Cloud systems are not to be misunderstood as just another form of resource provisioning infrastructure and in fact, as this report shows, multiple opportunities arise from the principles for cloud infrastructures that will enable further types of applications, reduced development and provisioning time of different services. More
Though the concept of “clouds” is not new, it is undisputable that they have proven a major commercial success over recent years and will play a large part in the ICT domain over the next 10 years or more, as future systems will exploit the capabilities of managed services and resource provisioning further. Clouds are of particular commercial interest not only with the growing tendency to outsource IT so as to reduce management overhead and to extend existing, limited IT infrastructures, but even more importantly, they reduce the entrance barrier for new service providers to offer their respective capabilities to a wide market with a minimum of entry costs and infrastructure requirements – in fact, the special capabilities of cloud infrastructures allow providers to experiment with novel service types whilst reducing the risk of wasting resources.
Cloud systems are not to be misunderstood as just another form of resource provisioning infrastructure and in fact, as this report shows, multiple opportunities arise from the principles for cloud infrastructures that will enable further types of applications, reduced development and provisioning time of different services. Cloud computing has particular characteristics that distinguish it from classical resource and service provisioning environments:
(1) it is (more-or-less) infinitely scalable; (2) it provides one or more of an infrastructure for platforms, a platform for applications or applications (via services) themselves; (3) thus clouds can be used for every purpose from disaster recovery/business continuity through to a fully outsourced ICT service for an organization; (4) clouds shift the costs for a business opportunity from CAPEX to OPEX which allows finer control of expenditure and avoids costly asset acquisition and maintenance reducing the entry threshold barrier; (5) currently the major cloud providers had already invested in large scale infrastructure and now offer a cloud service to exploit it; (6) as a consequence the cloud offerings are heterogeneous and without agreed interfaces; (7) cloud providers essentially provide datacenters for outsourcing; (8) there are concerns over security if a business places its valuable knowledge, information and data on an external service; (9) there are concerns over availability and business continuity – with some recent examples of failures; (10) there are concerns over data shipping over anticipated broadband speeds.
The concept of cloud computing is linked intimately with those of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service); PaaS (Platform as a Service), SaaS (Software as a Service) and collectively *aaS (Everything as a Service) all of which imply a service-oriented architecture.
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