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A Paper Presentation on

Cloud Computing
---A new technology


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ABSTRACT As organizations automate more and more of their manual processes, the Internet is increasingly becoming an important tool in the delivery of IT services. Several years ago, organizations purchased software on CD-ROMs and DVD media. Today, users have the choice of downloading software from the Internet or using their browser to access software that runs outside the organization on Internet servers. The use of external software on Internet servers is called Software as a Service (SAAS).

Cloud computing describes a grouping of service offerings that includes application software, data storage, and computing. The computing can be delivered over the

Internet (public cloud computing) or within an organization (private cloud computing). According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, cloud computing is defined as A model for enabling convenient, ondemand 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.

Instead of writing software for a workstation, software developers are now writing software programs that run on Internet servers. This software may run on servers outside the organization on other companies data centers. Familiar examples include web sites such as and

In the past, individual applications ran in the Internet cloud. Now, entire data centers are moving to the cloud, accessible by a wide range of users.

Essential characteristics of cloud environment include:

On-demand self-service Ubiquitous network access Location independent resource pooling Rapid elasticity Measured service

Delivery models include software as a service, platform as a service, and infrastructure as a service. Deployment includes private clouds, community clouds, public clouds, and hybrid cloud models. Cloud Computing an introduction 1.0 The evolution and concept of cloud computing Cloud is a metaphor for the Internet. Thus, cloud computing is Internet computing or in other words, the usage of the Internet as a computing infrastructure and resource. In cloud computing, the Internet is used to provide services such as data storage, software applications, and email and file exchanges.

knowledge, control or ownership of the computer and network infrastructure. Users just simply access the software or service they require to use and pay for what they use. Therefore, in cloud-service engagements, buyers [users] just need to care about the service [level or quality] without worrying about its implementation (Khan, 2009). A simple example if your organization is a user of Microsoft Excel, typically, your organization would have a client-server networked computing environment with Excel running off an application server and/or off numerous Microsoft Windowsbased desktop PCs and laptops collectively known as fat clients. In a cloud computing environment, your organization invests in thin clients (low cost scaled-down desktop PC and laptops) networked to the server to access a spreadsheet application from the cloud. In the case of an individual, if you have a broadband connection to the Internet, you can use an inexpensive laptop, for e.g. a net book (from your home or neighbourhood Starbucks) to access a spreadsheet application from the cloud. Furthermore, most cloud computing services for the individual are free. Obviously, organizations have greater computing needs and the cloud computing service providers have more to offer than just spreadsheets. Stroh, Acker & Kumar ideally define cloud computing as, Cloud computing is nothing more than the collection of computing software and services that can be accessed via the Internet rather than residing on desktop or internal servers. Such services include applications as simple as e-mail Yahoo! Mail, Googles Gmail, for example or as complex as, which

The key aspect of cloud computing is that the users do not have or need the

helps manage customer relations and sales leads (2009). Cloud computing evolved from Software as a Service (SaaS), and will lead to increased: Virtualization Usability

Software as a Service defined as service-on-demand where cloudservice providers will license customized software for end-user use for the duration of the service agreement.

Collaboration Scalability Standardization

2.0 Major cloud computing vendors and popular cloud-services available today 2.1 The major vendors are:

Amazon Google business/index.html Hewlett Packard d.html IBM Microsoft ault.mspx

Cloud computing collectively propagates:

Infrastructure as a Service defined as the fully outsourced delivery of computer or computing infrastructure as a service. In the business models upstream, the cloud-infrastructure providers can dynamically allocate the required resources to cloud-service providers. Downstream, this means that enduser businesses do not need to purchase or own computer hardware, software and related equipment. Platform as a Service defined as the ability to provide all the necessary facilities to support the complete process of developing and delivering Web applications and services to cloud-service providers and end-users.

2.2 Popular cloud-service offerings are:

E-Mail Human resource (HRM) applications Office applications


Customer relationship management (CRM) applications E-Procurement applications Remote backup and storage Project management applications

3.0 Why is cloud computing gaining interests?

reduction on capital expenditure and maintenance costs of enterprise computing systems. iii) Risk of new computer system project failure Growing firms, for e.g. SMEs, new to adopting enterprise computing solutions may reconsider the high acquisition cost and unproven usage and maintenance capability in favour of alternative computing solutions with lower risks.

