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Moving to the Cloud provides an in-depth introduction to cloud computing models, cloud platforms, application development paradigms, concepts and technologies. The authors particularly examine cloud platforms that are in use today. They also describe programming APIs and compare the technologies that underlie them. The basic foundations needed for developing both client-side and cloud-side applications covering compute/storage scaling, data parallelism, virtualization, MapReduce, RIA, SaaS and Mashups are ...
Moving to the Cloud provides an in-depth introduction to cloud computing models, cloud platforms, application development paradigms, concepts and technologies. The authors particularly examine cloud platforms that are in use today. They also describe programming APIs and compare the technologies that underlie them. The basic foundations needed for developing both client-side and cloud-side applications covering compute/storage scaling, data parallelism, virtualization, MapReduce, RIA, SaaS and Mashups are covered. Approaches to address key challenges of a cloud infrastructure, such as scalability, availability, multi-tenancy, security and management are addressed. The book also lays out the key open issues and emerging cloud standards that will drive the continuing evolution of cloud computing.
INFORMATION IN THIS CHAPTER
Where Are We Today?
The Future Evolution
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud Deployment Models
Business Drivers for Cloud Computing
Introduction to Cloud Technologies
Cloud Computing is one of the major technologies predicted to revolutionize the future of computing. The model of delivering IT as a service has several advantages. It enables current businesses to dynamically adapt their computing infrastructure to meet the rapidly changing requirements of the environment. Perhaps more importantly, it greatly reduces the complexities of IT management, enabling more pervasive use of IT. Further, it is an attractive option for small and medium enterprises to reduce upfront investments, enabling them to use sophisticated business intelligence applications that only large enterprises could previously afford. Cloud-hosted services also offer interesting reuse opportunities and design challenges for application developers and platform providers. Cloud computing has, therefore, created considerable excitement among technologists in general.
This chapter provides a general overview of Cloud Computing, and the technological and business factors that have given rise to its evolution. It takes a bird's-eye view of the sweeping changes that cloud computing is bringing about. Is cloud computing merely a cost-saving measure for enterprise IT? Are sites like Facebook the tip of the iceberg in terms of a fundamental change in the way of doing business? If so, does enterprise IT have to respond to this change, or take the risk of being left behind? By surveying the cloud computing landscape at a high level, it will be easy to see how the various components of cloud technology fit together. It will also be possible to put the technology in the context of the business drivers of cloud computing.
WHERE ARE WE TODAY?
Computing today is poised at a major point of inflection, similar to those in earlier technological revolutions. A classic example of an earlier inflection is the anecdote that is described in The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google. In a small town in New York called Troy, an entrepreneur named Henry Burden set up a factory to manufacture horseshoes. Troy was strategically located at the junction of the Hudson River and the Erie Canal. Due to its location, horseshoes manufactured at Troy could be shipped all over the United States. By making horseshoes in a factory near water, Mr. Burden was able to transform an industry that was dominated by local craftsmen across the US. However, the key technology that allowed him to carry out this transformation had nothing to do with horses. It was the waterwheel he built in order to generate electricity. Sixty feet tall, and weighing 250 tons, it generated the electricity needed to power his horseshoe factory.
Burden stood at the mid-point of a transformation that has been called the Second Industrial Revolution, made possible by the invention of electric power. The origins of this revolution can be traced to the invention of the first battery by the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta in 1800 at the University of Pavia. The revolution continued through 1882 with the operation of the first steam-powered electric power station at Holborn Viaduct in London and eventually to the first half of the twentieth century, when electricity became ubiquitous and available through a socket in the wall. Henry Burden was one of the many figures who drove this transformation by his usage of electric power, creating demand for electricity that eventually led to electricity being transformed from an obscure scientific curiosity to something that is omnipresent and taken for granted in modern life. Perhaps Mr. Burden could not have grasped the magnitude of changes that plentiful electric power would bring about.
By analogy, we may be poised at the midpoint of another transformation – now around computing power – at the point where computing power has freed itself from the confines of industrial enterprises and research institutions, but just before cheap and massive computing resources are ubiquitous. In order to grasp the opportunities offered by cloud computing, it is important to ask which direction are we moving in, and what a future in which massive computing resources are as freely available as electricity may look like.
AWAKE! for Morning in the Bowl of Night Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight: ... The Bird of Time has but a little way To fly – and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Translated into English in 1859, by Edward FitzGerald
Evolution of the Web
To see the evolution of computing in the future, it is useful to look at the history. The first wave of Internet-based computing, sometimes called Web 1.0, arrived in the 1990s. In the typical interaction between a user and a web site, the web site would display some information, and the user could click on the hyperlinks to get additional information. Information flow was thus strictly one-way, from institutions that maintained web sites to users. Therefore, the model of Web 1.0 was that of a gigantic library, with Google and other search engines being the library catalog. However, even with this modest change, enterprises (and enterprise IT) had to respond by putting up their own web sites and publishing content that projected the image of the enterprise effectively on the Web (Figure 1.1). Not doing so would have been analogous to not advertising when competitors were advertising heavily.
