Category Archives: Cloud Computing

What is cloud computing? | TechRadar

Cloud computing is a popular buzz-phrase on the internet, with a Google search revealing 103 million occurrences of the term. Cloud computing refers to delivering on-demand computing services, originally storage, and now more recently processing power and apps, over the internet, with companies using this on a pay-as-you-go basis. The ‘cloud’ in cloud computing has its origins in network diagrams that draw the internet as a fluffy cloud.

Despite the modern popularity of cloud computing, the notion of computing over a network goes some decades back to 1961. An MIT professor, John McCarthy, considered a founding father of artificial intelligence, in an address at their centennial celebration prophetically spoke: Computing may someday be organized as a public utility just as the telephone system is a public utility. Each subscriber needs to pay only for the capacity he actually uses, but he has access to all programming languages characteristic of a very large system Certain subscribers might offer service to other subscribers The computer utility could become the basis of a new and important industry.

The first use of the actual term cloud computing is more modern dating to August 9th, 2006 at the Search Engine Strategies Conference. It is credited to Google CEO Eric Schmidt who said: What’s interesting [now] is that there is an emergent new model…. It starts with the premise that the data services and architecture should be on servers. We call it cloud computing they should be in a ‘cloud’ somewhere. And that if you have the right kind of browser or the right kind of access, it doesn’t matter whether you have a PC or a Mac or a mobile phone or a BlackBerry or what have you or new devices still to be developed you can get access to the cloud.

For over a decade ago, these words are quite visionary- except the part about BlackBerry, although not surprising in retrospect that Googles Android mobile platform debuted just over a year later, which for sure has contributed to the popularity of cloud computing.

Cloud computing does simplify things for companies. The burden of owning your own data center and company infrastructure is gone. Rather, the company can then rent the applications, processing power, and storage they need from their cloud service provider. Costs at the front end are reduced, and the company only pays for what they actually need and use, with the ability for it to grow as needed, on demand. Also, the maintenance and updates are all done by the cloud service provider, reducing the tasks for in house IT.

The first half of cloud computing is the cloud. While the cloud is not local to the computer, there is some variation to where it is located. For example, there is the term public cloud where the company is not responsible for the upkeep of the server.

Its counterpoint is private cloud, where the company takes on the maintenance, and is physically at the location, known as on-premises cloud, or more remote at a data center. Private cloud is often used for more data sensitive applications to maintain control of the data for a higher level of security.

A popular solution today combines aspects of a private cloud with a public cloud, gaining advantages of distributing the workloads for optimal performance, which is known as a hybrid cloud solution. There is also the variant of a community cloud where multiple organizations create and maintain their own cloud solution in a collaborative effort.

The other half of cloud computing is the computing part, and these days just about any application that does not have the requirement that you need to be in close physical proximity to the computing hardware is amenable to cloud computing.

These cloud computing applications get placed into several categories. A popular one is SaaS, which is known as Software-as-a-Service. Other variants of cloud computing applications include PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service).

A popular example of SaaS is the Microsoft Office 365 suite. Rather than run the program locally, Office 365 is sold as a subscription. For the price of $9.99/month, all the Microsoft Office applications are included. Advantages include that the software, as it is hosted on their server, is continuously kept up to date, and documents are backed up to the cloud for reliable storage, and ease of sharing. Other popular examples of SaaS include Adobe Creative Cloud, Slack, DocuSign and Salesforce.com.

PaaS is the second type of cloud-based computing platform, complete with an operating system, a programming language execution environment, as well as a database.

A popular example of a PaaS is Microsoft Azure, which is used by top organizations including Toyota, UPS and Coca-Cola – in fact Microsoft claims that 90% of Fortune 500 companies use it. The hosting is done across 54 Azure datacenter regions available in 140 countries.

Folks use Microsoft Azure for a variety of diverse projects, including management of SQL relational databases, cloud-based Microsoft or Linux based virtual machines, and cloud based web apps via Microsoft Azure WebApps. Other examples of PaaS include IBM SmartCloud, the open source RedHat OpenShift, the Google App engine, and Java-based CloudBees.

The third main category of cloud computing is Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). In this variant, the goal is to provide virtualized computing resources through the internet, with the cloud provider hosting a full suite of infrastructure services, including servers, storage, and networking, and a virtualization layer- in essence everything that would be required at an onsite data center.

IaaS provides essential services such as security, log access, monitoring services, and storage resiliency to provide a more robust offering than if it was hosted locally, with a turnkey solution.

There are many examples of IaaS, with popular ones including Amazon Web Services, Rackspace Open Cloud, Google Compute Engine, and Apache CloudStack. In fact, Amazon Web Services is so popular, that last year all of the entire companies operating income was derived from their cloud offering.

With the power of shared resources in the cloud, whether for software, as a platform, or an entire infrastructure, it is no wonder that cloud computing has enjoyed such large popularity.

For all indications it really looks like when it comes to the future of cloud computing, the sky’s the limit.

Continued here:
What is cloud computing? | TechRadar

Cloud Computing – Articles & Whitepapers | Oracle Technology …

Cloud Computing Recent Articles

Oracle Identity Cloud Service: AD Bridge High-Availability Configuration Using Docker and Windows Containers [October 2017]by Ricardo GutierrezPart of the IDCS Deep Dive series exploring hybrid scenarios, this article focuses on integration with Microsoft Active Directory, an on-premise infrastructure present in most organizations.

