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Cloud Computing



Abstract

During the last decades, cloud computing and database technology has undergone sustainable development. It has also become one of the most developed fields in the computer science. Cloud computing has become one of the most effective platforms for deploying web applications. It offers many advantages, such as scalability, elasticity, economies of scale and moderate pricing. Cloud computing has introduces a new way of information distribution. Cloud computing foresees the performing of different types of tasks with the applying of someone’s computers and software. Thus, database technology allows users to share pooled resources effectively and safely. At the same time, cloud computing can create a number of threats to the security of the information and data.

Keywords: cloud computing, database technology, service models, cloud computing types, cloud architecture

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Introduction

The development of technology during the last decades has introduced a number of easy ways for users to store and share information. Indeed, there is a great amount of computing platforms, such as laptops, personal computers and handheld devises that provide easy access to the information and services. In addition, web-based technologies allow obtaining the information at any time or place. The geographic borders and distances between the users and services have been eliminated. In order to provide an effective management and administration of applications and data, they were transmitted to network core, referred to as a cloud.

However, cloud computing remains a relatively new field that has to be defined. As a result, there are numbers of research problems that have to be addressed. The paper focuses on the issues of cloud computing and database infrastructure, architecture of cloud computing and application consistency. Current paper also examines different service models, such as Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Software as a service (SaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS) and Unified communication as a service (UCaaS). It is also discusses the types of cloud computing environment and peculiarities of cloud database. Finally, the paper evaluates the strengths and limitations of cloud computing.

Emergency of Cloud Computing

The emergency of cloud computing technology dates back to the middle of the 20th century. For instance, the first concepts of cloud computing were introduced with the applying of large-scale mainframe computers at the universities and corporations. Users received an opportunity to share the access to the computer from several terminals. The process became known as time-sharing (Strachey, 1959). During the 1990s, with the development of computing and telecommunication technology, cloud computing became capable of covering all servers and network infrastructure (Marks & Lozano, 2010).

However, cloud computing technology in the modern sense was first introduced in 1996. Compaq internal document became the first example of cloud computing (Regalado, 2011). The development of new technology started at the beginning of 21st century. Thus, in 2006, the Elastic Computer Cloud was proposed by Amazon.com. In 2008, a number of private clouds, such as OpenNebula, were launched. Cloud-based infrastructures became capable of providing high quality service. The model of per-use service-based technology received its development. Later, Rackspace Hosting, NASA, IBM and Oracle announced about introduction of cloud computing and database technology (Marks & Lozano, 2010). Cloud computing has become an integral part of modern computer technologies.

Definition of Cloud Computing

There is a number of definitions of cloud computing. In particular, it is often described as computing system based on the usage of the Internet, which involves large groups of remote servers that are connected in order to provide a centralized storage of data and online access to resources (Mell & Grance, 2011). Cloud computing technology foresees the usage of computing resources, such as hardware and software, which are transmitted through the network as a service. Thus, computing hardware and software can be used on a demand and have to be paid on a usage basis. As a result, cloud computing technology has changed the perception of distributed computing, such as server client computing (Wang, et al, 2012).

The US National Institute of Standards has provided several definitions of cloud computing. According to the researches of the Institute, cloud computing can be defined as: a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction (Mell, & Grance, 2011).

The technology of cloud computing is based on the concept of converged infrastructure and shared services. In particular, the appliance of cloud computing foresees that users can exchange and share different resources. At the same time, cloud computing allows achieving coherence and economies of scale. It also requires the maximizing of the shared data and services effectiveness. According to Sitaram & Manjunath (2011), “other main characteristics of cloud computing include the providing of on-demand self-service, broad network access and resource pooling, rapid elasticity and measured service.”.

Cloud Database

Data is traditionally shared in different formats based on XML. As a result, database technology had to develop and evolve in order to support XML and other formats of data. Despite the fact that all major databases remain focused on relational data storage, database products are capable of providing support for storage and access of the data in XML format. Traditional relational databases had to experience serious changes in order to support the large scales of the cloud computing. As a result, the highly distributed nature of cloud computing technology transformed databases into more specialized structures (Esrock, Munoz, & Neal, 2010).

Database technology used in cloud computing is defined as a database that operates on cloud platform. Cloud storage cannot be provided without applying of database technology. Thus, cloud database can be defined as optimized database storage, management and retrieval service provided on user’s demand through the Internet from a cloud provider’s server (Ray & Deka, 2014).

In a cloud, database can be processed by two methods. First method allows users to buy virtual machines for a particular period. Such method is known as virtual machine methods. Users can upload their own machine images or use existing ones. The second method provides an opportunity to use a database as a service. It does not require the launching of a virtual machine. It is known as Database as a service (DBaaS). In such case, users do not have to install database on their own. Providers are responsible for operating cloud databases. There is also a third type of the database operation. According to this method, database is located in a cloud but it is not provided as a service. It is operated on the user’s behalf.