Web 2.0 and Social Networking
The second wave of Internet computing developed in the early 2000s, when applications that allowed users to upload information to the Web became popular. This seemingly small change has been sufficient to bring about a new class of applications due to the rapid growth of user-generated content, social networking and other associated algorithms that exploited crowd knowledge. This new generation Internet usage is called the Web 2.0 and is depicted in Figure 1.2. If Web 1.0 looked like a massive library, Web 2.0, with social networking, is more like a virtual world which in many ways looks like a replica of the physical world (Figure 1.2). Here users are not just login ids, but virtual identities (or personas) with not only a lot of information about themselves (photographs, interest profile, the items they search for on the Web), but also their friends and other users they are linked to as in a social world. Furthermore, the Web is now not read-only; users are able to write back to the Web with their reviews, tags, ratings, annotations and even create their own blogs. Again, businesses and business IT have to respond to this new environment not only by leveraging the new technology for cost-effectiveness but also by using the new features it makes possible.
As of this writing, Facebook has a membership of 750 million people, and that makes 10% of the people in the world! Apart from the ability to keep in touch with friends, Facebook has been a catalyst for the formation of virtual communities. A very visible example of this was the role Facebook played in catalyzing the 2011 Egyptian revolution. A key moment in the revolution was the January 25th protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square, which was organized using Facebook. This led to the leader of the revolution publicly thanking Facebook for the role it played in enabling the revolution. Another effective example of the use of social networking was the election campaign of US president Obama, who built a network of 2 million supporters on MySpace, 6.5 million supporters on Facebook, and 1.7 million supporters on Twitter.
Social networking technology has the potential to make major changes in the way businesses relate to customers. A simple example is the "Like" button that Facebook introduced on web pages. By pressing this button for a product, a Facebook member can indicate their preference for the advertised product. This fact is immediately made known to the friends of the member, and put up on the Facebook page of the user as well as his friends. This has a tremendous impact on the buying behavior, as it is a recommendation of a product by a trusted friend! Also, by visiting "facebook/insights", it is possible to analyze the demographics of the Facebook members who clicked the button. This can directly show the profile of the users using the said product! Essentially, since user identities and relationships are online, they can now be leveraged in various ways by businesses as well.
Giving users the ability to upload content to the Web has led to an explosion of information. Studies have consistently shown that the amount of digital information in the world is doubling every 18 months. Much information that would earlier have been stored in physical form (e.g., photographs) is uploaded to the Web for instantaneous sharing. In fact, in many cases, the first reports of important news are video clips taken by bystanders with mobile phones and uploaded to the Web. The importance of this information has led to growing attempts at Internet censorship by governments that fear that unrestricted access to information could spark civil unrest and lead to the overthrow of the governments. Business can mine this subjective information, for example, by sentiment analysis, to throw some insights into the overall opinion of the public towards a specific topic.
Further, entirely new kinds of applications may be possible through combining the information on the Web. Text mining of public information was used by Unilever to analyze patents filed by a competitor and deduce that the competitor was attempting to discover a pesticide for use against a pest found only in Brazil. IBM was similarly able to analyze news abstracts and detect that a competitor was showing strong interest in the outsourcing business.
Another example is the food safety recall process implemented by HP together with GS1 Canada, a supply chain organization. By tracing the lifecycle of a food product from its manufacture to its purchase, the food safety recall process is able to advise individual consumers that the product they have purchased is not safe, and that stores will refund the amount spent on purchase. This is an example of how businesses can reach out to individual consumers whom they do not interact with directly.
Another major change the world has seen recently is the rapid growth in the number of mobile devices. Reports say that mobile broadband users have already surpassed fixed broadband users. Due to mobile Internet access, information on the Web is accessible from anywhere, anytime, and on any device, making the Web a part of daily life. For example, many users routinely use Google maps to find directions when in an unknown location. Such content on the Web also enables one to develop location-based services, and augmented-reality applications. For example, for a traveler, a mobile application that senses the direction the user is facing, and displays information about the monument in front of him, is very compelling. Current mobile devices are computationally powerful and provide rich user experiences using touch, accelerometer, and other sensors available on the device as well. Use of a cloud-hosted app store is becoming almost a defacto feature of every mobile device or platform. Google Android Market, Nokia Ovi Store, Blackberry App World, Apple App Store are examples of the same. Mobile vendors are also providing cloud services (such as iCloud and SkyDrive) to host app data by which application developers can enable a seamless application experience on multiple personal devices of the user.
THE FUTURE EVOLUTION
Extrapolation of the trends mentioned previously could lead to ideas about the possible future evolution of the Web, aka the Cloud. The Cloud will continue to be a huge information source, with the amount of information growing ever more comprehensive. There is also going to be greater storage of personal data and profiles, together with more immersive interactions that bring the digital world closer to the real world. Mobility that makes the Web available everywhere is only going to intensify. Cloud platforms have already made it possible to harness large amounts of computing power to analyze large amounts of data. Therefore, the world is going to see more and more sophisticated applications that can analyze the data stored in the cloud in smarter ways. These new applications will be accessible on multiple heterogeneous devices, including mobile devices. The simple universal client application, the web browser, will also become more intelligent and provide a rich interactive user experience despite network latencies.
Excerpted from Moving to the Cloud by Dinkar Sitaram Geetha Manjunath Copyright © 2012 by Elsevier, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Syngress. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Infrastructure as a Service
Chapter 3: Platform as a Service
Chapter 4: Application as a Service
Chapter 5: Paradigms for Developing Cloud Applications
Chapter 6: Addressing the Cloud Challenges
Chapter 7: Security
Chapter 8: Managing the Cloud Infrastructure
Chapter 9: Related Technologies
Chapter 10: Future trends and Research Directions