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What Cloud Computing Exact is?

March 29 2012 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet).

Cloud_computing.jpg

 

Cloud computing entrusts, typically centalized, services with your data, software, and computation on a published application programming interface (API) over a network. It has a lot of overlap with software as a service (SaaS).

End users access cloud based applications through a web browser or a light weight desktop or mobile app while the business software and data are stored on servers at a remote location. Cloud application providers strive to give the same or better service and performance than if the software programs were installed locally on end-user computers.

At the foundation of cloud computing is the broader concept of infrastructure convergence (or Converged Infrastructure) and shared services. This type of data centre environment allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with easier manageability and less maintenance, and enables IT to more rapidly adjust IT resources (such as servers, storage, and networking) to meet fluctuating and unpredictable business demand.

 

Cloud computing shares characteristics with:

Autonomic computing—Computer systems capable of self-management.

Client–server model—Client–server computing refers broadly to any distributed application that distinguishes between service providers (servers) and service requesters (clients).

Grid computing—"A form of distributed and parallel computing, whereby a 'super and virtual computer' is composed of a cluster of networked, loosely coupled computers acting in concert to perform very large tasks."

Mainframe computer—Powerful computers used mainly by large organizations for critical applications, typically bulk data processing such as census, industry and consumer statistics, police and secret intelligence services, enterprise resource planning, and financial transaction processing.

Utility computing—The "packaging of computing resources, such as computation and storage, as a metered service similar to a traditional public utility, such as electricity."

Peer-to-peer—Distributed architecture without the need for central coordination, with participants being at the same time both suppliers and consumers of resources (in contrast to the traditional client–server model).

 

Characteristics

Cloud computing exhibits the following key characteristics:

Empowerment of end-users of computing resources by putting the provisioning of those resources in their own control, as opposed to the control of a centralized IT service (for example)

Agility improves with users' ability to re-provision technological infrastructure resources.

Application programming interface (API) accessibility to software that enables machines to interact with cloud software in the same way the user interface facilitates interaction between humans and computers. Cloud computing systems typically use REST-based APIs.

Cost is claimed to be reduced and in a public cloud delivery model capital expenditure is converted to operational expenditure. This is purported to lower barriers to entry, as infrastructure is typically provided by a third-party and does not need to be purchased for one-time or infrequent intensive computing tasks. Pricing on a utility computing basis is fine-grained with usage-based options and fewer IT skills are required for implementation (in-house).

Device and location independence enable users to access systems using a web browser regardless of their location or what device they are using (e.g., PC, mobile phone). As infrastructure is off-site (typically provided by a third-party) and accessed via the Internet, users can connect from anywhere.

Virtualization technology allows servers and storage devices to be shared and utilization be increased. Applications can be easily migrated from one physical server to another.

 

Multi-tenancy enables sharing of resources and costs across a large pool of users thus allowing for:

Centralization of infrastructure in locations with lower costs (such as real estate, electricity, etc.)

Peak-load capacity increases (users need not engineer for highest possible load-levels)

Utilisation and efficiency improvements for systems that are often only 10–20% utilised.

 

Reliability is improved if multiple redundant sites are used, which makes well-designed cloud computing suitable for business continuity and disaster recovery.

Scalability and Elasticity via dynamic ("on-demand") provisioning of resources on a fine-grained, self-service basis near real-time, without users having to engineer for peak loads.

Performance is monitored, and consistent and loosely coupled architectures are constructed using web services as the system interface.

Security could improve due to centralization of data, increased security-focused resources, etc., but concerns can persist about loss of control over certain sensitive data, and the lack of security for stored kernels. Security is often as good as or better than other traditional systems, in part because providers are able to devote resources to solving security issues that many customers cannot afford. However, the complexity of security is greatly increased when data is distributed over a wider area or greater number of devices and in multi-tenant systems that are being shared by unrelated users. In addition, user access to security audit logs may be difficult or impossible. Private cloud installations are in part motivated by users' desire to retain control over the infrastructure and avoid losing control of information security.

Maintenance of cloud computing applications is easier, because they do not need to be installed on each user's computer and can be accessed from different places.

 

Service Models

Service-Models.png

 

Cloud computing providers offer their services according to three fundamental models: Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS) where IaaS is the most basic and each higher model abstracts from the details of the lower models.

 

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

In this most basic cloud service model, cloud providers offer computers – as physical or more often as virtual machines –, raw (block) storage, firewalls, load balancers, and networks. IaaS providers supply these resources on demand from their large pools installed in data centers. Local area networks including IP addresses are part of the offer. For the wide area connectivity, the Internet can be used or - in carrier clouds - dedicated virtual private networks can be configured. 

To deploy their applications, cloud users then install operating system images on the machines as well as their application software. In this model, it is the cloud user who is responsible for patching and maintaining the operating systems and application software. Cloud providers typically bill IaaS services on a utility computing basis, that is, cost will reflect the amount of resources allocated and consumed.

 

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

In the PaaS model, cloud providers deliver a computing platform and/or solution stack typically including operating system, programming language execution environment, database, and web server. Application developers can develop and run their software solutions on a cloud platform without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software layers. With some PaaS offers, the underlying compute and storage resources scale automatically to match application demand such that the cloud user does not have to allocate resources manually.

 

Software as a Service (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. Load balancers distribute the work over the set of virtual machines. This process is transparent to the cloud user who sees only a single access point. To accomodate 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, communication as a service.

 

Cloud clients

Users access cloud computing using networked client devices, such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Some of these devices - cloud clients - rely on cloud computing for all or a majority of their applications so as to be essentially useless without it. Examples are thin clients and the browser-based Chromebook. Many cloud applications do not require specific software on the client and instead use a web browser to interact with the cloud application. With Ajax and HTML5 these Web user interfaces can achieve a similar or even better look and feel as native applications. Some cloud applications, however, support specific client software dedicated to these applications (e.g., virtual desktop clients and most email clients). Some legacy applications (line of business applications that until now have been prevalent in thin client Windows computing) are delivered via a screen-sharing technology.

 

Deployment models

Public cloud

Applications, storage, and other resources are made available to the general public by a service provider. Public cloud services may be free or offered on a pay-per-usage model. There are limited service providers like Microsoft, Google etc owns all Infrastructure at their Data Center and the access will be through Internet mode only. No direct connectivity proposed in Public Cloud Architecture.

 

Community cloud

Community cloud shares infrastructure between several organizations from a specific community with common concerns (security, compliance, jurisdiction, etc.), whether managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally. The costs are spread over fewer users than a public cloud (but more than a private cloud), so only some of the cost savings potential of cloud computing are realized.

 

Hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud is a composition of two or more clouds (private, community or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models.

 

Private cloud

Private cloud is infrastructure operated solely for a single organization, whether managed internally or by a third-party and hosted internally or externally.

They have attracted criticism because users "still have to buy, build, and manage them" and thus do not benefit from less hands-on management, essentially "[lacking] the economic model that makes cloud computing such an intriguing concept".

 

NOTES: More info of Cloud Computing, such as history of Cloud computing, Cloud engineering, Issues about Cloud Computing including Privacy, Compliance, Security, etc., you can visit wikipedia.org---Cloud Computing

More Related: CloudVerse: Cisco Storms into the Cloud Market

 

 

 

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