Cloud database has two principal models of operation. They are SQL database and NoSQL database. The first model is represented by Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle Database. However, SQL model is not suited to a cloud environment. NoSQL database is more suited for operating in the cloud. Database can serve heavy read and write loads (Bai, 2014).

Cloud database has several advantages and disadvantages. According to Bhoyar and Chopde (2013), cloud database provides better availability, faster performance, bigger flexibility and lower prices. At the same time, it is difficult to maintain the integrity of the complex cloud database. There are also security problems, the absence of standards that cover a centralized database and increasing of complexity.

Cloud Infrastructure

In order to operate properly, cloud computing requires physical and computing infrastructure. Physical infrastructure is represented by the mechanical devices that provide basis for cloud operation. Such devices include power input and distribution, generators, power supplies, infrastructure partitioning and security, racks and cabinets. Computing infrastructure is responsible for the operating as a data center. Computing infrastructure cannot be referred to as a particular server. It includes external and internal networks, Internet connectivity, storage devices, computing hardware infrastructure, such as servers or storage machines and computing software infrastructure (Carstensen et al, 2012).

Thus, infrastructure represents a platform for the visualization of the cloud environment as a service. Cloud infrastructure has also to implement the fundamental constrains. They include transparency, security, scalability and intelligent monitoring.

Cloud Architecture

Cloud computing architecture is an integral part of the technology. It is represented by the number of the components that enable the operation of cloud. Cloud architecture consists of a certain amount of components. Components interact with each other in order to provide a service through a loose mechanism, known as queue. The structure of cloud computing can be represented by the front end and back end platforms.

Front end platform is defined as the client part of cloud structure. It is traditionally represented by the interfaces and applications that provide user with an access to cloud computing. The example of front end platform is Web Browser. Back end of the structure represents cloud. In particular, it consists of the compounds necessary for running of the cloud computing mechanism. Thus, back end comprises different types of data storage systems, virtual machines, security applications and mechanisms, deployment models, servers and services (Carstensen et al, 2012). The combination of two platforms represents cloud structure. Both platforms are connected with the help of a network and cloud based delivery system. Traditionally, the network is represented by the Internet.

Cloud Computing Models

Platform as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service and Software as a Service are three main components of cloud computing service. IaaS provides an organization with a model that outsources the equipment necessary for operations. IaaS foresees that there must be a foundation in order to operate the system properly. It provides all necessary infrastructure components of storage, servers and networking. The service provider owns and maintains the equipment. The client usually pays for the usage of equipment. Thus, client rents infrastructure instead of buying it. Provider has better skills in operating the infrastructure and the client receives good quality service (Bhoyar & Chopde, 2013).

Software as a Service can be defined as a software distribution model when applications are held by a provider, who is responsible for making it available for the customer. SaaS is responsible for the quality of the rented infrastructure and the client has to pay only for software he uses (Marks & Lozano, 2010).

Platform as a Service is a way that helps renting necessary hardware, operating systems or storage over the Internet. It provides a client with an opportunity to rent virtualized servers and services for using existing or developing new applications. PaaS ensures that operating system can be upgraded frequently. PaaS provides an opportunity to build something valuable. It differs from infrastructure as a client has to worry about underlying services. It also differs from SaaS as it does not have any value until the work is started. Client can use the platform to build software without solving the problem of software development (Bhoyar & Chopde, 2013).

With the development of technology, cloud computing began to adopt one more service model, known as Unified communication as a service. UCaaS is represented by multi-platform communication systems transmitted through network by the service provider. UCaaS can be applied in different devises and include IP telephony, messaging or mobile conferencing.

Types of Cloud Computing

There are different types of cloud computing. They include private clouds, public clouds and hybrid clouds. Private type of cloud computing is defined as a system that provides services for a single organization. It requires a certain level of engagement in order to achieve the virtualization of the business environment of the organization. Thus, private cloud requires appliance of security measures. Public cloud foresees that services are provided via the network that remains opened for public usage. Public clouds are usually free or offer service on a pay-per-usage model. Thus, public cloud is owned by an organization that sells cloud services. Public clouds are available for the general public group. Among the most popular private clouds there are Amazon AWS, Microsoft and Google service providers. Hybrid cloud represents a combination of two or more types of clouds. In particular, hybrid cloud offers to use the benefits of the combined clouds. By integrating different types of clouds into a single structure, such type of cloud can extend capacity or capability of private and public clouds. However, hybrid clouds cannot provide a sufficient level of flexibility and security (Bhoyar & Chopde, 2013).

