State-of-the-art Solutions for Cloud Computing

State-of-the-art Solutions for Cloud Computing

Back in 2000, the concept of cloud computing was just taking off among the most cutting-edge enterprises. Now, fifteen years later, the implementation of cloud is largely complete. Today, not only is it necessary for computer science experts to serve as architects of cloud-based systems, but also to look for ways to amplify the benefits of cloud as the technology matures.

What is cloud computing? From a technical perspective, the essence of cloud is moving key IT infrastructure and functions to remove servers. Cloud computing provides distinct advantages to organizations of all sizes, since it is no longer necessary for enterprises to develop a deep roster of IT personnel and equipment to deliver all the services that users might need.

Some of the important benefits of cloud include:

  • Cost: From the perspective of many businesses, cost is the main benefit of using cloud computing. Enterprises can cut IT costs 75% or more when one considers the cost of software licenses, hardware, maintenance, hiring, training, and development.
  • Scalability: Compared to building an entire corporate intranet from scratch, designing a cloud computing configuration with an enterprise’s specific goals in mind is easy. Plus, the network can easily grow or integrate new features as needs change.
  • Access: Many organizations, from Fortune 500 companies to universities, are looking for innovative ways to remove geographical barriers. With cloud computing, users are able to access network resources at any time and from anywhere on Earth.
  • Service Quality: Externalizing network services means a cloud provider bears ultimate responsibility for availability. In many Service Level Agreements, 99.99% uptime is the gold standard. Even the top multinationals cannot always meet this standard internally.
  • Busting the Biggest Myth About Cloud

    The most pervasive myth about cloud computing is that it is a single, monolithic entity – “The Cloud” – that all organizations partake of in some form. This conception of what the cloud is developed in board rooms as a way to market cloud migration to decision-makers, who needed familiar terminology to justify the expense and effort that came with cloud adoption.

    State-of-the-art Solutions for Cloud Computing

    This understanding of cloud computing draws comparisons to the Internet as a whole, but it doesn’t offer a helpful picture when looking at cloud network implementation. In reality, there are countless “clouds” with differing ownership and access rights. The fundamentals of network architecture have not changed, but service delivery has undergone major evolution.

    Just as there are many clouds, there are many cloud solutions. One can think of cloud solutions as an approach to delivering specific types of services through a cloud network. Cloud solutions can be radically different, reflecting the search for an “ideal” implementation of cloud that can meet different organizations’ needs at different times in their development.

    In the modern cloud, computer science students might step in to design and expand on new cloud solutions as part of a provider organization. Conversely, they might develop the internal strategy for IT at a client enterprise that uses these solutions. Although cloud computing does reduce IT headcount, there is still a need for high-level strategy to match solutions to needs.

    Comparing Cloud Computing Solutions

    Cloud computing is evolving quickly, and there are many different approaches to it. However, it’s already possible to divide the world of cloud solutions into three major categories. Anyone who wishes to have a firm understanding of cloud technology should know each of them well – and understand the basics of creating hybrid solutions that take inspiration from each.

    The three major types of cloud solutions are:

    Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

    Anyone who ever provisioned a server that “lives” in an off-site data center is already somewhat familiar with the driving concept behind IaaS. IaaS focuses on providing hardware resources and infrastructure. IaaS solution providers both maintain and own the equipment, which is leased on a temporary basis. The IaaS company is responsible for the physical security and functionality of the device, which is usually part of a hardened network facility with strict disaster recovery standards.

    Platform as a Service (PaaS)

    Small and mid-sized software companies should be especially attentive to the emerging world of PaaS cloud providers. PaaS solutions cater to the specialized needs of software development teams, accelerating the process of designing software for mobile devices or the Web. The PaaS provider configures the virtual platform with the development team’s needs in mind, ensuring easy availability of coding languages, databases, and tools in a high-performance environment.

    Software as a Service (SaaS)

    SaaS is the cloud model with the largest impact on the lives of consumers. When average users think about sending family photos “to the cloud,” they are thinking about SaaS. At the advent of the “Cloud Age,” storage was a dominant feature. As cloud has grown more flexible, a number of SaaS suites have emerged to serve different niches. One of the biggest developments was Adobe’s decision to launch its subscription-based “Creative Cloud” in 2012.

    What Challenges Does Cloud Computing Face?

    Whether working for a solution provider or a company in need of the right solution, some concerns are always in play. The client evaluates whether the provider can deliver the services needed, while the provider tries to gain a deep understanding of current and future challenges. The implementation process is where the balance between client needs and provider resources is struck. Afterwards, quality is managed and maintained by both parties.

    There are some issues endemic to cloud computing that computer scientists must anticipate:

  • Security: Security is, by far, the challenge that looms largest in the minds of many cloud computing experts. In many ways, cloud’s security challenges parallel those of wireless technology – cloud represents a profusion of access points and access conditions without a corresponding improvement in the way security is monitored and managed. Authorized users facilitate many attacks on cloud networks by logging in at compromised locations or with devices that do not meet minimum security standards.
  • Interoperability: Most enterprises do not operate exclusively on a cloud basis, and might have internal resources from many vendors – everything from Cisco and Oracle on the enterprise level to Apple and Microsoft at the user level. Cloud represents a new layer of complexity overlaid on this shifting environment, performing under a huge range of operating conditions. Failure to match external cloud resources to internal hardware and software degrades performance and exacerbates security issues.
  • Demand Management: While the demand for some cloud resources might be limited, others could experience unexpected and prolonged spikes in demand. Whatever the case, a cloud implementation must incorporate the appropriate failover and redundancy to meet peak demand. In the event of a system problem, network architects must be prepared to step in with ready-made solutions or else risk causing a failure cascade across all groups that might be reliant on the cloud infrastructure.
  • Although the pioneering days of early cloud implementation is over, the computing industry is still a long way from anything resembling the “perfect” cloud network. For decades to come, computer scientists will be at the vanguard of new solutions, strategies, and tools that will add to cloud computing’s effectiveness. In the future, the vast majority of networks might be based on cloud principles, representing a sophisticated, seamless patchwork of technological partnerships.