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NETWORK AND DISTRIBUTED SYSTEMS ESSAY

Cloud Computing
Challenges and Proposed Techniques to
Address Problems

Fardian Fardian
1046999

School of Computer Science


University of Birmingham
2010/2011

A. Preface
Currently Cloud Computing has become one of the most popular terms in
Internet Computing. Cloud Computing gets its name as a metaphor for the Internet
because typically the Internet is represented as a cloud which represents all stuff
that make network works. It also typically means an area of diagram or solution that
someone concerns.
The general idea behind the technology dates back to the 1960s, when John
McCarthy wrote that computation may someday be organized as a public utility.
Then, grid computing, a concept that originated in the early 1990s as an idea for
making computer power as easy to access as an electric power grid also contributed to
cloud computing. For a detailed look at the differences between utility, grid and cloud
computing, look at Cloud Computing vs Utility Computing vs Grid Computing:
Sorting The Differences.
The idea of an "intergalactic computer network" was introduced in the sixties
by J.C.R. Licklider, who was responsible for enabling the development of ARPANET
(Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) in 1969.
His vision was for everyone on the globe to be interconnected and accessing
programs and data at any site, from anywhere, explained Margaret Lewis, product
marketing director at AMD. "It is a vision that sounds a lot like what we are calling
cloud computing."
This area of study is currently under interest of personal and group researches
from all over the world because Cloud Computing promises to cut operational and
capital costs and more importantly let IT departments focus on strategic project
instead of keeping data center running.
Many IT professionals recognise the benefits cloud computing offers in terms
of increased storage, flexibility and cost reduction," said Songnian Zhou, chief
executive officer of Platform Computing.
But he added that IT directors still have concerns about the security of their
corporate data in the cloud. This means that it will be 2010 at the earliest before cloud
adoption sees increased growth.
Currently there is still no standard definition for the term Cloud Computing. We
will have a look several definition of this term from several sources as described
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below:
1. Cloud Computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and
often virtualized resources are provided as a serve over Internet.
2. Cloud computing is Internet (cloud) based development and use of computer
technology, whereby dynamically scalable virtualized resources are provided
as a service over the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in,
or control over the technology infrastructure in the cloud that supports them
3. A large-scale distributed computing paradigm that is driven by economies of
scale, in which a pool of abstracted, virtualized, dynamically-scalable,
managed computing power, storage, platforms, and services are delivered on
demand to external customers over the Internet
4. Cloud computing is emerging at the convergence of three major trends
service orientation, virtualization, and standardization of computing through
the Internet. Users will need to understand the cloud options and providers
available to them. Vendors will need to evolve their platforms to be cloudcapable, and evolve their business models to maintain their competitive
advantage

From above definitions we can see that Cloud Computing is something related
to resources which is dynamically scalable and virtualized where these resouces are
used to provide services over the Internet and the way to manage this resources in
order to provide the needed services.

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B. Layers, Types and Services


1. Layers
There several opinions on classification layers in Cloud Computing,As we can see on
the following table, Cloud Computing consists of five layers, they are Client,
application, platform, Infrastructure and Server.

Client
Application
Platform
Infrastructure
Server

a. Client
Cloud client consists of computer hardware and software that relies on cloud
computing for application delivery or which is specifically designed for
delivery of cloud services.
b. Application
Cloud application services or Software as a Service (SaaS) delivers software
as a service over the internet, reducing the need to install and run the
application on the customers computer and simplifying maintenance and
support.
c. Platform
Cloud platform services or Platform as a Service (PaaS) delivers a
computing platform as service which often consuming cloud infrastructure and
sustaining cloud applications. It facilitates deployment of applications without
the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and
software layers.
d. Infrastucture
Cloud infrastructure service or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) delivers
computer infrastructure as a service. Rather than purchasing servers, software,
data center space or network equipment, clients buy as a fully outsourced
resources.
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e. Server
Server layers consists of computer hardware and/or computer software
products that are specifically designed for the delivery of cloud services.

2. Types

a. Public Cloud
Public cloud or external cloud is the most common of cloud computing where its
services is provided to general public in a pay-as-you-go manner. Users/customers
(personal or group) access these services over the internet from a third-party provider
who share its resource among many customers. This type of cloud is commonly
accepted and adopted by many enterprises because their leading public cloud vendors
such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo who have great infrastructure that
enabling users to freely scale and shrink their rented resources with low cost and a
little management burden. Security and data governance is the main concern with this
type.

b. Private Cloud
Private cloud or internal cloud is used when the cloud infrastructure, network or data
center is operated solely for a business or organization and serves customer within
business fire-wall. Most of the private clouds are large companies or government
departments who prefer to keep their data in a more controlled and secured
environment.

