Cloud Computing

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Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing refers to both the applications delivered as services over the Internet and the hardware and systems software in the datacenters that provide those services. [1] Cloud computing can be a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models. [2]



Cloud Computing Timeline

In 1983, John Gage, the 5th employee of Sun Microsystems, created the phrase: “The network is the computer.”

In March 2006, Amazon first started Elastic Compute Cloud service.

On August 9, 2006, Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, was the first one to introduce Cloud Computing on SES San Jose 2006. Cloud Computing came from an idea by Christophe Bisciglia, known as Google 101 program.

In October 2007, Google and IBM began to promote Cloud Computing program to American Universities, including Carnegie Mellon University, MIT-Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley and the University of Maryland, hoping to reduce the cost of distributed computing in academic research. Google and IBM provided these universities with software and hardware devices as well as technical support. Students benefited by doing research where large-scale computing is the core.

On January 30, 2008, Google claimed to enable Academic Cloud Computing Initiative with Chinese universities, popularizing cloud computing to universities in China.

On February 1st, 2008, IBM announced that Wuxi Taihu city science and Technology Industrial Park would become the first Cloud Computing Center across the world.

On July 29, 2008, Yahoo, HP and Intel announced to cooperate to push a research initiative in United States, Germany and Singapore.

On August 3, 2008, Dell was applying for the trademark of Cloud Computing in United States.

On March 5, 2010, Novell and CSA announced Trusted Cloud Initiative.

In July 2010, NASA, together with Rackspace, AMD, Intel and Dell declared OpenStack.

In February 2011, Cisco System joined OpenStack and mainly developed Internet Service of OpenStack.

Essential Characteristics

These are five characteristics defined by National Institute of Standards and Technology as "five essential characteristics". [2]

On-demand self-service

A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.

Broad network access

Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations)

Resource pooling

The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, state, or datacenter). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, and network bandwidth.

Rapid elasticity

Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time.

Measured service

Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.

Service Models

A general layered architecture of cloud infrastructures
A general layered architecture of cloud infrastructures

Software as a Service (SaaS)

The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider’s applications running on a cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through either a thin client interface, such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email), or a program interface. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even individual application capabilities, with the possible exception of limited userspecific application configuration settings.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages, libraries, services, and tools supported by the provider.3 The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly configuration settings for the application-hosting environment.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, and deployed applications; and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g., host firewalls).

Deployment Models

Types of Cloud Deployment Models
Types of Cloud Deployment Models

Private cloud

The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization comprising multiple consumers (e.g., business units). It may be owned, managed, and operated by the organization, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.

Community cloud

The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a specific community of consumers from organizations that have shared concerns (e.g., mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations). It may be owned, managed, and operated by one or more of the organizations in the community, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.

Public cloud

The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for open use by the general public. It may be owned, managed, and operated by a business, academic, or government organization, or some combination of them. It exists on the premises of the cloud provider.

Hybrid cloud

The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities, but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load balancing between clouds)


For a company which want to become a cloud computing provider, there are some necessary but not sufficient reasons which also advantanges of cloud computing.

Make a lot of money

According to research by James Hamilton [3]which in table below, we can see that very large datacenters (tens of thousands of computers) can purchase hardware, network bandwidth, and power for 1/5 to 1/7 the prices offered to a medium-sized (hundreds or thousands of computers) datacenter as well as the fixed costs of software development and deployment can be amortized over many more machines. Thus, a sufficiently large company could leverage these economies of scale to offer a service well below the costs of a medium-sized company and still make a tidy profit. [1]

Technology Cost in Medium-sized DC Cost in Very Large DC Ratio
Network $95 per Mbit/sec/month $13 per Mbit/sec/month 7.1
Storage $2.20 per GByte/month $0.40 per GByte/month 5.7
Administration ≈140 Servers/Administrator >1000 Servers/Administrator 7.1

Leverage existing investment

Adding Cloud Computing services on top of existing infrastructure provides a new revenue stream at (ideally) low incremental cost, helping to amortize the large investments of datacenters. Indeed, according to Werner Vogels, Amazon’s CTO, many Amazon Web Services technologies were initially developed for Amazon’s internal operations. [4]

Defend a franchise

As conventional server and enterprise applications embrace Cloud Computing, vendors with an established franchise in those applications would be motivated to provide a cloud option of their own. For example, Microsoft Azure provides an immediate path for migrating existing customers of Microsoft enter- prise applications to a cloud environment.

