Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing, a Competitive Advantage {2}

by Abel R
Cloud computing can give any business the capability to access applications and data from anywhere in the world on demand. Another attractive benefit is the fact that cloud computing is a service and the user (business) is not responsible for costs associated from buying, upgrading, or maintaining any parts. Thus a small business can pay for the service on demand, this is significant because small businesses who have limited resources can now use cloud computing to create a competitive advantage over its competitors. read more...

Google Drive Privacy {2}

by Ricardo C
This article talks about the new Google cloud service called Google Drive. Microsoft’s cloud service and DropBox have been the largest cloud storage services for many years and many people were expecting Google to come up with a cloud service. A lot of internet users have services from Google such as email, web based applications such as Google docs, Blogger, etc, and a cloud service would consolidate all of the essential internet services in one provider. However, people need to be aware of the terms and conditions of each provider. For instance, Microsoft and DropBox do not claim ownership of the files that one uploads to their cloud service and maintains them private, on the other hand, Google Drive explicitly says that “Your Content in our Services: When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide licence to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes that we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.
The rights that you grant in this licence are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This licence continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing that you have added to Google Maps).” read more...

Creeping Cloud Costs {3}

by Michael V
The author of the blog writes about the increasing costs of Cloud computing in comparison to its increasing necessity to everyday computer use in today’s internet driven community. While cloud computing initially begins as a benign cheap or even free source of securing and sharing data, continued use of the functionality has contributed to the industry’s ability to raise costs and charge more for usage from customers, due to their increased dependence upon the cloud. These costs can be quite hard to track, such as the 12cents per hour maintenance cost of the servers, which sounds cheap but quickly adds up to over a thousand dollars a year. However, companies also can charge insanely high prices simply for large scale use of their systems, even though it would be cheaper to store data in smaller chunks with the same data usage, up to eight times higher. read more...

Greenpeace wants to know: How clean is your cloud? {1}

by Robert T
Within the past decade or so, people have been more socially aware about the impact technology and industrial growth has, and will have, on the well being of our planet. It seems that with almost every technological innovation that has been released has seen its share of criticism from several “go-green” activists. With cloud computing having garnered so much public attention and media attention, activists have now set their eyes on their next target. read more...

VSPEX: Solution for Midrange IT Providers {2}

by Miguel V
Two years ago Cisco, EMC and VMware teamed up to to create and introduce VBlocks. VBlock is a set of “systems preconfigured, preintegrated and converged computing systems consisting of network-ware and x86-type servers” resulting in cloud computing systems ranging in size from hundreds to 6,00 virtual machines. By 2012 VBlock has become a highly successful product increasing sales to $800 million per year. Unfortunately for EMC not all IT companies need to be running 6,000 virtual machines. With intentions of reaching the mid range IT companies EMC created “VSPEX a set of 14 IT blueprints allowing customers to select computing and networking hardware, software and services based on the distributor line card and sizing of components based on the requirements of a  particular VSPEX solution.” With VSPEX 14 preconfigured environments EMC is giving their customers more choices so that they can determine their own solutions by “providing the sizing guides, reference architecture and deployment guides, and allow them to align with their vendor of choice.” read more...

Cloud computing and the environment {1}

by Giselle N
The article I read this week was mainly about the impact of IT on the environment. According to the author, the demands for computing and data storage have increased so much that by the year 2020, the emissions produced by IT may be higher than those used by the airline industry. Right now, most of the IT industry uses client servers, where businesses such as, Microsoft, have workstations with servers and IT staff to run it in order to be able to file share, email, etc…. The environmental problem with client servers is the increasing amounts of power they require. For example, Microsoft has a data center in Chicago that has about 400,000 servers and adds about 40,000 more every month to keep up with its competitors. Imagine how much power is required to run this data center. According to a study, server utilization is only 6 percent on average, which means that the other 94 percent these serves are not being used, but are still using up a lot of power. In fact, 30 percent of the servers around the world are not even being used, but are still on because some businesses do not want to risk anything by shutting them off. However, the author believes cloud computing is the answer. Instead of having hundreds of client servers on the premise of the company, Google uses cloud computing, where email, word documents, etc… can be used through the web.  Cloud computing also includes virtualization, which allows virtual machines to be run on a single physical server, instead of having one server for each task such as and one email server, one file server, and so on. This allows the server to be used to its capacity and not just 6 percent as one server might only be used for. Cloud computing can reduce emissions by reducing the number of servers, by using virtualization and allowing the server to reach its full potential. Still, the real answer to decreasing emissions from IT is for data centers not only to use cloud computing but also renewable sources of energy. The author concludes that this, “will ensure that could computing is, in fact, green computing.” read more...

