Arising computing technology

Arising computing technology

1. Cloud Computing

1.1 Introduction

Cloud Computing is a computing paradigm which uses the combination of services, software and connections over the network to do an assigned work. On the back of the system are the collective of network of computers, servers, connections and data storage systems which could be refer as "the cloud" and it allows users to access the services at the supercomputer- level power using the computing at the scale of the cloud. Consumers or businesses could tap to their resources as and when they would need the services, hence, it could also be called as on-demand computing.

Cloud computing is new -- it's potential is exciting and its applications are limitless.

1.2 Technology

It is an arising computing technology which maintains applications and its data using the centralised remote servers and internet, providing a more efficient computing by centralizing bandwidth, memory, processing, and storage. Without installation, businesses and consumers is allowed to use the applications and access their personal files anywhere and anytime with internet access.

1.2.1 Architecture

Cloud Computing comprises 2 significant sections which are thefront endand theback end, both connecting each other via anetwork, usually is theInternet.

Front End

The front end is the side the computer user or client himself who is able to access, involving his/her computer or network and the program(s) which he/she uses for accessing the servers, applications and databases that provides all the data and information.

Back End

The back end of the cloud computing architecture is the "cloud" section of the system itself. This is the collection of all the related information, data and applications that is residing in the centralised servers that the clients or users wish to have the access to.

These 2 ends of the cloud computing architecture are closely connected via a network; most common use is through internet, as all users could remote access the services in the cloud.

1.3 Types of Cloud

A cloud can be classified to be private or public. Cloud which provides or sells its application services to any person on the internet is referred as public cloud. Whereas, a private cloud is a proprietary data centre or a proprietary network which only provides a specific hosted services to a particular group of people, normally to a limitation number of people.

However, there is another special type of cloud which is called virtual private cloud where a service provider makes use of the resources in the public cloud to create their private cloud.

Ultimately, whether it is private or public, there is only one objective for cloud computing which is to give scalable and easy access to the IT services and computing resources.

1.4 Cloud Computing Models/Services

1.4.1 Difference between Cloud Service and Traditional Hosting

Service in the cloud has 3 clear distinct characteristics that could differentiate it from other traditional hosting.

Firstly, service is flexible; user could have the service as little or as much as they want at any given time.

Secondly, services are sold on demand and could be every minute or hour or day;

Thirdly, service is all wholly managed by the service provider and there is no need for consumer to worry anything. The user would just need a computer and Internet access for the service.

1.4.2 Cloud Service Models

Cloud Services are being supplied by enterprises (service provider) and are being accessed by other users over the internet. The users will access the resources as a service which normally on a subscription basis and they have no control over the infrastructure that is supporting the technology they are using. Most of the time, users will just have a little knowledge of the technology which is being used behind.

Their main objective is to just use the service provided.

There are actually five major Cloud Computing provider models, as in which the majority of minor "*aaS(as a Service)" variants fall into, as of follows.

  • Managed Service Provision (MSP): not only are you hiring your service from the cloud, you've someone to run and maintain it too.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): pretty much ubiquitous as a term and usually typified by Salesforce.com, who are the SaaS poster child.

Vendor supplies the hardware infrastructure, the software product and interacts with the user through a front-end portal. SaaS is a very broad market. Services can be anything from Web-based email to inventory control and database processing. Because the service provider hosts both the application and the data, the end user is free to use the service from anywhere.

Currently, Amazon Web Services is the largest public cloud provider.

Platform as a Service (PaaS): the application platform most commonly associated with Amazon Web Services.

In the cloud, it is defined as a set of software and product development tools hosted on the provider's infrastructure. Developers create applications on the provider's platform over the Internet. PaaS providers may use APIs, websiteportals orgatewaysoftware installed on the customer's computer. Force.com, (an outgrowth of Salesforce.com) and GoogleApps are examples of PaaS. Developers need to know that currently, there are not standards for interoperability or data portability in the cloud. Some providers will not allow software created by their customers to be moved off the provider's platform.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure-as-a-Service like Amazon Web Services provides virtual server instances with uniqueIP addresses and blocks of storage on demand. Customers use the provider's application program interface (API) to start, stop, access and configure their virtual servers and storage. In the enterprise, cloud computing allows a company to pay for only as much capacity as is needed, and bring more online as soon as required. Because this pay-for-what-you-use model resembles the way electricity, fuel and water are consumed; it's sometimes referred to as utility computing.