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c. Hybrid Cloud
This cloud is a combination between public and private cloud. This kind of services
are usually used by those who want to freely scale their need by putting their less
critical data on the public side and combine it with the most critical data on the private
side.

d. Community Cloud
In community cloud several enterprises with similar requirement can share their
infrastructure thus increasing their scale while sharing the cost.

3. Cloud Services
a. Infrastructure as Service (IaaS)
IaaS is a service which cloud vendors provide us with large-scale computer hardware
and high network connectivity . IaaS is categorized into:
(1) Computation as Service (CaaS) (for example, CPU, RAM, Operating System,
deployed software)
(2) Data as Service (DaaS) (size of storage spaced used to store users data)

b. Platform as Service (PaaS)


PaaS cloud systems providea software execution environment that application
services can run on it. The environment is not a just pre-installed operating system but
also integrated with a programming level platform where users can be used to develop
and build applications for the platform.

c. Sofware as Service (SaaS)


SaaS is based on licensing software use on demand which already installed and
running on a cloud of platform. SaaS replaces traditional software usage with a
Subscribe/Rent model which reducing users physical equipment deployment and
management costs.
(Handbook Cloud of Computing Borko Furht, Armando Escalante, Springer, 2010)

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C. Benefit
1. Scalability
Cloud computing is good for anticipating a huge demand in computing need that can
help us to manage rather than buy, install, and configure new equipment. In cloud
computing we pay based on our resources consumption, we do not need to deal with
unneeded equipment. We can simply add or substract based on our need.
2. Simplicity
Since we do not need to buy and configure new equipment as mentioned above on
scalability benefit, the cloud solution makes it possible to get our application started
immediately and it costs a fraction of what it would cost to implement an on-site
solution
3. Knowledgeable Vendors
Big companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Yahoo have been very
good reputable vendors because they have offered reliable service, plenty of capacity
4. More Internal Resources
By shifting non critical data to a third party we can focus to work on important data,
we do not need to add more resources to deal with these low level tasks. For a very
good reputable vendors they usually offer an 24 hours help and support and they can
respond to emergency situations.
5. Security
For a very good vendors they strive to keep our data safe and secure. These vendors
have strict privacy policies and employ tight security measures. Furthermore, we can
always encrypt our data before storing it on the cloud. The encryption and vendor
security system will double the level of security than if it was stored in local.
6. Operational Benefits
a. Reduced cost
It will save more money in a long run of system
b. Increased Storage
We can save more data on cloud network than on a private network and it will be
easier to get more space than on private one.
c. Automation
Cloud provider will keep an application up to date, our IT staff do not need to worry
about it and can focus on the main job.
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d. Flexibility
In the cloud, application can be tested and deployed easily if it does not match with
our criteria we can switch to another application.
e. Better mobility
Users can access the cloud from anyplace that connected to internet. This condition is
ideal for those whose mobility is high and/or someone who need to access to system
in a frequent way from anywhere.
f. Better use of IT staff
IT staff can focus on the main duty rather than worry on system update and system
maintenance.

7. Economic benefits
a. People
If we move our system on the cloud we will only rely on fewer people than on a
private network so we can focus on choosing people that highly related to our need.
b. Hardware
Major cloud suppliers can purchase hardware , networking equipment, bandwidth and
so on much cheaper than regular business. If for example we need more storage or
more speed we can subscribe to provider to provide us as our request rather than buy
new one.
c. Pay as you go
We only pay for resource that what we use, if in the future we do not more need the
resource we do not need pay for it instead of on private network, once we buy
resource if we will not use it in the future we still own the unused resources.
d. Time to market
One of the greatest benefits of cloud computing is the ability to get applications up in
a fraction of the time than in conventional scenario. In cloud, we can easily use an
application at once we need it instead of in conventional one that we need to set up
systems from beginning which takes time to do it.