So, why is cloud computing gaining interests? While the critics and supporters of cloud computing continue to debate on the virtues of cloud computing, more and more companies are quietly making the transition, and they are finding that Webbased computing services can provide the power, low costs, functionality, flexibility, and mobility that has long eluded traditional enterprise computing (Stroh et al, 2009). Business sustainability issues and challenges in the following areas have also driven companies to explore alternative solutions and acted as a catalyst for high technology solution providers to innovate. i) Increasing total costs of ownership upgrades, maintenance, and obsolescence Traditional enterprise computing systems require regular hardware and software upgrades and maintenance. The introduction of new technologies has shortened product lifespan thus accelerating obsolescence, and increases the need for hardware and software refresh. ii) Cost savings The overall need of firms to drive down costs in operations, production and wastes to maintain competitiveness can only go as far as not compromising on product and service quality and efficiency in order to continue to meet customer expectations and satisfaction. Other areas of cost savings can come from a

iv) Human capital Failure to hire and retain skilled computer human resources is becoming more prevalent today. In some less-developed countries, there is a shortage of skilled computer systems and technology manpower, and the issue can be further aggravated when universities produce graduates equipped with the wrong skills and knowledge compared to industry needs, probably due to the fast pace of change in the industry. 3.1 The key computing




Reduced hardware and software acquisitions i.e. reduced capital expenditure Lower hardware and software maintenance costs Up-to-date software functionality from regular software updates Greater accessibility and mobility (a basic laptop, broadband Internet connection, a free operating system and Web browser such as open

source Linux (e.g. Fedora, Ubuntu, etc) and Firefox

immediately as the nature of their business pose a higher risk. Also, there is on-going debate among technology gurus on the issue of data residency the time delay between data being requested and delivered i.e. a question on performance in a real business environment. ii) Privacy and Confidentiality This issue is closely related to security and reliability. While cloud-service providers may implement high system security measures to ensure and enhance reliability, the human element of potential greed and corruption among the cloud-service providers employees of lesser ethics still appear as a point for concern. iii) Responsibility and Accountability The level of responsibility and accountability expected by end-users versus what the cloud-service providers are liable to in their service level agreements (SLA) differs. Cloud-service providers cannot afford to extend too much in terms of responsibility and accountability should security or data privacy become breeched as doing so would severely increase their business risks. Thus, it is the norm that cloud-service providers limit themselves to ensuring that the latest security measures are in place and every precaution is checked and double-checked. However, should breeches or failure occur, to what extend are cloudservice providers answerable? Are the answers in long drawn-out legal suits? iv) Cost savings doubts In a study conducted by McKinsey & Co., and published in March 2009, McKinsey based their research on Amazon.coms Web

Pay-for-what-you-use Flexibility and agility companies can easily increase or decrease their computing needs Increased collaboration with suppliers and customers at a lower transaction cost Companies can focus more on business challenges such as markets and competition, marketing and demand generation, product development and innovation, profitability and sustainability without worrying about the implementation and maintenance of enterprise computing infrastructure

4.0 Major concerns, issues and challenges While the benefits of cloud computing are clear, corporate buy-in is slower than expected chiefly due to the following areas: i) Security and Reliability Security and reliability concerns about storing corporate data with a third party continue to be debated. For some corporate users, keeping the cloud in-house alleviates the security and privacy concerns that can come with running key applications and data outside the company. However, cloud providers insist that data is safer and less vulnerable with them (No Man is, 2009). This is generally true because cloud-service providers offer and maintain state-of-the-art facilities and implement security updates

service offering and concluded that it would cost more than double! (Clearing the Air, 2009). Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and others have all written pieces quote the report saying clouds are NOT very cost-effective (Cohen, 2009). v) Too many cloud computing platforms?

increasingly competitive regional, international or global market, cloud computing is a fast emerging technology that is revolutionizing information and communication infrastructures, providing flexibility and potential cost reductions. Hardware, software or applications are becoming increasingly costly to maintain as business volumes grow. Thus, with cloud computing, the pricing model of pay-forwhat-you-use or rent-what-you-need removes the need for costly capital expenditure in acquiring, implementing and maintaining an enterprise computing system infrastructure. In this aspect, cloud computing can replace corporate private datacenters and multi-dedicated server infrastructures. Cloud computing enables companies to utilize standard applications or develop and deploy customized applications, and monitor and scale those applications using resources accessed over the Internet. Presently, cloud computing is still in the infancy stage, where companies and individuals use it for small projects or simple needs, for e.g. office applications. For a greater rate of adoption to take place, a higher level of trust or business buy-in must be achieved in the critical areas of security, privacy and reliability.

As cloud computing represents one of the next growth areas in information and communication technology for the IT industry, several cloud computing players exist today championing their flavour of the cloud computing platform, creating some confusion, and leading to concerns and questions about standards and interoperability. 5.0 The future of cloud computing

As companies continue to be driven to reduce costs or better manage costs in the

Summary While outsourcing software applications to the Internet cloud isnt for every organization, many firms have found that cloud computing can be a simple, reliable, and cost effective solution. Both the Internet cloud vendors (SAAS) and the organization should have audits performed on a periodic basis. SAAS vendors - audits help ensure system availability, information confidentiality, and data integrity. Organizations - audits ensure organization management that the firm is managing its cloud computing risks. REFERENCE