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Introductions To “Cloud Computing”


Computing In The Cloud? What’s This?

Historical

In English, we were talking about “the cloud”, which meant almost the Internet we know. This cloud evoked a connection to an indefinite number of users and not services as we understand it now.

Cloud Computing (cloud computing) has become a major concept referring to the use of memory and computing capabilities of computers and servers spread around the world and linked by a network, such as the Internet.

Users (most often companies, but also you or me) are no longer the owners of their computer servers, but can therefore access many online services scalable without having to manage the underlying infrastructure, often complex. Applications and data are no longer on the local computer, but – metaphorically speaking – in a cloud composed of a number of remote servers interconnected by means of an excellent bandwidth essential to the fluidity of the system . Access to the service is through a standard application readily available, mostly a web browser.

“Software as a service” (SaaS), often associated with “cloud computing” can be seen as an economic model of consumption of applications: these are consumed and paid on demand (per user and per minute of use by example) and no longer acquired through the purchase of licenses. SaaS can therefore be based on a “cloud computing” infrastructure. It would be finished home products such as WORD or EXCEL for example.

The concept of cloud computing is comparable to that of the distribution of electrical energy. The power of calculation and storage of information is offered for consumption by specialized companies.

Advantages

Hardware pooling optimizes costs over conventional systems and speeds up the development of shared applications.

As with virtualization, cloud computing is more cost-effective because of its scalability. Indeed, the cost is a function of the duration of use of the service rendered and does not require any prior investment (man or machine). It should also be noted that the elasticity of the cloud makes it possible to provide scalable services and therefore to support load increases.

IBM collects, processes and disseminates information (statistics, scores, bullet speeds, television graphic production …), using the official website www.rolandgarros.com. For this, IBM uses a virtualized computing: distributed on three different sites, the virtualized servers are solicited according to the demand. This method of managing important virtual resources – in cloud computing mode – allows you to cope with the exceptional peaks of website traffic during the tournament.

Moreover, and this is an argument put forward by cloud application providers, the services are extremely reliable because they are based on efficient infrastructures with effective fault tolerance policies (including replicas).

Disadvantages

The fundamental problem remains to secure access to the application between the client and the remote server.

On the other hand, companies lose control over the implementation of their data as well as the life cycle of applications, and there will also no longer the notion of confidentiality of data (financial, inventions, prospecting plans .. .).

Applications

Software applications

Online software such as “Google Apps” can be seen as the software part of this new way of thinking about computing. Similarly, operating systems could be offered remotely through virtualization technologies.

Storage

Online storage services can store data and documents without having to continually increase the number of servers

The following services are already based on “computing in the cloud “: Amazon Simple Storage Service; Live Mesh (Live Desktop component); MobileMe (iDisk component).

The widespread use of high-speed Internet connections enables to optimize the response times of the centralized infrastructure.

Reviews

For computer scientist Richard Stallman cloud computing “is a trap”, its users losing control of their applications. This free software activist sees it as an irrelevant advertising concept, echoing the criticism voiced by Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, that it is a fad.

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