Introduction to Oracle Messaging Cloud Service [August 2017]by Phil Wilkins This article examines the Oracle Messaging Cloud Service (OCMS) web API that sits over that messaging engine, and also looks at the cool moves OMCS can throw that give messaging a 21st century shine.

Oracle Java Cloud Service, Oracle JET and ADF BC REST Production Experience – Technical Tips and Tricks [May 2017]by Andrejus Baranovskis Oracle ACE Director Andrejus Baranovskis and his team recently used Oracle Java Cloud Service, Oracle JET, and ADF BC REST to develop an application for a Lithuanian start-up. This article describes the development experience in deep technical detail.

Sample Chapter: Integrations Between SaaS Applications [April 2017]by Robert van Molken and Phil WilkinsThis sample chapter from Implementing Oracle Integration Cloud Service (2017, Packt Publishing) explores how to integrate SaaS solutions, and shows how you can test your integration without affecting a live system.

Docker in the Cloud: Oracle Container Cloud Service [Feb 2017]by Dr. Frank MunzGet deep background on Docker and its use, and a technical introduction to the Oracle Container Cloud Service (OCCS) and its key components.

Oracle Cloud Integration [February 2016]by Joel Perez and Arturo ViverosThis four-part series by Oracle ACE Director Joel Perez and Oracle ACE Associate Arturo Viveros focuses on cloud integration and is directed towards IT managers and architects, particularly those who are hungry for knowledge related to cloud solutions and the dynamics involved when attempting to integrate them effectively into established business architectures.

SOA Cloud Service in a Nutshell [February 2016]by Arturo Viveros, Robert van Molken, and Rolando CarrascoIn this article Oracle ACE Associates Arturo Viveros and Robert van Molken, and Oracle ACE Rolando Carraso discuss Oracle SOA Cloud Service in detail, together with its implications, possible use cases and scenarios. The authors also attempt to clarify some potentially confusing elements and draw some first-hand conclusions on the present and future of the product.

Building and Testing Databound Web Applications using JCS, DCS and JDeveloper 12c [October 2015]by Kumar ShahiThis article showcases the simplicity of using Oracle Java Cloud Service (JCS), Oracle Database Cloud Service (DCS) and JDeveloper 12c to develop, deploy and test Web Applications.

Sample Chapter: CIO’s Guide to Oracle Cloud Computing (August 2014]by Jessica KeyesThis sample chapter from The CIO’s Guide to Oracle Products and Solutions focuses on “features and benefits; management best practices; user/developer lessons learned; management considerations; compliance and security considerations, and management metrics.”

Sample Chapter: eCommerce in the Cloud [April 2014]by Kelly GoetscheCommerce in the Cloud author Kelly Goetsch shows you “how you can quickly and incrementally adopt cloud computing for any ecommerce platforms, whether packaged or custom, new or legacy.”

SOA and Cloud Computing [April 2014]by Jrgen Kress, Berthold Maier, Hajo Normann, Danilo Schmeidel, Guido Schmutz, Bernd Trops, Clemens Utschig-Utschig, Torsten WinterbergThe final article in the Industrial SOA article series takes a look at the relationship between SOA and Cloud Computing, and offers insight into how SOA principles can help to insure the long-term success and business value of the migration to the Cloud.

SOA, Cloud, and Service Technologies [August 2012]Best selling SOA author Thomas Erl and Oracle SOA experts Tim Hall and Demed L’Her explore the evolution of IT architecture and the emerging role of the IT architect in this edited transcript of an OTN ArchBeat podcast.

The Role of the Cloud Architect [July 2012]by Bob Rhubart Cloud architects talk about the role’s unique challenges and the skills needed to meet them.

Software Architecture for High Availability in the Cloud [June 2012]by Brian JimersonA look at the paradigm shifts in designing fault tolerance from machine-based architectures to cloud-based architectures, and how enterprise applications need to be engineered to ensure the highest level of availability in the cloud.

Discussion: Public, Private, and Hybrid Clouds [June 2012]by Bob RhubartA panel of leading Oracle experts on cloud computing compares and contrasts the various flavors of cloud computing in this transcript of an OTN ArchBeat Podcast.

Community Roundtable: Agility versus Architecture [May 2012]by Bob RhubartWhat happens to architecture in the rush to deliver solutions? A community panel discusses finding a balance.

Community Roundtable: Architecture, Confidence, and the Cloud [May 2012]by Bob RhubartCloud computing may be a new take on not-so-new concepts, but getting it right still requires an architectural approach.

Are You Ready to Compete Against the Public Cloud? [January 2012]by Robert Covington and Brad GoodwinA look at two companies that have embarked on a transformational journey that embraces many core aspects of cloud architecture.

Everything is PaaSible (from InfoQ) [December 2011]by William VambenepeWilliam Vambenepe takes a look at PaaS as an enabler especially in the enterprisethat will afford business advantages in terms of cost, time to market and choice of tools.

Using Oracle Coherence with Spring Batch for High-Performance Data Processing [December 2011]by Vijay NairHow using the Spring Batch framework, in combination with a multithreaded approach to data loading, can improve the manageability and performance Coherence-based applications

A Brief Introduction on Migrating to an Oracle-based Cloud Environment (from Syngress) [November 2011] by Tom LaszewskiAddressing multi-tenancy and other key cloud considerations.

Migrating to the Cloud: Methodology and Design [Sept 2011]by Tom Laszewski and Prakash NauduriA sample chapter from Migrating to the Cloud.

The Cloud Computing Pre-Nup [May 2011]by Bob RhubartThe cloud represents a relationship. Know how to get out before you jump in.