8. Staffing benefits
a. No software installation or maintenance because it has been done by cloud provider
b. Shortening deployment time, it takes a few time to run a new server rather than on
our own system that may take comparatively much longer time if we do it ourselves.
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c. Worldwide availability, could can be accessed worldwide from anywhere that has
internet connection.
d. Service Level agreement (SLA) adherence, if we have SLA we are guaranteed on
this level of service. If we found any bug on application the vendor will fix it without
us need to bother to do that by ourselves
e. Upgrade
For good cloud provider, they will try to keep our system is up to date to satisfy us
their customer

D. Technical Description of Problems and The Challenges

1.

Privacy
Storing sensitive information.
Once data stored on provider user will lost layer of control. Once it is stored now
the owner of the data not only the one side who should protect the data, it is also
becomes responsibility of provider to protect it from hackers and internal
breaches. Furthermore, less scrupulous service providers may share the data with
for example marketing firm. Also other providers may by way of their agreement
with their user be allowed to access and catalog the information and use it in the
unintended way.

2.

Applications not Ready


In some cases the applications themselves are not ready to be used on the cloud.
They may have little weaknesses that prevent them from being used as their
fulliest abilities, or even they may not work whatsoever.
If for example the applications consume a lot of bandwidth to communicate with
users it might turn less expensive to simply house the application locally until it
can be rewritten or modified to operate more efficiently instead of using the
applications who work on the cloud (since Cloud Computing is paid based on
how much we use).
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In case the applications on the cloud need to be integrated with other applications,
if we try to relocate it in the cloud savings are erased by the additional efforts
required to maintain the integration. Again in this case it will be more effective to
continue host it locally.
Some applications may not securely communicate accross the Internet through a
tunnel and it means the data is at risk. In this condition, hosting locally we can set
other types of security to protect data that transported accross networks.
Application compatibility, if provider cannot provide application that compatible
with some users we are unable to display the wanted information, then cloudbased solution becomes worthless.

3.

Security Concerns
Privacy considerations
If a party housing our information we are not really know whether the
information is safe and secure eventough they are reputable companies there is no
full guarantee that the information is safe from hackers.
In a commonly recognized worst-scenario attackers can perform distributed
denial of service (DDOS) attacks. Several providers should pay a lot of money to
recover their systems after the attack. In the world of cloud computing it becomes
a huge concern whether who will pay for the recovery, the vendors? data owner?

4.

Regulatory Issues
No existing regulation.
Currently there is no existing regulation, but it should be. Unlike the case of
banks if they are collapse and government will take action to guarantee the
money of their customer, there is no guarantee that a very reputable vendors will
neven fall down. If it happens there is no third party insururing our data on the
cloud and if the provider decides to close their operation down (for financial
problem for example) then the data can be lost.

5. Transparency:
Basically this comes down to the difficulty that youll have doing an audit of your
IT resources. Since you dont have true visibility into the cloud you cant say for
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certain who has access to your data and how you can keep people out of your
sensitive data.

D. Survey Of Techniques And Algorithms That Have Been Proposed


To Address The Problem(S)
1. Privacy
It does not mean we cannot protect our data on the cloud, but we need to be safe.
The best way is to encrypt the data before send it to third party. If someone gets
the data they need a proper credential unless they will find it useless
2. Applications not ready
In term of scalability putting data on our database in the cloud can be beneficial,
because if there are too many users want to access our data the inherent
scalability of cloud-based resources can mitigate the risk of server overload
3. Security
Centralized data, if it hosted locally in one place even if it is equipped with a high
end security tech but the equipment is lost (theft, burnt, broken, etc) we cannot
get it back. The cloud can limit the amount of information that could potentially
be lost.
Monitoring, if data is maintained on the cloud it is easier to monitor security than
have to worry about the security of numerous servers and clients. We just need to
worry about one location rather than several.
Instant swap-over, if our data on the cloud is compromised while we are
conducting investigation to find the culprit, we can instantly move the data to the
other machine. When we perform swap-over it would be seemless to our users.
We do not have to spend much time trying to replicate the data of fix the breach.
Hardware abstaction allows us to do it instantly.
Logging, if in local we need to worry about issues developing our storage
capacity by logging our usage storage capacity. In the cloud logging is improved,
we do not need to guess how much storage that we need to use as a effect we do
not need to check our storage usage and using logging to monitor other activity.
Secure builds, in our own network, we have to buy separate security software to
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get the level protection that we want but in the cloud these toold can be bundled
in and available so we can develop our system with whatever level of security
that we desire.
Improved software security, vendors are likely to develop more efficient security
software because they know that vendor who delivers the more efficient product
will win the game.
Security testing, SaaS providers do not ask us to pay for all security testing that
they do. It is shared among cloud users. Because of that, we only pay lower costs
for security testing.
4. Regulatory Issues
To address the challenges of cloud computing interoperability, several standards
groups and industry consortia are developing specifications and best practices to
enable cloud interoperability. Noteable amongst them being, Open Cloud
Consortim (OCC) of Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) for cloud
interoperability standards, Cloud Security Alliance working on recommendations
for best practices regarding cloud computing security, Open Group Cloud
Working

