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Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is cool; everybody knows this. However, despite the temptaions of openness, the platform actually has quite a bit of maturing to do around interoperability. In fact, the very definition of what openness means in a cloud environment is still up for debate. Vendor Lock-In Now as-a-Service.
Large technology implementations and frequently changing business needs have taught most IT leaders that vendor lock-in is rarely (never) a good thing. Even if the vendor is really cool or they use the word service and cloud and remote a great deal, it’s still bad. Organizations want the flexibility to move between cloud providers and implementations easily, but it’s rarely a reality.
There take place a lot of noisy debates around cloud computing, but true maturity in terms of standards, openness and interoperability will have to develop over time just in as every technology before the cloud. There are no magic solutions. The flow of innovation in cloud computing dictates that, even if a standard emerges, vendors will continue to explore proprietary optimizations that make their services different. The term "cloud" is used as a metaphor for the Internet, originating from cloud drawing. In the past this term was used to represent the telephone network.Later it was applied to describe the Internet in computer network.
Cloud Computing is a result of natural evolution of the widespread adoption of virtualization(multiple machines within one physical computer), architecture, autonomic, and utility computing that are mainly called to answer only customer’s needs and requirments. And since details don’t need to be controlled any more and are separated from end-users, the technology underlying base appears to be "in the real cloud" that assists them.
The implicit concept of cloud computing goes back to the 1960s, when John McCarthy opened that "computation may someday be organized as a public utility." Almost all the up-to-date characteristics of cloud computing (elastic provision, provided as a utility, online, illusion of infinite supply), the comparison to the electricity industry and the use of public, private, government, and community forms, were thoroughly investigated in Douglas Parkhill's 1966 book, The Challenge of the Computer Utility.
As historical source indicates, in 2007, Google, IBM and a number of universities embarked on a large-scale cloud computing research project.In early 2008, Eucalyptus became the first open-source, AWS API-compatible platform for deploying private clouds. In early 2008, Open Nebula, went up in the RESERVOIR European Commission-funded project, becaming the first open-source software for the federation of clouds. In the same year, efforts were focused on providing QoS guarantees (as required by real-time interactive applications) to cloud-based infrastructures, in the framework of the IRMOS European Commission-funded project. By mid-2008, Gartner saw an opportunity for cloud computing "to shape the relationship among consumers of IT services, those who use IT services and those who sell them" and observed that "organisations are switching from company-owned hardware and software assets to per-use service-based models" so that the "projected shift to cloud computing ... will result in dramatic growth in IT products in some areas and significant reductions in other areas."
As cloud computing is gaining popularity, little by little the security issues come about and the effectiveness of traditional protection mechanisms have been taken up for reconsideration, The core reason for such changes is hidden in the innovated deployment model, which cardinally differs from that of traditional one. The relative security of cloud computing services is a quarrelsome issue that may still arouse long disputes on the matter of fact . These security issues have been categorized into sensitive data access, data segregation, privacy, bug exploitation, recovery, accountability, malicious insiders, management console security, account control, and multi-tenancy issues. Solutions to various cloud security issues also vary through cryptography, particularly public key infrastructure (PKI),use of multiple cloud providers, standardization of APIs, improving virtual machines support and legal support, etc.
Organizations have been formed in order to provide standards for a better future in cloud computing services. One organization in particular, the Cloud Security Alliance is a non-profit organization formed to promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within cloud computing. In addition to concerns about security, businesses are also worried about acceptable levels of availability and performance of applications hosted in the cloud.
In this aspect Nsauditor Network Security Auditor is worth mentioning which is a complete networking utilities package that includes a wide range of tools for network auditing, scanning, monitoring and more. It can also audit password and security policies as well as make a variety of network attack probes, such as stealth port scans, HTTP / CGI server auditing, registry auditing. The program can sniff and use brute-force and dictionary attacks on LM and NTLM password hashes and expose the insecure ones. All these advantages not only makes it easier to deal with different computing programs but also secures their functioning.