One of the primary forms of cloud computing is referred to as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Infrastructure services are comprised of the basic compute, storage, and interconnect services required to run applications.

1.4.3 Example of Services (Outside Singapore)

1.4.3.1 Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)

One example of such a service is Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3). According to Amazon, "Amazon S3 provides a simple Web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the Web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of Web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers."

Hosting 2.0

1.5 Pros for Cloud Computing

Cloud computing providing unlimited infrastructure to store and execute customer data and program. As customers you do not need to own the infrastructure, they are merely accessing or renting; they can fore go capital expenditure and consume resources as a service, paying instead for what they use. Other benefits:

  • Minimized Capital expenditure
  • Location and Device independence
  • Utilization and efficiency improvement
  • Very high Scalability
  • High Computing power

1.6 Cons for Cloud Computing

Security is a Concern

Security concerns arising because both customer data and program are residing in Provider Premises.

Security is always a major concern in Open System Architectures

Some example that showing security as concerns with dangers and vulnerabilities are:

Dangers

  • Disrupts Services.
  • Theft of Information.
  • Loss of Privacy.
  • Damage information.

Vulnerabilities

  • Hostile Program.
  • Hostile people giving instructions to good programs.
  • Bad guys corrupting or eavesdropping on communications

2. Cloud Computing in Singapore

2.1 Cloud Computing In Singapore

6th March 2009, Spokesperson from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

(IDA), a government organization committed to creating a competitive innovation-rich environment in Singapore for consumers and business, told FutureGov, whom is the largest community of government, education and healthcare Officials in Asia Pacific, that it recognises cloud computing, in which Google provides numerous services for businesses and government, as "an important next paradigm" in InformationTechnology. Cloud Computing actually offers new possibilities in applications working with massive data to the increasing demand for computing accompanying with long-term cost effectiveness and low-cost virtualisation. The cloud definitely holds a very good potential for industry sector in Singapore.

However, IDA has concerns on the cloud computing, understanding that is still at its early stage. One of the concerns being raised is the data security for cloud computing which needs to be work on for further improvements. For an instance, when handling sensitive data, it should comply with the sector-specific regulatory requirements.

2.2 Milestone of Cloud Computing Activities

2.2.1 Create Global Cloud Computing Research Test Bed - 29 July 2008

With the importance to prepare Singapore well to leverage cloud computing for greater impact, competitiveness and economic reach, IDA has partnered with Intel, HP and Yahoo to create a research initiative for a global, multi-data center, open source test bed called "Open Cirrus Cloud Computing Test bed" since July 2008. This partnership will allow IDA to investigate on the various opportunities that could be provided by cloud computing, researching on the data intensive and internet-scale computing. The goal of this initiative is to promote the collaboration between governments, industry and academia by removing all the logistical and financial barriers.

"The HP, Intel and Yahoo! Cloud Computing Test Bed furthers our commitment to the global, collaborative research community that is advancing the new sciences of the Internet," said Prabhakar Raghavan, head of Yahoo! Research. "With this test bed, not only can researchers test applications at Internet scale, they will also have access to the underlying computing systems to advance understanding of how systems software and hardware function in a cloud environment." - quoted from IDA Singapore Website

"To realize the full potential of cloud computing, the technology industry must think about the cloud as a platform for creating new services and experiences. This requires an entirely new approach to the way we design, deploy and manage cloud infrastructure and services," said Prith Banerjee, senior vice president of Research at HP and director of HP Labs. "The HP, Intel and Yahoo! Cloud Computing Test Bed lets us tap the brightest minds in the industry, academia and government to drive innovation in this area." - quoted from IDA Singapore Website

2.2.2 Cloud Computing Conference 2009 - 10 March 2009

IDC, which is the leading provider of data-driven analysis and research in the region, has surveyed with the results that shows the world is entering an acceleration of IT cloud services adoption. Survey results show the acceleration in 3 years, from today 15-25 % to 25 - 45% and expecting the spending of IT cloud services to soar almost threefold by hitting $42 billion by 2012.

Cloud Model appeals to the business and consumers with its cost advantage being greatly magnified in the economic downturn by offering a lower cost for the usage of IT services.

With the rapid emergence of Cloud Services, IDC believes that Cloud Computing is definitely not a technical hype and is certain that Cloud Computing Era will be with the global for the next two decades, driven by the real economic necessity and opportunity.

With the guide of the acceleration and today's adoption of IT cloud services, cloud computing is reshaping the IT marketplace, catalyzing changes in traditional IT offerings and generating new opportunities for suppliers.