More Cloud Computing articles…

Simplifying Cloud Integration [January 2014]by David Baum, Rajesh Raheja, Bruce Tierney, Ram Menon, and Vijay PawaThis white paper describes the role Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle data integration products can play in integrating on-premise and cloud applications, such as Oracle Fusion Applications, Salesforce.com, and Workday.

Accelerate the Journey to Enterprise Cloud with Oracle Database 12c [July 2013]by Burt ClouseThis paper examines the new features in Oracle Database 12c and how those features can accelerate the implementation of an enterprise cloud.

Consolidation Best Practices: Oracle Database 12c [July 2013]by Troy AnthonyThis paper provides and overview of Oracle Database 12c’s capabilities for consolidating application workloads.

Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services [November 2013]by Burt ClouseThe first step in the transition from silod, purpose-built IT practices to a modern cloud is standardization. The key deliverable that supports standardization is a service catalog. This paper explores service catalogs and how they create and enforce effective standardization.

Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure on SPARC: An Oracle Optimized Solution [June 2012]by Roger BitarRecommendations and best practices for optimizing virtualization infrastructures when deploying the Oracle Optimized Solution for Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure on SPARC.

Network Isolation in Private Database Clouds [April 2012]This white paper focuses on the options and features that can be used to provide network isolation in an Oracle Private Database Cloud configuration.

Candidate Selection Tool: Guiding Cloud Adoption [Dec. 2011]by Bob HensleThis white paper describes an evaluation framework created to help IT organizations determine which applications, services, modules, components, etc., are appropriate for deployment to a public or private cloud.

Cloud Computing Maturity Model: Guiding Success with Cloud Capabilities [Dec. 2011]by Scott Mattoon, Bob Hensle, and James BatySuccessful adoption of a Cloud model depends on careful planning that addresses the full range of capabilities implied by a comprehensive Cloud Computing strategy.

Database as a Service – Reference Architecture Overview [Sept. 2011]This white paper introduces and defines the concept of Database as a Service and elaborates on the benefits of implementing a DBaaS strategy.

Advancing Business Innovation through the Cloud [June 2011]by Saugatuck TechnologyWinners in the new competitive landscape will be those businesses that adopt Cloud solutions to fundamentally change their business models, not simply to improve the efficiency of IT.

Oracle Optimized Solution for Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure [May 2011]This paper provides recommendations and best practices for optimizing virtualization infrastructures when deploying the Oracle Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure.

More Cloud Computing white papers…

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Cloud Computing – Articles & Whitepapers | Oracle Technology …

Cloud Computing 2nd Edition: 2018: Mr. Ray Rafaels …

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Cloud Computing: Theory and Practice: Dan C. Marinescu …

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Cloud Computing: Theory and Practice: Dan C. Marinescu …

Programming Lesson Plan: Program Your Partner

Grade: 11-12

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.7

Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Grade: 03

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.7

Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

Grade: 04

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.10

By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 45 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Grade: 04

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.7

Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.

Grade: 05

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3

Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

Grade: 05

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.7

Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

Grade: 06

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.7

Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

Grade: 07

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.7

Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each mediums portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).

Grade: 08

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.7

Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.

Grade: 09, 10

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.7

Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a persons life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.

Grade: 11-12

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.3

Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.

Grade: 11-12

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 1112 texts and topics.

Grade: 11-12

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.7

Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Grade: 11-12

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.9

Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.

Grade: 06, 07, 08

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.3

Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

Grade: 06, 07, 08

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 68 texts and topics.

Grade: 06, 07, 08

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.7

Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).

Grade: 09, 10

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.3

Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.

Grade: 09, 10

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 910 texts and topics.

Grade: 09, 10

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.5

Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy).

Grade: 09, 10

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.7

Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.

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Programming Lesson Plan: Program Your Partner

Cloud Computing | Definition of Cloud Computing by Merriam …

Rekognition uses Amazon’s cloud computing network AWS to compare images to a database of images the customer has provided.

Amazon still makes the bulk of its money through the sales of goods and its widely used cloud computing business, Amazon Web Services, but its advertising business is growing.

The Dream Box made its debut in Europe last year, selling units to companies such as LOreal and cloud computing firm OVH, said Galia Jacobs, a spokeswoman for Silence Business Solutions.

But Lowery says the real problem for the company are new types of cloud computing services, such as Amazon’s Lambda, which enable developers to run small bits of code in the cloud without virtual machines or containers.

Over the prior five years, the companys stock price had fallen 31%, as slipping personal computer sales, the mobile computing revolution, and the beginning of the cloud computing revolution all ate into sales and profits.

Salesforce is a cloud computing pioneer that helped popularize the software-as-a-service business model.

Meltdown and Spectre created something of a meltdown in the cloud computing world.

Lowery says there’s little opportunity for Dell to get back into the market of selling servers to cloud computing providers.

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Cloud Computing | Definition of Cloud Computing by Merriam …

Cloud computing information, news and tips …

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Cloud computing – A simple introduction – Explain that Stuff

by Chris Woodford. Last updated: March 19, 2017.

