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Cloud Computing And The Challenges Of Data Storage

Cloud Computing is an emerging concept. It results in the storage of applications and data on remote and interconnected servers (the term “cloud” is used because the location is unknown to the user). Data and applications are no longer only stored on the hard disk of his computer but on servers via the Internet or even exclusively on remote servers. The software becomes used to demand free or not.
Historically, Amazon launched the concept of cloud computing in 2002. Its goal was to acquire a server farm to absorb the peak of orders made on their site at Christmas time. This park being unused the rest of the year, Amazon then decided to open these unused resources to businesses, so that they rent them on demand. Since Amazon has invested heavily in this area and has continued to expand its server farm and associated services.

The players in cloud computing are numerous, including Amazon, Exalead, Google, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Salesforces, and Yahoo. And according to a study by the firm IDC, spending in 2012 in cloud computing should reach 30.4 billion dollars. The cloud computing market is likely to penetrate further into the private sphere before reaching the professional sphere, as has been the case with Web 2.0 tools, blogs, and social networks.

Among the applications of cloud computing, we have a series of * aaS: Software as a Service (SaaS), PaaS (Platform as a Service for platform sharing), IaaS (Infrastructure for infrastructure sharing), Haas (Hardware as a Service) to allow significant computing power.

With SaaS, software like an application is available remotely via the Internet for a set of users.

Cloud computing has technical, organizational and usage impacts that need to be measured before any change in the business.

The benefits of cloud computing are numerous:

– Saving time (working remote employees via virtual desktops which allows flexibility, savings in time of the exchange of various documents, printing, modification since everything is done in real time),

– Money savings (savings of premises, software licenses due to a payment on the use on demand globally cheaper than the acquisition cost of licenses, thin client), free for individuals (for example, Gmail storage space),

– Increased productivity (faster information exchange, the better collaboration where you can edit documents and share them faster than an e-mail with attachments), access from any computer (cybercafé, library) or smartphone to its applications and data,

– Organizational gain (coherence of the software park with not the installation and the update of the last version on his PC but the use of the current version (for example Salesforce, Google Apps), documents always up to date with a collaboration and a real-time modification of data, possibility of data synchronization between data and documents online).

The risks are not to be dismissed, particularly with regard to data security. In fact, a company or an individual who publishes confidential documents online relies on the security of the company offering the service. Security must be taken in its three components: integrity (the data must not be unduly modified), availability (the data must be accessible as soon as it is needed), confidentiality (the data must not be seen by unauthorized third parties). But cyber attacks should multiply given the value these data represent in our immaterial civilization.

With cloud computing, a user can develop his own applications and have them hosted. PaaS complements SaaS by offering not only a platform of services but also a development platform that can combine programming language, tools and development modules. The Microsoft Azure platform is an example of a PaaS that includes a complete hosting environment for applications and services to overcome issues of deployment, scalability, geolocation, server licensing … Google Docs, which is part of the Google App Engine platform to build its own applications and host them on Google servers, allows the user to store his data and documents either privately or by sharing. He can gold manage and store compressed files of any kind (texts, images, videos, audios).

Each file must be less than 250 MB in size. Using Google Docs Viewer allows you to browse all contents. Documents stored on Google Docs can be accessed from any connected computer. This allows the user to have access to his data simply and quickly. The user may also want to start or stop on-demand virtual servers on which his own web applications run. Amazon’s Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) is an example of IaaS. The payment is made according to the time of use of the servers. Chrome OS, the operating system of the new generation, is also based on cloud computing. It comes to compete with the version 7 “light” of Windows intended for netbooks. Apart from the operating system, no program is installed on the computer.

The user has access to various programs like the Google Office suite via the Internet. Chrome OS focuses on the essentials, Google is based on the fact that the user spends most of his time using his browser. A current brake is that the operating system can only be started if there is an Internet connection. However, Wi-Fi / WiMAX access, for example, is not yet widespread. Cloud computing is an important issue for making IT agiler, but with a key security component and related issues: encryption possible information stored in clouds, prevention of cyber attacks, etc.


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