In order to prepare Cloud Computing for the Next 20 years, IDC has organized a Cloud Computing Conference 2009 on 10 March 2009 with the objective to assist senior IT management to have a better understanding on enterprise cloud computing. The conference focused on how enterprises could adopt on the cloud computer models by featuring panels of candid conversations with industry luminaries to exchange views and enhance knowledge, and the thought of IT leaders.

2.2.3 Platform Computing Plans to open Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC) - 12 April 2009

In order to create competitive advantage through Cloud Adoption, company partners up with Singapore Government.

Platform computing whom is the leader in Grid and Cloud Computing Software announced its plan to open a Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC) in Singapore in May 2010. CIC will be the joint initiative between IDA and Platform with the objective to encourage the creation of new services and products with Cloud Computing technology.

CIC would be a facility to provide access to free cloud software, training programmes and technical consultants to Singapore-based companies, educating software vendors, enterprises, government organizations and start-ups on the cloud technology.

2.2.4 SalesForce.com DataCenters Opening in Singapore - 15 July 2009

IDA has proudly addressed the launch of salesforce.com and the setting of data centre in Singapore on 15 July 2009. At the same time, Salesforce.com also provide a new offering to let Singapore enterprises to run their "first" application at no cost on salesforce.com, the company's cloud computing platform.

In the global business community, Singapore is being recognised as a highly competitive trusted hub for businesses looking to offshore their operations. Hence, salesforce has chosen Singapore to house its lone international centre with the 24x7 hrs monitoring of data by another Singapore based company, Network Operations Centre (NOC).

"This significant development will add to the richness of Singapore's infocomm landscape, increasing the confidence of SMEs in using SaaS for business productivity and contributing to our Cloud Computing eco-system," said Andrew Khaw, Senior Director and Group Head, Industry Development, of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore. "Singapore is in a strong position to support fast-growing international infocomm companies such as salesforce.com in delivering innovative web-based services to customers here and globally." - quoted from Data Centre Knowledge Website

2.2.5 Intalio R&D center in Singapore - 9 Nov 2009

Recognizing Southeast Asia as a high growth for IT solutions including Software-as-a-Service and Cloud Computing, Intalio, the leading vendor of enterprise cloud computing platforms having 600 customers in 55 countries, is announcing to establish an R&D center in Singapore to foster innovation in South East Asia region and to support Singapore development efforts.

"Cloud computing hastens the pace of Infocomm Technology becoming the 4th utility, after electricity, gas and water, for businesses," said Andrew Khaw, Senior Director, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). "Cloud computing technologies offered by industry players such asIntalio will help to catalyse and accelerate business innovations on cloud computing. We see Singapore-based companies playing a keystone alliance role in bridging talent to trigger the growth of cloud computing in Asia." - quoted from Virtualization Journal.

With the consideration of Singapore advantage for having a diverse talent pool and its strategic location for making a good launch spot to the Southeast Asian market, Intalio has selected Singapore for its R&D centre. Moreover, with Singapore's new nationwide broadband network capable of up to 1Gbps per end user connection to be completely implemented by 2012, Intalio cloud computation platform could tap on this fiber network through its variety of applications for both public and private sectors.

2.3 Present and Future of Cloud Computing in Singapore

Cloud Computing has created a new horizons for IDA effort to place Singapore as an IT shared services hub. IDA plans to develop the Cloud Computing eco-system, working closely in consultation with their partner agencies like EDB for the enhancement of the competitiveness of Singapore's infocomm sector.

However, IDA current focus will be on 3 areas.

  1. Enabling the infrastructure for Cloud Computing
  2. Working with industry to build innovation centres to pilot cloud-based business models in specific sectors and verticals.
  3. Building up Cloud Computing workforce capability. (IDA is now instilling Cloud Computing courseware for undergraduates in higher learning institutes).

In addition, with the integration of Singapore's Next Generation National Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN), Singapore is capable to adopt the Cloud Computing for its development of new products and services with the ultra high-speed access of up to 1 GB per second.

In a related trend, IDA is expecting its Next Generation Nationwide Infocomm Infrastructure initiative, with major Internet service providers such as Pacnet, MobileOne, Singtel, and Starhub offering seamless wireless broadband access, to bolster Singapore's efforts to be a leading nation in cloud computing usage.

3. Singapore Case Study - SingTel Marketplace

3.1 Introduction

Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), Singapore's largest phone company and a major local player in broadband Internet Services, is tapping into the Cloud Computing Business with the objective for the establishment of Singapore to become a regional cloud computing hub.

