2012 Future of Cloud computing Survey exposes that :  Companies are accelerating their trust in cloud solutions, with 50 percent of respondents confident that cloud solutions are viable for mission critical business applications.

 Scalability remains the top reason for adopting the cloud, with 57 percent of companies identifying it as the most important driver for cloud adoption. Business agility ranked second among drivers for cloud adoption, with 54 percent of respondents focused on agility.  Software as a service (SaaS) is currently, and is expected to remain the primary type of cloud investment, with 82 percent of respondents citing it as in use today, and 88 percent expecting to use it five years from now.

 Platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) will see significant growth in the next five years, with PaaS growing from 40 percent to 72 percent and IaaS growing from 51 percent to 66 percent.  Cloud users are shifting sentiments with regard to public vs. hybrid cloud platforms. * Currently, 40 percent of respondents’ are deploying public cloud strategies, with 36 percent emphasizing a hybrid approach * Within five years, hybrid clouds will be the emphasis of 52 percent of respondents’ cloud strategies.

The future of the Cloud involves computing with virtual representations without the physical presence of hardware or software. For example, programmers can use a web-based platform to design their applications of business users can operate their businesses with easy to customize online software. There are many benefits from switching over to Cloud computing. One benefit is that capital expenditure costs are lowered as new systems and maintenance costs are reduced through a pay-as-you-go methodology. Developers are alleviated of their worries regarding interoperability or data portability. As Cloud computing becomes more popular, questions regarding legal issues start to arise so effective polices are needed on both the international and local level. Cloud computing is an emerging field that has been embraced by both small and large businesses. It has a lot of potential to revolutionize businesses today. However, the future of Cloud computing is not all that sunny, if fact it could be very Cloudy unless possible security and legal risks are dealt with and a successful business model is established.

There are potentially tough security and legal risks tasks associated with Cloud computing which mainly revolve around the questions of compliance, support SLA, global performance, availability of bandwidth, misuse of client data, IP infringement, transparency, location of client data and most of all the question jurisdiction in case of legal disputes.

Businesses today demand assurance and confidence to deal with any service provider, the question of risk tolerances is a major issue, they also need the flexibility to use services for their business needs of varying levels of legal challenges. In order to address the service level agreement issues, Cloud service users can turn to a third party legal and security risk management agency.

A risk management agency could be engaged in all other key Cloud challenges such as governance, most other legal challenges including IP implementations, conflicts involving multiple jurisdictions, issues related to protection of privacy, network security, audit, application security, storage, cryptography, and virtualization. This will give birth to a robust authoritative mechanism in order to take potential legal challenges and security risks away from both Cloud providers and Cloud users alike. So,It is quite clear that in a few years cloud computing will be the most common source of data storing and end user computing.