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Cloud Computing

David Patterson

Cloud Computing is a new term for a long-held dream of computing as a utility, which has recently emerged as a commercial reality. A rapidly increasing list of companies, including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, now offer Cloud Computing services.

Now developers with innovative ideas for new interactive Internet services no longer require the large capital outlays in hardware to deploy their service or the human expense to operate it. They need not be concerned about over-provisioning for a service whose popularity does not meet their predictions, thus wasting costly resources, or under-provisioning for one that becomes wildly popular, thus missing potential customers and revenue.

This democratization of large scale computing means that Berkeley undergraduates in a few weeks could create  a new service used by millions without having to first purchase, house, and run a supercomputer.

Moreover, people with bulk processing tasks–which includes many scientists and engineers–can get their results as quickly as their programs can scale, since using 1000 servers for one hour costs no more than using one server for 1000 hours. This elasticity of resources, without paying a premium for large scale, is unprecedented in the history of information technology.

Cloud Computing is transforming the information technology industry, making software even more attractive as a service and shaping the way computer hardware is designed and purchased.

To learn more:

Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View of Cloud Computing, by Michael Armbrust, Armando Fox, Rean Griffith, Anthony D. Joseph, Randy H. Katz, Andrew Konwinski, Gunho Lee, David A. Patterson, Ariel Rabkin, Ion Stoica and Matei Zaharia, EECS Department, University of California, Berkeley, Technical Report No. UCB/EECS-2009-28, February 10, 2009.

http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/2009/EECS-2009-28.html

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Comments to "Cloud Computing":
    • luca

      Cloud computing can be divided into two different aspects: the cloud storage and the cloud backup. The difference is that storage is the a box where you can save and secure your files, like Dropbox and google drive. While the backup softwares go a step further and also save automatically the data that you want them to save at the time that you choose. I would advise this site to learn more about cloud computing: http://www.tenbestcloud.com

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    • Rahul

      “Cloud Computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network-based access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interactions.” (Source: ezinearticles.)

      This definition is one of many that have been introduced within the IT industry, but what does this actually mean? The concept of a cloud can be looked at as a “leasing-versus-owning concept – an operational expense versus a capital one.”

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    • Naveen Yadav

      I always feel that getting software on lease before you purchase, so that you can have a feel of it. We should check if we require the software in a longer run, if not, we should go for getting it on lease and save some money out of it.

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    • Comparethecloud

      Agreed in the main with the points raised, but one other addition to add is understanding data requirements. For instance in the UK we are subject to the data protection act and as such need to know data location. Recently there has been a swing away from the major US based cloud providers due to the Patriot Act regulations US companies are bound by in terms of data interception.

      My new Cloud Computing site will feature a blog post on this shortly.

      My view is that data regulation and the cloud are interlinked and we will see a lot more localisation of data storage requests which means setting up a cloud service which transcends national borders requires this one additional research due-diligence step.

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    • Naveen Yadav

      Cloud Computing is something which has gained a lot of popularity because of its advanced features. Not only it provides convenience to the users but also it is very cost effective. Companies with not so high budget can still enjoy its features at affordable prices. Cloud computing certainly possess a bright future.

      I found this very good article on its economical advantages: Cloud Computing Economical Perspective

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    • Cloud Computing Blogger

      I feel cloud computing is the future and today most of the IT Gaints have their own cloud services up and operating. Still, there is lot of concern over security and flexibility. However, like most technologies, cloud is going to evolve over time steadily overthrowing all such concerns.

      I strongly feel cloud has more to do with every field in IMS space rather just being a standalone simple technology in itself.

      Looking to get the hand of network storage as now am mostly proficient with networking technologies.

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    • Cell Phone Unlocking

      Professor Patterson,

      I was wondering if you could comment on Cloud Hosting vs. Dedicated Hosting. I’m currently operating a few different web domains and would be interested in a professional view on the benefits of either or. I know that this post was made a while ago, but it would be interesting to get your input on it, considering cloud hosting is much more cost efficient than dedicated. The concept of cloud is fascinating. I don’t understand why larger companies using dedicated virtual servers wouldn’t switch over to Cloud if performance would be similar.

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    • Mike

      I think cloud computing has tremendous resource allocation (efficiency) and cost advantages over traditional means. The challenges to mass adoption are two: perception and security. The perception that the cloud is insecure persists. I would think having all of your data in one location is more risky, but many people associate physical proximity with security.
      In terms of actual security (not perception) there are risks associated with hacking and cyberterror that are yet to be handled.
      Mike Periu

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    • Cloud computing is the future, but is not easy. Some problems such as security should be considered, and some people or companies should prefer to store their private data on their own servers. I think that cloud computing and personal computer should exist together in the future. Thank you!

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    • Cloud computing is still at the beginning phase.
      For those who do not exactly understand:
      Cloud computing is in fact a good businesses where already the biggest players like Amazon, Google and Microsoft take advantage of storage and virtual services by the Internet, saving money on infrastructure and support. Where is less money to spend, they are more money to profit.

      Simplified: the “cloud” in cloud computing may be characterized as the set of computer hardware, networks, storage, services, and interfaces that combine to deliver prospects of computing as a service. Cloud services include the delivery of software, infrastructure, and storage across the web (either as distinguish components or a stand-alone platform) established on user demand.

      Hope this explain
      Ian William (Laptopuri Inc. EU Devision)

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    • I feel the price advantages over the disadvantages in terms of cloud computing and saas organizations is pretty clear. As long as the issues of security are addressed we should be seeing some continued growth down the road. Netbooks are a perfect example of less hardware and more online services. OS’s will eventually all be based online in the cloud. Its just a matter of time.

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    • I have to admit I’m not entirely convinced that cloud computing is going to be as big as some expect. I’ve used AWS and haven’t been all that impressed with the service despite it’s scale, however 80legs.com has proven invaluable for me so thumbs up to them! I guess time will tell and perhaps the dawn of the Android OS will usher in a new approach to everyday computing via the cloud…

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    • Van

      The advent and growth of Google and other players in the market has certainly led to another web and It boom. Cloud computing as a concept is fantastic as it allows the user to in effect pay for the utility they use. In the past software developers would need enormous capital injection to further develop their script due to the need of other applications. Bolting an application on for a project without the cost is revolutionary and will ensure further growth in the software space.

      I think the concept of cloud computing will roll over into the investment space as well with trading companies relying more on algorithms and automated trading in the future.

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    • Professor Patterson,

      I agree that cloud computing will change computing as we know it. We already have big sites, such as Twitter, using Amazon’s EC2 and many universities have started using Google Apps. Cloud computing also allows new entrepreneurs to invest only a small amount while be able to scale rapidly, if the need arises. Without cloud computing, the airsoft store I set up would have been a lot more difficult. The ability to to quickly take a snapshot of my server and start another server with the same configurations has allowed me to learn how to use linux and apache.

      On more than one occasion, I managed to “break” my server, but it was not a problem as the sever I broke was only a copy of my original server.

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