The Cloud’s Trustworthiness (or Lack Thereof) {Comments Off on The Cloud’s Trustworthiness (or Lack Thereof)}

by Chiara W
The number of people who entrust critical data to cloud services grows every day. For instance, it is estimated that 20% of businesses will entirely outsource their server needs by the end of 2012. In this article, Cachin and Schunter illustrate some ways in which cloud computing providers’ security measures have fallen short, leading to data breaches affecting millions of consumers. An April 2011 study of 127 cloud providers in Europe and the U.S. revealed that most “do not consider computing security as one of their most important responsibilities” and feel it is “their customer’s responsibility to secure the cloud” (p. 31). One major threat to data security stems from the fact that multiple customers’ virtual machine images (VMIs) are housed on a single server, which makes it possible for one customer to access another customer’s cached data. Another widespread practice, de-duplication of data across user accounts, can also be exploited by savvy hackers. Some cloud services offer security features as optional add-ons (for a price), but robust security measures have yet to become commonplace. read more...

Cloud computing: challenges and methods {Comments Off on Cloud computing: challenges and methods}

by Davina V
As I read this article for class I noticed something surprising when I read the article it mentioned Software as a Service (SAAS), which our teacher mentioned in class, briefly first thing in the article.  With different people using some of the same cloud systems, data auditing is used to identify the integrity of the information. The most common method used Checking on retrieval is mentioned in the article. The only problem with that method is that it is not sufficient to check all the data within a Cloud. So when designing the storage audit protocols there are three performance criteria: Low storage overhead, low communication cost, and low computational complexity. read more...

Windows 8 Backup and More {2}

by Jim J
Microsoft recently opened free beta testing for their latest Windows 8 Server feature. Windows 8 Server will include free on-line backup service. Beta testers are allowed 10GB of free storage during this beta phase. According to Tim Greene:

“Uploaded data is compressed and encrypted, with only those data blocks that have changed being sent in order to reduce time and bandwidth. The software runs data integrity checks for corrupted data and any problems are fixed during the next upload.” read more...

Megaupload Cloud Data {3}

by Mike Y

Dvorak’s article talks about the seizure of Megaupload’s domain and website by the U.S. government and the negative effects to the movement of cloud computing. The data in the servers still exist but is planned to be deleted but has not yet happened as of March, 23, according to Information Week. The problem, stated by Dvorak, is that there were 50 million users held by Megaupload and contacting every single one of them would be impossible. The reason this is so bad for cloud computing is because it create uncertainty in the objective of cloud based services. It would not be used if any cloud based service could be taken down or deleted on the federal government’s wim. Cloud computing is relevant to our class because it is the current trend in the IT industry and web based services. Currently, there is a site for social networking, one for pictures, another for video, and many other sites to fill consumer needs. Eventually, it will be condensed to one single site in the place where it used to take many sites to fulfill user needs. As hardware becomes more powerful and less expensive, websites can charge for premium services or even be free. As the features of websites increase, so will the competition between websites offering similar services. I believe cloud computing is the future. At first I was skeptical of the services and had many questions. How reliable is it? How much down time? How long will my data be there? My mind was completely changed when I used Google Docs. In an age where individuals have multiple points of online access, the convenience cloud based services is almost a requirement. Having a single access point for files is very user friendly. There is no need to need to make sure every laptop, phone, or desktop has all the same and updates files; it’s all in one place. Of course, secondary and local backups should be made for important files as no service is 100% is reliability.

Dvorak, J. (2012, Janu 30). Megaupload equals mega fail for cloud computing. PC Magazine, Retrieved from http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2399578,00.asp

Schwartz, M. (2012, Marc 23). Megaupload host wants to delete data. Information Week, Retrieved from http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/attacks/232700141 read more...