History has a funny way of repeating itself, or so they say. But it may come as some surprise to find this old clich applies just as much to the history of computers as to wars, revolutions, and kings and queens. For thelast three decades, one trend in computing has been loud and clear:big, centralized, mainframe systems have been “out”;personalized, power-to-the-people, do-it-yourself PCs have been “in.”Before personal computers took off in the early 1980s, if yourcompany needed sales or payroll figures calculating in a hurry, you’dmost likely have bought in “data-processing” servicesfrom another company, with its own expensive computer systems, thatspecialized in number crunching; these days, you can do the jobjust as easily on your desktop with off-the-shelf software. Or canyou? In a striking throwback to the 1970s, many companies arefinding, once again, that buying in computer services makes morebusiness sense than do-it-yourself. This new trend is called cloudcomputing and, not surprisingly, it’s linked to the Internet’sinexorable rise. What is cloud computing? How does it work? Let’stake a closer look!

Photo: Cloud computing: the hardware, software, and applicationsyou’re using may be anywhere up in the “cloud.” As long as it all does what you want, you don’t needto worry where it is or how it works.

Cloud computing means that instead of all the computer hardware and software you’re using sitting on your desktop, or somewhere inside your company’s network, it’sprovided for you as a service by another company and accessedover the Internet, usually in a completely seamless way. Exactlywhere the hardware and software is located and how it all worksdoesn’t matter to you, the userit’s just somewhere up in thenebulous “cloud” that the Internet represents.

Cloud computing is a buzzword that means different things to different people. For some, it’s justanother way of describing IT (information technology) “outsourcing”;others use it to mean any computing service provided over theInternet or a similar network; and some define it as any bought-in computerservice you use that sits outside your firewall. However wedefine cloud computing, there’s no doubt it makes most sense when westop talking about abstract definitions and look at some simple, realexamplesso let’s do just that.

Screenshot: Soundcloudone of my favorite examples of a website (and mobile app) that uses cloud computing to good effect. Musicians and DJs upload their music, which “followers” can listen to (or preview) for free through real-time streaming. You can build up a personal collection of tracks you like and access them from any device, anytime, anywhere. The music you listen to stays up in the cloud: in theory, there is only ever one copy of every music file that’s uploaded. Where is the music stored? No-one but Soundcloud needs to knowor care.

Most of us use cloud computing all day long without realizing it. When you sit atyour PC and type a query into Google, the computer on your desk isn’tplaying much part in finding the answers you need: it’s no more thana messenger. The words you type are swiftly shuttled over the Net toone of Google’s hundreds of thousands of clustered PCs, which dig out your results and send them promptly back to you. When you do a Googlesearch, the real work in finding your answers might be done by acomputer sitting in California, Dublin, Tokyo, or Beijing; you don’t knowand most likely you don’t care!

The same applies to Web-based email. Once upon a time, email was something you could only send and receive using a program running on your PC (sometimes called a mail client). But thenWeb-based services such as Hotmail came along and carried email offinto the cloud. Now we’re all used to the idea that emails can bestored and processed through a server in some remote part of the world, easilyaccessible from a Web browser, wherever we happen to be. Pushing email off intothe cloud makes it supremely convenient for busy people, constantly on the move.

Preparing documents over the Net is a newer example of cloud computing. Simply log on toa web-based service such as Google Documents and you cancreate a document, spreadsheet, presentation, or whatever you like usingWeb-based software. Instead of typing your words into a program like Microsoft Word orOpenOffice, running on your computer, you’re using similar software running on a PC at one of Google’s world-wide data centers. Like an email drafted on Hotmail,the document you produce is stored remotely, on a Web server, so you can access it from anyInternet-connected computer, anywhere in the world, any time you like. Do you knowwhere it’s stored? No! Do you care where it’s stored? Again, no! Using a Web-basedservice like this means you’re “contracting out” or “outsourcing”some of your computing needs to a company such as Google: they pay the cost ofdeveloping the software and keeping it up-to-date and they earn backthe money to do this through advertising and other paid-for services.

“You don’t generate your own electricity. Why generate your own computing?”

Jeff Bezos, Amazon.

Most importantly, the service you use is provided by someone else andmanaged on your behalf. If you’re using Google Documents, you don’thave to worry about buying umpteen licenses for word-processingsoftware or keeping them up-to-date. Nor do you have to worryabout viruses that might affect your computer or about backing up thefiles you create. Google does all that for you.One basic principle of cloud computing is that you no longer need to worry how the service you’re buying is provided: with Web-based services, you simply concentrate on whateveryour job is and leave the problem of providing dependablecomputing to someone else.

Cloud services are available on-demand and often bought on a “pay-as-you go” orsubscription basis. So you typically buy cloud computing the same wayyou’d buy electricity, telephone services, or Internet access from autility company. Sometimes cloud computing is free or paid-for inother ways (Hotmail is subsidized by advertising, for example). Just like electricity, you can buy as much or as little of a cloud computing service as you need fromone day to the next. That’s great if your needs vary unpredictably: it means you don’t have to buy your own gigantic computersystem and risk have it sitting there doing nothing.

Now we all have PCs on our desks, we’re used to having complete control overour computer systemsand complete responsibility for them as well. Cloud computing changes all that. It comes in two basic flavors, public and private, which are the cloud equivalents of the Internet and Intranets. Web-based email and free services like the ones Google provides are the most familiar examplesof public clouds. The world’s biggest online retailer, Amazon, becamethe world’s largest provider of public cloud computing in early 2006. Whenit found it was using only a fraction of its huge, global, computing power, it started renting out its spare capacity over the Netthrough a new entity called Amazon Web Services (AWS). Private cloud computing works in much the same way but you access the resources you usethrough secure network connections, much like an Intranet. Companies such as Amazon alsolet you use their publicly accessible cloud to make your own secure private cloud,known as a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), using virtual private network (VPN) connections.