No doubt, there are also concerns about a cloud provider shutting down for financial or legal reasons, which has happened in a number of cases. Since data that was, in the past, stored locally on a user's computer would now be stored remotely in a data center, an individual's internet usage would soar as large files are sent via the internet between the user's computer and the data center. For instance, a purchased movie needs to be downloaded only once if stored on a user's computer. But, if the same movie is stored in cloud storage, it would, in essence, have to be downloaded every time it is viewed in its entirety. If the user's internet service has a monthly data usage cap, this cap could easily be exceeded if large, frequently accessed files are stored remotely. This would cause the user to incur potentially large overage charges.
In the past, both data and software had to be stored and processed on or near the computer. The development of Local Area Networks allowed for a system in which multiple CPUs and storage devices could be organized to increase the performance of the entire system. In an extension to that concept, cloud computing fundamentally allows for a functional separation between the resources used and the user's computer, usually residing outside the local network, for example, in a remote datacenter. Consumers now routinely use data-intensive applications driven by cloud technology that were previously unavailable due to cost and deployment complexity.[citation needed] In many companies, employees and company departments are bringing a flood of consumer technology into the workplace, which raises legal compliance and security concerns for the corporation.
The term "software as a service" is sometimes used to describe programs offered through "The Cloud".
A common shorthand for a provided cloud computing service (or even an aggregation of all existing cloud services) is "The Cloud".
An analogy to explain cloud computing is that of public utilities such as electricity, gas, and water. Centralized and standardized utilities freed individuals from the difficulties of generating electricity or pumping water. All of the development and maintenance tasks involved in doing so was alleviated. With Cloud computing, this translates to a reduced cost in software distribution to providers still using hard mediums such as DVDs. Consumer benefits are that software no longer has to be installed and is automatically updated, but savings in terms of money is yet to be seen.
The principle behind the cloud is that any computer connected to the Internet is connected to the same pool of computing power, applications, and files. Users can store and access personal files such as music, pictures, videos, and bookmarks or play games or do word processing on a remote server rather than physically carrying around a storage medium such as a DVD or thumb drive. Even those using web-based email such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!, a company-owned email, or even an e-mail client program such as Outlook, Evolution, Mozilla Thunderbird, or Entourage are making use of cloud email servers. Hence, desktop applications that connect to internet-host email providers can also be considered cloud applications.
Cloud Computing utilizes the network as a means to connect the user to resources that are based in the cloud, as opposed to actually possessing them. The cloud may be received through the Internet or a company network, or both.
The service provider may store the processing power of multiple remote computers in "the cloud" to receive a certain task which would really take up much time and expenses for an separate user. Cloud computing can be applied to a netbook or a smart phone of an individual user with a connection to the Internet, hence being enabled to make requests for receiving data from the cloud. Cloud computing is a model for enabling 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.
The specific and unique feature of Cloud computing is that it is able to provide the act of operating a computer., software, data access, and storage services without requiring end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services.
The entire business software and data are stored on servers at a remote location and applications are delivered through the internet. Most cloud computing infrastructures consist of services delivered through shared data-centers.
Security of cloud computing is of course improved by different resources, however concerns can persist about loss of control over certain sensitive data. Security is often as good as or better than under traditional systems, in part because providers are able to devote resources to solving security issues that many customers cannot afford.
Maintenance of cloud computing applications is easier, because they do not need to be installed on each user's computer. They are easier to support and to improve, as the changes reach the clients instantly.
The whole idea is as follows:instead of saving data on a user's computer, now it is stored remotely in a data center and large files are sent via the internet between the user's computer and the data center. For instance, a purchased cartoon is to be downloaded only once if kept on a personal computer. But, if the same movie is in a cloud storage, it has to be downloaded each time it is from beginning to end.
Many universities, vendors and organizations are performing a research on the topic of cloud computing.
In the aftermath different critical opinions have come about: Some have come to criticize the term as being either too unspecific or even misleading. CEO Larry Ellison of Oracle Corporation asserts that cloud computing is "everything that we already do", claiming that the company could simply "change the wording on some of our ads" to deploy their cloud-based services.Forrester Research VP Frank Gillett questions the very nature of and motivation behind the push for cloud computing, describing what he calls "cloud washing"—companies simply relabeling their products as "cloud computing", resulting in mere marketing innovation instead of "real" innovation.GNU's Richard Stallman insists that the industry will only use the model to deliver services at ever increasing rates over proprietary systems, otherwise likening it to a "marketing hype campaign".


Article Submited by Karine Iskandaryan

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