Become a platform

Facebook’s initiative to enable plug-in applications is a great fit for cloud computing, as we will see, and indeed one infrastructure provider for Facebook plug-in applications is Joyent, a cloud provider. Yet Facebook’s motivation was to make their social-networking application a new development platform.


Due to the development of internet, various kinds of software technologies are invented to make these PCs work elastically, which has led to 3 major cloud computing styles: the Amazon style, Google Style and Microsoft style.[5]

  • Server virtualization technology was used by Amazon's cloud computing which based on Xen-based Elastic Compute Cloud(EC2), object storage service (S3) and structure data storage service (SimpleDB). Amazon Web Service (AWS) becomes the pioneer of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider.[6]
  • Google use technique-specific sandbox which is kind of Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud computing. Google App Engine (GAE), was is released to public as a service in 2008.[7]
  • Microsoft Azure[8] is released in Oct. 2008, which uses Windows Azure Hypervisor (WAH) as the underlying cloud infrastructure and .NET as the application container.

Top Providers

According to Talkin' Cloud's top 100 Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) for 2014. IBM is the biggest cloud company while follows IMB. And Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsolt listed on the third and forth.[9]

1 IBM (cloud revenues) Ginni Rometty CEO
2 Marc Benioff CEO
3 Amazon Web Services Jeff Bezos CEO
4 Microsoft (online services division) Satya Nadella CEO
5 Oracle (cloud IaaS) Larry Ellison CEO
6 SAP Bill McDermott CEO
7 Google (Cloud/Enterprise) Larry Page CEO
8 Citrix Systems Mark Templeton CEO
9 Workday Aneel Bhursri CEO
10 Rackspace Graham Weston CEO
11 NetSuite Zach Nelson CEO
12 Arkadin Olivier de Puymorin CEO and founder
13 DropBox Drew Houston CEO
14 D+H Bill Neville President
15 LogMeIn, Inc. Michael Simon CEO
16 Claranet Ltd Charles Nasser CEO
17 Intermedia Phil Koen CEO
18 Computer Services, Inc. (CSI) Steve Powless CEO
19 Carbonite Inc. David Friend CEO
20 iomart Group plc Angus MacSween CEO
21 Tech Data Corporation Bob Dutkowsky CEO
22 Ingram Micro Inc. Nimesh Dave EVP, Cloud Computing, Ingram Micro Inc.
23 Liaison Technologies Bob Renner CEO
24 Virtustream Rodney Rogers CEO
25 mindSHIFT Technologies, Inc. Mona Abutaleb President and Chief Executive Officer

Obstacles and Opportunities

The following table shows the top 10 obstacles and Opportunities for Growth of Cloud Computing[1]

Obstacle Opportunity
1 Availability of Service Use Multiple Cloud Providers; Use Elasticity to Prevent DDOS
2 Data Lock-In Standardize APIs; Compatible SW to enable Surge Computing
3 Data Confidentiality and Auditability Deploy Encryption, VLANs, Firewalls; Geographical Data Storage
4 Data Transfer Bottlenecks FedExing Disks; Data Backup/Archival; Higher BW Switches
5 Performance Unpredictability Improved VM Support; Flash Memory; Gang Schedule VMs
6 Scalable Storage Invent Scalable Store
7 Bugs in Large Distributed Systems Invent Debugger that relies on Distributed VMs
8 Scaling Quickly Invent Auto-Scaler that relies on ML; Snapshots for Conservation
9 Reputation Fate Sharing Offer reputation-guarding services like those for email
10 Software Licensing Pay-for-use licenses; Bulk use sales

Mobile Interactive Application

Mobile application which have 100% connectivity to the cloud will break the hardware limitation of cell phone which allow cell phone user to access large database and process analysis. Billions of mobile user give these application bright future. The only obstacle of mobile application would be bandwidth of mobile internet which could be solved by 4G network.

The Rise of Analytics

The demand for business analytic drive a growing share of computer resources on understanding customers, supply chains, buying habits. Since Big Data became much more popular in these year, data analytics work for big data came more complex. Cloud computing give a prefect solution for the storage, analysis and visualization of the grand numbers of data.

