Cloud Computing | Part 4

Cloud Computing | Part 4

Cloud infrastructure / Infrastructure

Cloud infrastructure (IaaS) is the delivery of computer infrastructure, typically a platform virtualization environment, as a service. For example:

Compute (Amazon CloudWatch, RightScale)

Physical machines

Virtual machines (Amazon EC2, GoGrid, iland, Rackspace Cloud Servers)

OS-level virtualisation

Network (Amazon VPC)

Raw Storage (Amazon EBS)

Cloud Computing – Servers

The Servers Layer consists of computer hardware and/or computer software products that are specifically designed for the delivery of cloud services. For example:

Fabric computing (Cisco UCS)

Cloud Computing – System Architecture

Cloud architecture, the systems architecture of the software systems involved in the delivery of cloud computing, comprises hardware and software designed by a cloud architect who typically works for a cloud integrator. It typically involves multiple cloud components communicating with each other over application programming interfaces, usually web services.

This closely resembles the Unix philosophy of having multiple programs each doing one thing well and working together over universal interfaces. Complexity is controlled and the resulting systems are more manageable than their monolithic counterparts.

Cloud architecture extends to the client, where web browsers and/or software applications access cloud applications.

Cloud storage architecture is loosely coupled, often assiduously avoiding the use of centralized metadata servers which can become bottlenecks. This enables the data nodes to scale into the hundreds, each independently delivering data to applications or users.

Cloud Computing – Types by visibility

Public Cloud or External Cloud

Public cloud or external cloud describes cloud computing in the traditional mainstream sense, whereby resources are dynamically provisioned on a fine-grained, self-service basis over the Internet, via web applications/web services, from an off-site third-party provider who shares resources and bills on a fine-grained utility computing basis.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud environment consisting of multiple internal and/or external providers “will be typical for most enterprises”. A hybrid cloud can describe configuration combining a local device, such as a Plug computer with cloud services. It can also describe configurations combining virtual and physical, colocated assets—for example, a mostly virtualized environment that requires physical servers, routers, or other hardware such as a network appliance acting as a firewall or spam filter.

Private Cloud

Private cloud and internal cloud are neologisms that some vendors have recently used to describe offerings that emulate cloud computing on private networks. These (typically virtualisation automation) products claim to “deliver some benefits of cloud computing without the pitfalls”, capitalising on data security, corporate governance, and reliability concerns.

They have been criticized on the basis that users “still have to buy, build, and manage them” and as such do not benefit from lower up-front capital costs and less hands-on management, essentially “lacking the economic model that makes cloud computing such an intriguing concept”.

While an analyst predicted in 2008 that private cloud networks would be the future of corporate IT, there is some uncertainty whether they are a reality even within the same firm. Analysts also claim that within five years a “huge percentage” of small and medium enterprises will get most of their computing resources from external cloud computing providers as they “will not have economies of scale to make it worth staying in the IT business” or be able to afford private clouds. Analysts have reported on Platform’s view that private clouds are a stepping stone to external clouds, particularly for the financial services, and that future datacenters will look like internal clouds.

The term has also been used in the logical rather than physical sense, for example in reference to platform as a service offerings, though such offerings including Microsoft’s Azure Services Platform are not available for on-premises deployment.

Continued…

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