However, there are also other types of computer clouding. Among them there are community cloud, distributed cloud, inter- and multicloud. Community cloud provides the sharing of cloud infrastructure between certain organizations. It can be operated internally or by the third-party provider. Distributed cloud foresees that services are provided by the number of machines, situated at different places and connected through a single network. Intercloud is based on the appliance of the principle network to networks. It represents a connection of great number of clouds. Multicloud combines several cloud services into a single structure (Bhoyar & Chopde, 2013).

Strengths and Limitations of Cloud Computing

Key benefits of cloud computing are determined by the specialization and economies of scale. Cloud computing allows users to share capabilities of computer technology and deliver services among a great number of customers. It also provides an opportunity for lower costs. In particular, according to cloud computing, all resources are shared among the users. As a result, services are delivered at a reduced cost. Thus, one of the biggest advantages of cloud computing is cost efficiency. Applying of cloud computing technology provides users all over the world with an opportunity to eliminate the expenses related to the maintenance of software, data storage and management. Another benefit of cloud computing is defined as the possibility of convenience and continuous availability of the data stored in a cloud. Indeed, cloud computing allows users to get an easy access to the data stored in a cloud. In addition, cloud computing offers the simplified process of backing up data and information recovery. Other strengths of cloud computing include scalability, opportunity to get quick deployment and easy integration of information and large storage capacities. While using cloud computing, users also receive an opportunity to increase device diversity and location independence. Another benefit of cloud computing include the provision of the services on-demand basis. It also ensures the agility of technology and dynamic scalability. Shared infrastructure of cloud computing also enables simplified maintenance. Cloud computing also provides diverse platform support and faster management (Mahmood, 2014). Finally, cloud computing technology remains environmentally friendly.

At the same time, there are several limitations of the appliance of cloud computing. One of the biggest concerns is related to the security issues. Cloud computing foresees the disclosure of the sensitive information to a third-party cloud service provider. Private information store in a cloud can also become a target of hackers’ attacks. As a result, security issues remain the biggest concern of the applying of cloud computing technology. Thus, it is necessary to use the service at the most reliable providers. The Internet technologies cannot be completely secured. Another limitation of cloud computing is related to the technical issues. In particular, while cloud computing allows users to access information and application anytime, there is a possibility of dysfunction of the structure (Mahmood, 2014). There is also a necessity in improving the flexibility of a cloud. In particular, while the cloud is operated on remote basis, there is a possibility of the limited control over the functions of the cloud.

Conclusion

Cloud computing can be defined as a delivery of computing at the world-wide scale with the appliance of the Internet technology. On-demand access to any kind of information and applications has become available for users. Thus, cloud computing and database technology provide users worldwide with an opportunity to store data and access on-demand any cloud applications without the appliance of local hardware and software. Cloud computing allows delivery of hardware and software as services. They can be used on a demand and have to be paid on a usage basis. From the user’s point of view, cloud computing allows to perform tasks with the help of someone’s computer and software provided by the third party.

With the development f cloud computing, database technology has also undergone serious changes. In particular, it had to meet the requirements of new technology and support the large scales of the cloud computing. As a result, databases were transformed into more specialized structures. Database technology used in cloud computing is defined as an optimized database storage, management and retrieval service provided on user’s demand through the Internet from a cloud provider’s server. There are different methods used to process database in a cloud. They include virtual machine method and Database as a service method. Cloud database has also two principal models of operation, such as SQL database and NoSQL database.

Infrastructure and structure of cloud computing provides an opportunity for effective and safe sharing of the data and services. Physical infrastructure of cloud is represented by the mechanical devices, such as power input and distribution, generators, power supplies, infrastructure partitioning and security, racks and cabinets. Such devices provide basis for cloud operation. Computing infrastructure consists of external and internal networks, Internet connectivity, computing hardware and software infrastructures. Cloud computing architecture includes the components necessary for enabling the operations of a cloud. Traditionally, the structure of cloud is represented as a combination of front end and back end platforms. Each of the platforms has its own components. In particular, front end platform contains interfaces and applications that provide user with an access to the cloud computing. Back end of the architecture is associated with cloud. It consists of a number of compounds that provide the functioning of the cloud computing mechanism.

There is different cloud computing models. For instance, they include Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service and Software as a Service. However, with the development of technology, cloud computing adopted one more service model, known as Unified communication as a service. Cloud computing also has different types of clouds involved. They include private clouds, public clouds and hybrid clouds. Each of the cloud has its peculiarities and characteristics. However, there are also other types of computer clouding. Among them there are community cloud, distributed cloud, inter- and multicloud.

Despite the fact that cloud computing offers a lot of benefits, there are also several disadvantages in the applying of the technology. In particular, there are security problems represented by the number of threats imposed to information stored in a cloud. In addition, cloud computing may experience technical problems related to a possibility of dysfunction of the technology structure. However, cloud computing has become one of the most effective platforms for deploying web applications that offers many advantages, such as scalability, elasticity, economies of scale and moderate pricing.

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