IT people talk about three different kinds of cloud computing, where differentservices are being provided for you. Note that there’s a certain amount of vaguenessabout how these things are defined and some overlap between them.

What’s good and bad about cloud computing?

The pros of cloud computing are obvious and compelling. If your business is sellingbooks or repairing shoes, why get involved in the nitty gritty ofbuying and maintaining a complex computer system? If you run aninsurance office, do you really want your sales agents wasting timerunning anti-virus software, upgrading word-processors, or worryingabout hard-drive crashes? Do you really want them cluttering yourexpensive computers with their personal emails, illegally shared MP3 files,and naughty YouTube videoswhen you could leave that responsibilityto someone else? Cloud computing allows you to buy in only theservices you want, when you want them, cutting the upfront capital costs of computers and peripherals. You avoid equipment going out of date andother familiar IT problems like ensuring system security and reliability.You can add extra services (or take them away) at a moment’s notice as your business needs change.It’s really quick and easy to add new applications or services to yourbusiness without waiting weeks or months for the new computer (andits software) to arrive.

Photos: Cloud computing: forward to the future… or back to the past? In the 1970s, the Apple ][ became the world’s first, bestselling small business computer thanks to a killer-application called VisiCalc, the first widely available computer spreadsheet. It revolutionized business computing, giving middle managers the power to crunch business data on their desktops, all by themselves, without relying on slow, centralized computer departments or bought-in data processing. Critics are concerned that cloud computing could be disempoweringa throwback to the 1970s world of centralized, proprietary computing.

Instant convenience comes at a price. Instead of purchasing computers and software, cloudcomputing means you buy services, so one-off, upfront capitalcosts become ongoing operating costs instead. That might work outmuch more expensive in the long-term.

If you’re using software as a service (for example, writing a report using an online word processor or sending emailsthrough webmail), you need a reliable, high-speed, broadband Internet connectionfunctioning the whole time you’re working. That’s something we take for granted in countries such as the United States, but it’s much more of an issue in developing countries or rural areas where broadband is unavailable.

If you’re buying in services, you can buy only what people are providing, so you may be restrictedto off-the-peg solutions rather than ones that precisely meet your needs.Not only that, but you’re completely at the mercy of your suppliers if they suddenlydecide to stop supporting a product you’ve come to depend on.(Google, for example, upset many users when it announced in September 2012 that its cloud-based Google Docs would drop support for oldbut de facto standard Microsoft Office file formats such as .DOC, .XLS, and .PPT, giving a mere one week’s noticeof the changealthough, after public pressure, it later extended the deadlineby three months.) Critics charge that cloud-computing is a return to the bad-old days of mainframes andproprietary systems, where businesses are locked into unsuitable, long-termarrangements with big, inflexible companies. Instead of using”generative” systems (ones that can be added to and extended in exciting waysthe developers never envisaged), you’re effectively using “dumb terminals” whose uses are severelylimited by the supplier. Good for convenience and security, perhaps, but whatwill you lose in flexibility? And is such a restrained approach good for the futureof the Internet as a whole? (To see why it may not be, take a look at Jonathan Zittrain’s eloquent bookThe Future of the InternetAnd How to Stop It.)

Think of cloud computing as renting a fully serviced flat instead of buying a home of yourown. Clearly there are advantages in terms of convenience, butthere are huge restrictions on how you can live and what you can alter. Willit automatically work out better and cheaper for you in the long term?

We’ve just had a quick and simple sketch of cloud computingand if that’s allyou need, you can stop reading now. This section fills in some of the details, asks some deeper questions,looks at current trends, such as the shift to mobile devices, and explores challenging issues like privacy and security.

The figures speak for themselves: in every ITsurvey, news report, and pundit’s op-ed, cloud computing seems theonly show in town. Back in 2008, almost a decade ago, the PewInternet project reported that 69 percent of all Internet users had”either stored data online or used a web-based softwareapplication” (in other words, by their definition, used some formof cloud computing). In 2009, Gartner priced the value of cloudcomputing at $58.6 billion, in 2010 at $68.3 billion, and in 2012 atover $102 billion. In 2013, management consultants McKinsey andCompany forecast cloud computing (and related trends like big data,growing mobilization, and the Internet of Things) could have a”collective economic impact” of between $1020 trillion by 2025.In 2016, Amazon revealed that its AWS offshoot, the world’s biggest provider of cloud computing, is now a $10 billion-a-year business;the Microsoft Cloud isn’t far behind.

So the numbers keep on creeping up and it’s anexciting trend, to be sure. But there’s one important word ofcaution: how you measure and forecast something as vague as “thecloud” depends on how you define it: if the definition keepsexpanding, perhaps that’s one reason why the market keeps expandingtoo? Way back in the 1990s, no-one described Yahoo! Mail or Hotmailas examples of cloud computing, Geocities was simply a community ofamateur websites, and Amazon and eBay were just new ways of findingand buying old stuff. In 2010, in its breathless eagerness to talk upcloud computing, the Pew Internet project had rounded up everyweb-based service and application it could think of and fired it tothe sky. WordPress and Twitter were examples of cloud blogging,Google Docs and Gmail were cloud-based, and suddenly so too wereYahoo! Mail, buying things from eBay and Amazon, and even (bizarrely)RSS feeds (which date back to the late 1990s). Using “the cloud”as a loose synonym for “the Web,” then expressing astonishmentthat it’s growing so fast seems tautologous at best, since we knowthe Internet and Web have grown simply by virtue of having moreconnected users and more (especially more mobile) devices. Accordingto Pew, what these users prized were things like easy access toservices from absolutely anywhere and simple data storing or sharing.This is a circular argument as well: one reason we like “the cloud”is because we’ve defined it as a bunch of likeable websitesFacebook,Twitter, Gmail, and all the rest.

