In the past, computing is conducted separately, mainly based on individual devices. However, since 2000, before which the definition of ‘cloud’ is vague, cloud computing has become a touchable concept. As Hassan Qusay (2011) points out, “Cloud computing is Internet-based, providing shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand, a model for enabling ubiquitous, on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources.” With the technology of cloud computing, users can now process and store their data in a remote server. For example, an American may watch a comedy online in New York, but the comedy itself can be stored in India. By relying on sharing of resources, could computing achieves coherence and economy of scale.

As a result of the evolution and adoption of existing technologies and paradigms. Cloud aims to allow users to benefit from all of these technologies and do not need deep knowledge about or expertise with each of them. By utilizing the cloud, people can reduce costs and focus on their core business instead of being impeded by IT obstacles. The main enabling technology for cloud computing is virtualization. Virtualization software sets a physical computing device into multiple “virtual” devices. They can be conveniently used and managed to perform computing tasks. Cloud computing also leverages concepts from utility computing to provide metrics for the services. It shares characteristics with Client, server computing refers broadly to any distributed application that distinguishes between service provider(servers) and service requestors (clients), computer bureau, grid computing and fog computing.

Cloud-computing providers offer their ‘services’ according to different models through service-oriented architecture advocates “everything as a service”. These models offer increasing abstraction, thus often portrayed as a layers in a stack: infrastructure-, platform- and software-as-a-service. Users access cloud computing using networked client devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones and any Ethernet enabled device such as Home Automation Gadgets. Some of these devices rely on cloud computing for all or a majority of their applications so as to be essentially useless without it. However, cloud computing poses privacy concerns because the third-party service provider can access the data that is in the cloud at any time. Information could be altered or even deleted accidentally or deliberately. Many cloud providers can also share information with others because of law purposes and order even without a warrant, as permitted in their privacy policies. So the privacy problem would be a big concern in the widespread use of cloud.

Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing#cite_note-37

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Client%E2%80%93server_model

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fog_computing

Questions:

1: How can the privacy of users of cloud products be protected?

2: What’s the limitation of publicizing cloud products?

3: What are some technical obstacles of building the cloud?