Extension of Compute-intensive Desktop Applications

The mathematics software Mathematica could access to Wolfram Alpha directly[10][11] which is a cloud computing plantform for mathematic computing. Comparing the cost of computing in the cloud plus the cost of upload and download to the time savings from using the cloud, cloud computing take advantage in mathematics which involves a great deal of computing per unit of data. And also for 3D GUI, cloud computing could give users a smooth visualizion relied on sufficient bandwidth.

Cloud Computing and Big Data

Bid data is an all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets that are so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using traditional data processing applications.

Big data is valuable because it contains all information that companies might need. However, valuable information cannot be seen unless statistics and analysis are used to turn raw data to processed data. Cloud computing is the way that bid data is dealt with. Basically, cloud computing and big data always come together. Without cloud computing, big data is useless.

Big Data as a Service tools are considered a sub-category of Platform as a Service tools specific for Big Data.[12] IBM Cloud Capabilities [13] provide comsulting services for business user based on big data such as customers analytics and new business model.[14]

Security and Privacy Issue


Control of data was reduced with cloud computing. Imagining your important data are not storage in your own computer but rented cloud storage, possibility of data leakage increases since data belonging to different user shared the same location.

For personal aspect, data is important for users' benefit and interest. If cloud storage is hacked, users’ privacy may be revealed. The Hollywood photo scandal is an example. Apple’s iCloud was hacked and lots of private photos of Hollywood actress were uploaded on the Internet, which seriously hurt those actresses.

For companies, data is important for company's survival and development. If a company's data is gained by its rival, the rival can know its plans and prevent it from getting profit.


When we mention privacy sensitive information, we may refer to:

  • Personally identifiable information: Like your name and address, information which can be used to indentify or locate an individual.[15]
  • Sensitive information: information on religion or race, health, sexual orientation, union membership or other information that is considered private. [15]
  • Data Usage: Like users' internet browser history and cookies, or usage of printer, data usage information could reveal consumer's behavior and habits.
  • Others: Like device information, or anything related to personal information.

Cloud computing requires a large number of users to participate. Thus, the privacy problems are caused. Although the providers promise they will not collect users' privacy and even if the privacy is collected, it will not be illegally used, some providers still let data out in order to get some profit. It is not a surprise that a person receives a phone call from a stranger trying to sell him something, which can be result from some providers' selling data.

Laws on the restriction of collection, processing and transfer of personal information focus on the limitation of cloud services.


If a cloud computing provider goes into bankruptcy, who the data belongs to can become a big issue. If the data is destroyed, users cannot find their backup copies. If the data is not destroyed, problems will be caused. Neither to sell it nor to keep it is a good choice.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Armbrust, M., Fox, O., Griffith, R., Joseph, A. D., Katz, Y., Konwinski, A., ... & Zaharia, M. (2009). M.: Above the clouds: A Berkeley view of cloud computing.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mell, P., & Grance, T. (2011). The NIST definition of cloud computing.
  3. H AMILTON , J. Cost of Power in Large-Scale Data Centers [online]. November 2008.
  4. VOGELS , W. A Head in the Clouds—The Power of Infrastructure as a Service. In First workshop on Cloud Computing and in Applications (CCA ’08) (October 2008).
  5. Qian, L., Luo, Z., Du, Y., & Guo, L. (2009). Cloud computing: An overview. In Cloud computing (pp. 626-631). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
  6. Amazon Web Service,
  7. Google App Engine,
  8. Microsoft Azure,
  9. Talkin' Cloud(2014). "2014 Talkin' Cloud 100: Top Cloud Service Providers". Retrieved from
  10. Wolfram Mathematica,
  11. Wolfram Alpha,
  12. Elazhary, H. (2014). Cloud Computing for Big Data (Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 135-144). MAGNT Research Report.
  13. IBM Cloud Capabilities,
  14. Big Data and Analytics,
  15. 15.0 15.1 Pearson, S. (2009, May). Taking account of privacy when designing cloud computing services. In Proceedings of the 2009 ICSE Workshop on Software Engineering Challenges of Cloud Computing (pp. 44-52). IEEE Computer Society.
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