Businesses have shrewder and more interestingreasons for liking the cloud. Instead of depending on MicrosoftOffice, to give one very concrete example, they can use free,cloud-based open-source alternatives such as Google Docs. So thereare obvious cost and practical advantages: you don’t have to worryabout expensive software licenses or security updates, and your staffcan simply and securely share documents across business locations(and work on them just as easily from home). Using cloud computing torun applications has a similarly compelling business case: you canbuy in as much (or little) computing resource as you need at anygiven moment, so there’s no problem of having to fund expensiveinfrastructure upfront. If you run something like an ecommercewebsite on cloud hosting, you can scale it up or down for the holidayseason or the sales, just as you need to. Best of all, you don’t needa geeky IT department becausebeyond commodity computers runningopen-source web browsersyou don’t need IT.

When we say cloud computing is growing, do we simply meanthat more people (and more businesses) are usingthe Web (and using it to do more) than they used to? Actually we doand that’s why it’simportant not to be too loose with our definitions. Cloud web hostingis much more sophisticated than ordinary web-hosting, for example,even thoughfrom the viewpoint of the webmaster and the personaccessing a websiteboth work in almost exactly the same way. Thisweb page is coming to you courtesy of cloud hosting where, a decadeago, it ran on a simple, standalone server. It’s running on the sameopen-source Apache server software that it used then and you canaccess it in exactly the same way (with http and html). Thedifference is that it can cope with a suddenly spike in traffic inthe way it couldn’t back then: if everyone in the United Statesaccessed this web page at the same time, the grid of servers hostingit would simply scale and manage the demand intelligently. The photosand graphics on the page (and some of the other technical stuff thathappens behind the scenes) are served from a cloud-based ContentDelivery Network (CDN): each file comes from a server in Washington, DC, Singapore,London, or Mumbai, or a bunch of other “edge locations,” depending on where in the world you (the browser) happen to be.

This example illustrates three key points ofdifference between cloud-based services and applications and similarones accessed over the web. One is the concept of elasticity(which is a similar idea to scalability):a cloud service or application isn’t limited to what a particularserver can cope with; it can automatically expand or contract itscapacity as needed. Another is the dynamic nature of cloudservices: they’re not provided from a single, static server. A third,related idea is that cloud services are seamlesswhetheryou’re a developer or an end user, everything looks the same,however, wherever, and with whatever device you use it.

Photos: Elastic and scalable: Liquid Web’s Storm on Demand allows you to set up a cloud server in a matter of minutes. With a couple of mouse clicks, you can resize your server (upgrade or downgrade the memory, for example)to cope with changes in demandfor example, in the run up to a Black Friday sale. Every aspect of the service is pay-as-you-go. It’s easy to use even if you have little or no experience of setting up or managing dedicated servers.

One of the biggest single drivers of cloudcomputing is the huge shift away from desktop computers to mobiledevices, which (historically, at least) had much less processingpower onboard. Web-connected smartphones, tablets, Kindles, and othermobile devices are examples of what used to be called “thinclients” or “network computers” because they rely on theservers they’re connected to, via the network (usually the Internet),to do most of the work. A related trend referred to as bring yourown device (BYOD) reflects the way that many companies now allowtheir employees to logon to corporate networks or websites usingtheir own laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

From the smartphone in your pocket to the mythicalfridge that orders your milk, the number and range of devicesconnected to the Internet is increasing all the time. A new trendcalled the Internet of Thingsanticipates a massive increase inconnected devices as everyday objects and things with built-insensors (home heating controllers, home security webcams, and evenparcels in transit) get their own IP addresses and become capable ofsending and receiving data to anything or anyone else that’s online.That will fuel the demand for cloud computing even more.

Photo: Mobile cloud: The shift to mobile devices and the growth of cloud computing are mutually reinforcing trends. Mobile devices are much more useful thanks to cloud-based apps like these, provided by Google. In other words, one reason for buying a mobile is because of the extra (cloud-based) things you can do with it. But these services are also thriving because they have ever-increasing numbers of users, many of them on smartphones.

How significant is the shift to mobile? By anymeasurement, phenomenal and dramatic. Bearing in mind that there wasonly one functioning mobile phone in 1973 when Martin Cooper made thefirst cellphone call, it’s staggering to find that there are now anestimated 8 billion mobile subscriptions (more than one for everyperson on the planet). By 2012, Goldman Sachs was telling us that 66percent of Net-connected devices were mobiles, compared to just 29percent desktops. Mobile Internet traffic finally overtook desktoptraffic in 2014/15, according to Comscore and, in response, Googlerolled out a “mobile-friendly” algorithm in 2015 to encouragewebmasters to optimize their sites so they worked equally well onsmartphones.

Cloud computing makes it possible for cellphonesto be smartphones and for tablets to do the sorts of things that weused to do on desktops, but it also encourages us to do more thingswith those devicesand so on, in a virtuous circle. For example, ifyou buy a smartphone, you don’t simply do things on your phone thatyou used to do on your PC: you spend more time online overall, usingapps and services that you previously wouldn’t have used at all.Cloud computing made mobile devices feasible, so people bought themin large numbers, driving the development of more mobile apps andbetter mobile devices, and so on.

