Cloud Computing

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Cloud Computing is computing resources and access platforms which are stored, hosted and carried out in a foreign (3rd party) data server configuration.

With Cloud Computing, companies can scale up to massive capacities in an instant without having to invest in new infrastructure, train new personnel, or license new software. Cloud computing is of particular benefit to small and medium-sized businesses who wish to completely outsource their data-center infrastructure, or large companies who wish to get peak load capacity without incurring the higher cost of building larger data centers internally. In both instances, service consumers use what they need on the Internet and pay only for what they use.

The service consumer no longer has to be at a PC, use an application from the PC, or purchase a specific version that's configured for smartphones, PDAs, and other devices. The consumer does not own the infrastructure, software, or platform in the cloud. He has lower upfront costs, capital expenses, and operating expenses. He does not care about how servers and networks are maintained in the cloud. The consumer can access multiple servers anywhere on the globe without knowing which ones and where they are located. [1]


Cluster computing is one subset of Cloud Computing.


Grid computing is another.


Virtualization is a core component of Cloud Computing which divides the available resources on a given hardware and/or software configuration into specific representations for specific users, organizations or communities.




[2] [3]


Eucalyptus is an open-source system for implementing on-premise private and hybrid clouds using the hardware and software infrastructure that is in place, without modification. Eucalyptus adds capabilities such as end-user customization, self-service provisioning, and legacy application support to data center virtualization features, making IT customer service easier, more fully featured, and less expensive. Eucalyptus can be downloaded for free and used forever. It includes Amazon Web Services API (EC2, S3, EBS) and support for Xen and KVM, and allows you to build a cloud in 6 steps.

The Eucalyptus slogan is:

Your Hardware. Your Data. Your Cloud.


Unified Cloud Interface

Unified Cloud Computing is an attempt to create an open and standardized cloud interface for the unification of various cloud api's. A singular programmatic point of contact that can encompass the entire infrastructure stack as well as emerging cloud centric technologies all through a unified interface. One of the key drivers of the unified cloud interface is to create an api about other api's. A singular programmatic point of contact that can encompass the entire infrastructure stack as well as emerging cloud centric technologies all through a unified interface.

In this vision for a unified cloud interface the use of the resource description framework (RDF) is an ideal method to describe a semantic cloud data model (taxonomy & ontology). The benefit to an RDF based ontology languages is they act as general method for the conceptual description or modeling of information that is implemented by web resources. These web resources could just as easily be "cloud resources" or API's. This approach may also allow us to easily take an RDF -based cloud data model and use it within other ontology languages or web services making it both platform and vendor agnostic. Using this approach we're not so much defining how, but instead describing what.


OpenNebula is a Virtual Infrastructure Manager that orchestrates storage, network and virtualization technologies to enable the dynamic placement of multi-tier services (groups of interconnected virtual machines) on distributed infrastructures, combining both data center resources and remote cloud resources, according to allocation policies.


cloudloop is a universal, open-source Java API and command-line tool for cloud storage, which lets you store, manage, and sync your databetween all major providers.


Cloud Foundry SpringSource Cloud Foundry is the first self-service, pay-as-you-go, public cloud deployment platform for full-feature Java web applications that unifies the entire build, run, and manage application lifecycle for Java.


VMware (upon purchase of SpringSource) announced their own Cloud Environment with the following characteristics:

   * RESTful with full programmatic control
   * OVF standards based
   * Platform independent
   * Pure virtual
   * Supports multi-tenancy


NASA's Nebula Cloud


The Xen® hypervisor, the powerful open source industry standard for virtualization, offers a powerful, efficient, and secure feature set for virtualization of x86, x86_64, IA64, ARM, and other CPU architectures. It supports a wide range of guest operating systems including Windows®, Linux®, Solaris®, and various versions of the BSD operating systems

Cloud APIs

Generally there are three types of Cloud API's.

1. Blind API's - API's that don't tell you their restrictions. Amazon Web Services is the best example. (Personally I'd rather know what I can or can't do then not know at all)

2. Closed API's - API's that do tell you their restrictions. Google App Engine is a good example using a highly restrictive license. The Google terms state in section 7.2. that "you may not (and you may not permit anyone else to): (a) copy, modify, create a derivative work of, reverse engineer, decompile or otherwise attempt to extract the source code of the Google App Engine Software or any part thereof, unless this is expressly permitted" Which would make things like AppScale which is an open-source implementation of the Google AppEngine illegal under Google's terms of use.

3. OpenCloud API's - API's that generally let you do whatever you want as long as you give attribution. Rackspace, GoGrid and Sun are the best examples. A major issue facing a lot of these so called open API's is although you maybe free to remix and use the API, you could be limited by the use of a company's name or trademark. Making the attribution clause a potential mine field.


Dasein Cloud API

External Links


  1. Cloud .vs. Grid:
  2. Ubuntu promises DIY Amazon cloud:
  3. Why Microsoft should fear Ubuntu’s cloud efforts: