Saturday, 1 September 2012

Cloud Computing a new era

Cloud computing is the latest technology buzzword these days. Cloud computing directly links the data of the computer users with the World Wide Web. It enhances the computing experience, since users can access the same data from anywhere in the world. They don't need to worry about having their personal computers, or laptops with them. The computer users can store things online on the storage of the cloud servers they have access to. 

Cloud Computing a new eraCloud computing is the delivery of computing and storage capacity as a service to a community of end-recipients. The name comes from the use of a cloud-shaped symbol as an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it contains in system diagrams. Cloud computing entrusts services with a user's data, software and computation over a network of computers. It enhances the network and computation efficiency in a nice manner. -
There are three types of cloud computing:-
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS), and 
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
Using Software as a Service, users also rent application software and databases. The cloud providers manage the infrastructure and platforms on which the applications run.
The cloud based applications are accessed by the end users through a web browser on a desktop or a mobile app (application) while the software and other data is stored on remote servers hosted on computers located in a faraway location. Cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance, and enables IT to adjust resources quicker to meet fluctuating and unpredictable demand.
Cloud computing technology shares common computing resources over a network to achieve coherence and economies of scale. At the basis of cloud computing is the broader concept of converged infrastructure and shared services.
After the dot-com bubble burst, when many Internet companies failed en masse, Amazon played a key role in the development of cloud computing by modernizing its data centers, since it's data centers were using only about 10% of their capacity most of the time, just in case they needed it due to occasional spikes in demand. Having found that the new cloud architecture resulted in significant internal efficiency improvements whereby small and fast-moving could add new features faster and more easily. Amazon has also initiated a product development effort for its external customers which is called Amazon Web.
Eucalyptus was the first open-source, AWS (Amazon Web services) API (Application programming interface)-compatible platform for deploying private clouds. At almost same time, OpenNebula, was the first open-source software for the deployment of private and hybrid clouds. By mid-2008, Gartner spotted the opportunity for cloud computing to build relationships between consumers, users and the marketers of IT services. The company also observed the shift from from company-owned hardware and software assets to per-use service-based cloud business models. The shift towards cloud computing is likely to result in dramatic growth in IT products. IBM also jumped on to the cloud bandwagon on March 1, 2011 through its Smarter Computing framework which aims for a smarter planet.  Cloud computing is a critical part of this framework.
Cloud computing has been defined by Dr. Biju John and Dr. Souheil Khaddaj with the definition: "Cloud computing is a universal collection of data which extends over the internet in the form of resources (such as information hardware, various platforms, services etc.) and forms individual units within the virtualization environment. Held together by infrastructure providers, service providers and the consumer, then it is semantically accessed by various users." Cloud computing is definitely now a part of the computing mainstream. You now see commercials from Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and other companies regularly on television. CNBC has come out with a Cloud Computing Special Report for investors and even government agencies are now contemplating moving to cloud-based solutions. 
Unfortunately, one of the most touted reasons we see for using cloud computing  that it provides universal access to data and applications from the Internet  has nothing to do with what cloud computing actually is. According to the The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition of cloud computing, the five main characteristics of cloud computing are: 
Personal service which comes as per user requirement: With on-demand self-service, the professional “IT projects” are not needed at all for either using the application or for updating it for use in a new business development. You can do whatever you need, when you need it. 
Broad Network Access: This lets you work wherever you need, whenever you need  from your work or home computer, or other devices such as notebook, tablet, or Smartphone. Traditionally, this was done through browser, whereas now with several App Stores coming up users can install richer applications to access data  on-demand. 
Shared Resource: Somewhere far away IT people are managing shared, redundant infrastructure across many data centers. They manage maintenance, business continuity, elimination of failures and bottlenecks, etc. You gain all of the benefit of these large-scale investments in time and resources  but without the need to do any work. 
Improved Elasticity: Users don't have to plan their capacities anymore. The moment there is increase in demand; due to some unexpected popularity the computing resources needed are immediately  available. The waste time is avoided which would otherwise irritate and turn away customers. 
Pay only for what you use: Rather than paying 100% for servers that you only use at 20% utilization, you pay for the exact number of resources you use, when you use them. 

Cloud Computing and Broadcasting

Usually, when the broadcasters need to get their video signals between the station and television sets, they send their signals to the network cloud providers over a cable, and the same signal on a cable is provided back to them where they want it. The cloud is just a tool in between. Those who have, however, read about the cloud computing technology know that there is a large network of computers in the middle all connected with Internet either through cables or wireless Internet to make the transmission of video signals possible. 
With the help of the advanced cloud technology, it is also now possible to provide video streams in different file formats, for example, if one television station wants the signal in one file format and another in a different file format, it is possible with the help of cloud technology now.  The television viewers must have also heard about mobile TV and more, where the video is provided directly to the viewers through the cloud data centers in between, but currently, the method of sending signal through a cable to data center to get the same signal back at another place through cable is more prevalent. The method of getting video signal directly to the device is a data hog currently and will result in substantial cost increases.
For the broadcast industry, cloud based services are new at this time but the history of cloud computing itself goes long back. The cloud as we know it today came out of the virtualization technology which is used by media organizations to get huge amount of computing power to approach content production and delivery differently. By making use of third party computing capability, and workstations which could be accessed through the browser, the broadcasters would be able to cut costs and increase productivity. 
For example, if the application completes video editing image editing tasks and graphics creation, or even animation, it enables the broadcasters to get the content work done and deliver it conveniently while retaining the same quality standards. When the media, users and projects from beginning to end are being tracked in the right manner, irrespective of where they are located, it ensures the content work is finished and broadcast on time.
About the cloud, the broadcasters just love the fact that they don't have to own it, or manage it, nor do they need to maintain or upgrade it either, they just have to work with it. While video editing is just an example of the workflow, it is a good example which explains how the situation may turn out to be in a good way. If the programme is installed in one computer, others would not be able to see what one person is doing on his computer. 
If it is there in a cloud based editing system, the video uploaded by one can be seen by other technicians, they can discuss the editing, point out their changes and other details from their own locations and all this happens very smoothly. Once the content is created, it is available to every other member of the team. Since all the data is encrypted, even if anyone hacks the data from outside, the information received by them would be encrypted and they would not be able to make sense of it.


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