Stare high to the sky and you can watch cloudsdrift by or, if you’re more scientific and nuanced, start to teaseout the differences between cumulus, cirrus, and stratus. In much thesame way, computing aficionados draw a distinction between differenttypes of cloud. Public clouds are provided by people such asAmazon, Google, and IBM: in theory, all users share space and time onthe same cloud and access it the same way. Many companies, forexample, use Gmail to power their Internet mail and share documentsusing Google Drivein pretty much the same way that you or I mightdo so as individuals. Private clouds work technically the sameway but service a single company and are either managed exclusivelyby that company or by one of the big cloud providers on their behalf.They’re fully integrated with the company’s existing networks,Intranet, databases, and infrastructure, and span countries orcontinents in much the same way. Increasingly, companies find neitherof these bald alternatives quite fits the billthey need elementsof eachso they opt for hybrid clouds that combine the bestof both worlds, hooking up their existing IT infrastructure to apublic cloud system provided by someone like Amazon or Google. Othertrends to watch include the development of personal clouds,where you configure your own home network to work like a mini-cloud(so, for example, all your mobile devices can store and access filesseamlessly), and peer-to-peer cloud computing, in which thedynamic, scalable power of a cloud computing system is provided notby giant data centers but by many individual, geographicallydispersed computers arriving on the network, temporarily contributingto it, and then leaving again (as already happens with collaborativescience projects like SETI@home and ClimatePrediction.net).

Security has always been an obvious concern forpeople who use cloud computing: if your data is remote and travelingback and forth over the Internet, what’s to keep it safe? Perhapssurprisingly, many IT professionals think cloud-based systems areactually more secure than conventional ones. Ifyou’re buying into Google’s, Amazon’s, or Microsoft’s cloud-based services, you’re also buyinginto world-class expertise at keeping data safe; could youor your ITteammanage security as well? Security can therefore be seen as acompelling reason to migrate to cloud-based systems rather than areason to avoid them.

Privacy is a more nuanced and complex issue. Whilewe all understand what we mean by keeping data secure, what do wemean by keeping it private in a world where users of cloud-basedservices like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat happily share anythingand everything online? One of the complications is so-called bigdata, the statistical (“analytic”) information that companieslike Google and Facebook gather about the way we use theircloud-based services (and other websites that use those services).Google, for example, collects huge amounts of data through itsadvertising platforms and no-one knows exactly what happens to itafterward. Facebook knows an enormous amount about what people saythey “like,” which means it can compile detailed profiles of allits users. And Twitter knows what you tweet, retweet, and favoritesoit has similar data to Facebook. The quid-pro-quo for “free”web-based services and apps is that you pay for what you use with aloss of privacy, typically to power targeted advertisements.

Another complication is that privacy meansdifferent things in different parts of the world. In Europe, forexample, the European Union has strict restrictions on how data canbe moved in bulk from one country to another or shared by companieslike Google that have multiple subsidiaries operating across countries andcontinents. While Internet-based cloud computing makes nationalboundaries obsolete, real-world laws still operate according toold-fashioned geographyand that could act as a serious brake onthe aspirations of many big cloud providers.

When it comes to the everyday web services we allenjoy, there may be different kinds of clouds on the horizon. Asweb-based advertising dwindles in effectiveness, one future concernmust be how companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter willcontinue to fund their ever-growing, (essentially) cloud-based,services without using our data in increasingly dubious ways. Part ofthe reason for the huge growth in popularity of services like this issimply that they’re free. Would Facebook be so popular if we had topay for it through a monthly subscription? If Google Docs cost money,would we slink back to our desktop PCs and Microsoft Word? Can advertising continue to sustain an ever-growing field of cloud-basedservices and apps as the number of Internet users and Net-connecteddevices continues to grow? Watch this space!

In theory, cloud computing is environmentally friendly because it uses fewer resources(servers, cooling systems, and all the rest) and less energy if 10 people share anefficiently run, centralized, cloud-based system than if each of them run their owninefficient local system. One hosting provider in the UK told me that his company hasembraced cloud systems because it means they can handle more customers on far fewerphysical servers, with big savings in equipment, maintenance, and energy costs.In theory, cloud computing should be a big win for the environment; in practice,it’s not quite so simple.

Ironically, given the way we’ve defined cloud computing, it matters where your cloud serversare located and how they’re powered. If they’re in data centers powered by coal, instead of cleaner fuels such as natural gas or (better still) renewable energy, the overall environmental impact could be worse than your current setup. There’s been a lot of debate about the energy use of huge data centers, partly thanks to Greenpeace highlighting the issue once a year since 2009. In its 2011 report[PDF] How Dirty is Your Data Center: A Look at the Energy Choices that Power Cloud Computing, it ranked cloud computing providers like Akamai and Amazon on eco-friendliness, alongside companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter whose services are underpinned by a massive global network of data centers. By 2017, in a report calledClicking Clean, Greenpeace was congratulating around 20 of the biggest data center operators (including Apple, Facebook, and Google) for starting on the path toward 100 percent renewable energy. In the United States in particular, quite a few cloud (and web hosting) providers explicitly state whether their servers are powered by conventional or green energy, and it’s relatively easy to find carbon-neutral service providers if that’s an important factor for your business and its CSR (corporate social responsibility) objectives.

Chart: Growth in energy use in data centers from 2007 to 2013. Drawn by us using data from the 2012 study by DatacenterDynamics (DCD) Intelligence published in Computer Weekly, October 8, 2012. I’ve struggled to find figures for the years from 2014 onward; as soon as I do, I’ll update the chart!