Group

for

security

and

(http://www.cdac.in/html/pdf/articles/AKCcloud.pdf

identify
,

Cloud

management.
Computing,

challenges and opportunities, AK Chakravarti)

E. Conclusion
Cloud computing currently becomes the most popular term in network and
distributed systems technology where the goal is globally to connect people so they
can access program/application and data from anywhere. This technology currently
under interest many researches from all over the world because it promises to cut
operational and capital cost and the most importantly let IT departments focus on
strategic project instead of keeping data center running.
This computer technology offers dynamically scalable virtualized resouces, managed
computing power, storage, platform, services , ease of use where its users arenot
required to have deep knowledge, expertise to operate the technology infrastructure in
the cloud, knowledgeable vendors, more internal resources, security, operational
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benefits, economic benefits and staffing benefits.


This technology still faces some problems and challenges on its
implementation. These problems are related to data privacy, cloud applications are
still not ready, security concerns, regulatory issues, and transparency.
However, during development of this technology there are some efforts that
have been proposed to address above issues. For data privacy the best way to protect
the data is by encrypting before send it to the cloud vendors. Even there are some
application is currently not yet cloud computing ready and some of them are under
developments but for database by putting in on the cloud can be beneficial because if
there are too many users want to access our data system the scalability of cloud-based
resources can mitigate the risk or server overload. Up to now it is believed that there
is still no 100% guarantee on its safety implementation but cloud-based technology
promises more beneficial security systems in term of data centralization, system
monitoring, logging facilities, secure builds and improve software security than
conventional systems. In addition to this effort, there is also several standard groups
and industry consortia is working on developing specifications and best practices to
enable cloud interoperability.
.

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References:
1. Sourya, February 9, 2011, A History of Cloud Computing, from
http://www.cloudtweaks.com/2011/02/a-history-of-cloud-computing/
2. J.C.R. Licklider, December 11, 2001, Memorandum For Members and
Affiliates of the Intergalactic Computer Network, from
http://www.kurzweilai.net/memorandum-for-members-and-affiliates-of-theintergalactic-computer-network
3. Robert W. Taylor, 1990, J.C.R. Licklider, from
http://www.cc.gatech.edu/classes/cs6751_97_fall/projects/follow_me/hw4/lickl
ider.html
4. Arif Mohamed, 27 March 2009, A history of cloud computing, From
http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2009/06/10/235429/A-history-ofcloud-computing.htm
5. Chao-Tung Yang, Department of Computer Science Tunghai University,
Taichung, 40704, Taiwan R.O.C.
6.

Cloud Computing and Grid Computing 360-Degree Compared, Ian Foster,


1,2,3

7.

Yong Zhao, Ioan Raicu, Shiyong Lu


1

Wikipedia, Cloud Computing , from


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing.

8.

Kaizar, 12 February 2009, Cloud computing: A Technical Perspective, , From


http://kaizaramin.com/2009/02/12/cloud-computing-a-technical-perspective/

9.

Sam Johnston, 18 September 2008, Taxonomy: The 6 layer Cloud Computing


Stack, From http://samj.net/2008/09/taxonomy-6-layer-cloud-computingstack.html

10. Cloud Computing a practical approach, Anthony T.Velte, Toby J.Velte, Robert
Elsenpeter, Mc GrawHill, 2010
11. Jim Anderson, CIO Cloud Computing 101: Problems with Clouds, from
http://www.theaccidentalsuccessfulcio.com/cloud-computing/cio-cloudcomputing-101-problems-with-clouds.

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12. A K Chakravati, Cloud Computing Challenges & Opportunities, From


http://www.cdac.in/html/pdf/articles/AKCcloud.pdf

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