When it comes to overall impact on the planet, there’s another issue to consider. If cloud services simply move things you would do in your own office or home to the cloud, that’s one thing; the environmental impact merely transfers elsewhere. But a lot of cloud- and Internet-based services are encouraging us to use more computers and gadgets like iPads and iPhones for longer, spending more time online, and doing more things that we didn’t previously do at all. In that sense, cloud computing is helping to increase global energy use and greenhouse gas emissions so describing it as environmentally friendly is highly misleading.That was evident from a 2012 study by DatacenterDynamics (DCD) Intelligence, the British Computer Society, and partners(reported in Computer Weekly), which showed that global energy use from data centers grew from 12 gigawatts (GW) in 2007 to 24GW in 2011 and predicted it would reach 43GW some time in 2013. However, a follow-up study revealed a significant slowing down of the rate of growth in cloud power consumption, from 19 percent in 2011/2 to around 7 percent in 2013. Growing concerns about the impact of cloud computing have also prompted imaginative new solutions.Later in 2013, for example, researchers at Trinity College Dublin and IBM announced they’d found a way to reduce cloud emissions by over 20 percent by using smart load balancing algorithms to spread out data processing between different data centers. Even so, with cloud computing predicted to become a $5 trillion business by 2020, power consumptionseems certain to go on increasing. Ultimately, the global environment, the bottomline trendever-increasing energy consumptionis the one that matters. It’s no good congratulating yourself on switching to diet Cola if you’re drinking four times more of it than you used to. In 2016, Peter Judge of DatacenterDynamics summed things up pithily: “No one talks much about total energy used by data centers because the figures you get for that are annoying, depressing and frustrating…. The truth is: data center power is out of control.”

From Google searches to Facebook updates and super-convenient Hotmail, most of us value the benefits of cloud computing very highly, so the energy consumption of data centers is bound to increaseand ensuring those big, power-hungry servers are fueled by green energy will become increasingly important in the years to come.

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Cloud computing – A simple introduction – Explain that Stuff

Doug H. – Boston Cloud Computing Meetup (Boston, MA) | Meetup

Today’s corporate officers and IT technologists are literally deluged with marketing hype over cloud, and the economic advantages of migrating business and IT functions and applications to the cloud.

We have seen corporate giants like NetFlix and Sabre (global reservation system used by major airline carriers) experience cloud-based system outages, causing customer delays and significantly impacting business not just in the US, but impacted globally in the case of Sabre.

There are hundreds of cloud providers to choose from in the market today. Not all are enterprise ready, despite their claims. And let’s face it, many have paid or biased positioning in leading independent studies released by highly respected IT research companies.

How does a CIO or CTO, and today’s CEO, tasked to identify the essential drivers of a business, navigate? Leading independent think tanks (Gartner, Aberdeen, IDC, etc) are not fully equipped to provide battle-tested and deep thorough analysis regarding the critical issues of cloud security, network throughput, reliability and ROI when it comes to enterprise grade customers. Researchers can only convey what they read and disseminate their opinions, not facts. Gartner (NYSE:IT) even has in its disclaimer that all analysis is “opinion and not based on facts.”

It’s time that we get real answers and share actual experiences from companies who are using enterprise grade cloud and from true technologists that has the experience and credentials to provide an unbiased roadmap.

GOAL: We create leaner, more efficient companies that is secure, reliable and has the ROI to start training our current employees, and bringing jobs back to the US workforce.

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Doug H. – Boston Cloud Computing Meetup (Boston, MA) | Meetup

Cloud computing at Ifes, IFs, and hospitals | RNP

In the second session on cloud computing of the III RNP Forum, representatives from hospitals and Federal Institutes of Higher Education (Institutos Federais de Ensino Superior – IFES) and of Education, Science and Technology (IFs) spoke about what they expect from cloud computing resources.

The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) Professor and Superintendent of Information Technology and Communication Gabriel Pereira da Silva expressed the universities desire. We want a cloud that will solve all our problems, where we can put all our systems.

One of the cloud applications that UFRJ offers to its community is the OJS, the electronic journal service provider, to meet the search area. For Gabriel, the Capes (Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel) Journals Portal is an important element for the community, but forgets the national production of increasingly electronic research and journals. Therefore, we offer the OJS, he said.

Carlos Thiago Garantizado, from the Federal Institute of Amazonas (IFAM), showed the IFs perspective in deploying services and cloud applications. We work with infrastructure, platform, and service. The biggest challenge is to provide security. Not only to provide it, but to transmit this security to the user, he affirmed.

When submitting a SWOT matrix of cloud deployment in IFs, he highlighted as a help for the institutes integration, the Federate Academic Community (CAFe) service and the technical expertise of the teams.

Moderated by Adenilson Raniery Pontes, from the Par Museum Emilio Goeldi (MPEG), the panel also included the participation of Marco Antonio Gutierrez, who heads the Computer Service and the Medical Informatics Laboratory of the Heart Institute (Instituto do Corao – Incor).

Gutierrez noted that health information systems must be made available very quickly. According to him, the hospital area, open cloud solutions cannot be used. We need to ensure the information confidentiality and secrecy.

At the end of his speech, the officer explained the economic constraints of healthcare industry regarding cloud computing. The investment in technology within hospitals is still seen as a cost and not as an investment. Therefore, we cannot evolve into private cloud solutions due to financial issues, he stated.

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Cloud computing at Ifes, IFs, and hospitals | RNP