SingTel announced, on 14 July 2009, on its collaboration with IDA, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, for the head start in leading software developers, IT entrepreneur and technology companies to help establish Singapore into a regional computing hub.

SingTel launched Singapore's first integrated cloud computing marketplace called SingTel Marketplace, targeting at its broadband customers, with its intents to provide applications from a host of ISVs (independent software vendors), ranging from small software companies to larger software players which includes Microsoft and Salesforce.com.

In Asia Pacific, the Cloud Computing Services market is expected to soar with a CAGR with an estimation of around 60% in year 2011. Hence, SingTel Marketplace takes the opportunity to ride on the Cloud Computing Technology which provides business services on demand, for instance HR applications, web customer relationship management, hosted email. With the promise for a secure online environment, consumers could enjoy these services on a subscription basis, without the need for software installation and license purchase for their employees. Employers could avoid high upfront of investments in the company IT infrastructure and the related ongoing maintenance with upgrade costs.

3.2 Services

SingTel Marketplace allows companies to enjoy the software services benefits on a monthly subscription basis, for instance like Human Resource Management Applications. In addition, consumers could also enjoy the immediate services, technical support's activation in the consolidated SingTel bill.

Presently, SingTel Marketplace has launched with 7 applications, mostly centered around Human Resource Management and Accounting, from smaller ISVs like Singapore-based MecWise. However, SingTel is expecting to integrate 50 or more business applications but not expecting to hit the thousands. As business applications tend to be less varied in nature, Singtel is focusing on few selected applications to populate Singtel Marketplace.

Mr Bill Chang, Executive Vice President of SingTel's Business Group, said: "Cloud computing allows businesses to improve their productivity and yet lower their ICT costs by up to 90%. - quoted from SingTel Website

3.3 Plans

Marketplace's value proposition lies in a quicker time-to-market for smaller ISVs. Without having to invest, the small companies could use the popularity of Marketplace as its medium (Singtel-branded cloud) to create web based applications to reach out to individual customers. The company expects to attract developers and promote their services in Asia Pacific Markets.

SingTel is optimistic that the business will grow as Cloud Computing is gaining its momentum globally due to the mature virtualisation technologies. In addition, with most broadband and smart devices are becoming more affordable and pervasive and the launch of ultra-fast Next Generation National Broadband Network in Year 2012 in Singapore, this marketplace will grow even faster.

3.3.1 SingTel Innovation Exchange (SIX)

As part of broader plan to grow ISVs, SingTel launches the platform under an initiative called "SingTel Innovation Exchange (SIX)". This program is meant to accelerate the development of Cloud Computing Services by pulling in two government agencies which are International Enterprise (IE) and IDA for the assistance to attract and grow more ISVs to produce Web-based apps.

In addition, Software developers will be able to have access to resources like technical consultancy and grid computing from SingTel and its partner to assist to time-to-market and lower the operational costs and shorten.

While IE Singapore provides business-matching and mentoring with potential overseas customers to help ISVs go regional, IDA will be assisting in selecting ISVs for the development of software with the platform.

Mr Chang said: "SingTel, together with IDA and IE Singapore, is excited to play a leading role in positioningSingaporeas a regional hub for cloud computing services.The SingTel Innovation Exchange will leverage the strengths and collaborative efforts of an ecosystem of partners.It will accelerate the development and commercialisation of innovative services to empower businesses and consumers, changing the way our customers live, work and play." - quoted from SingTel Website.

3.4 Compare and Contrast with the Group Case Studies

3.4.1 Ricky Case Study

Google G-mail

Google is well known by everyone as a search engine and e-mail hosting, there's one case that hit badly in Google application where on March 2009 Gmail from Google overloaded and cause millions of Gmail users can accessing their account . All routers stop sending e-mail and overload by traffic.

This is a bad impact for them as users lost trust where some giant companies and millions free users worldwide disappointed by this outage. Some big companies make statement that they lost millions of business by this downtime.

After recovered 100 hours from the downtime as one of the pioneer in cloud computing Gmail web services Google spoke person make a statement that "this kind of incident won't happened again" and they are really taking it seriously where put 2.4 billion hardware and software investment to make sure the system will up and running for 24 hours without downtime.

ompare & Contrast with SingTel Marketplace

SingTel has similarities with Google as a reputational company which could not afford to have its services down when small and big companies will be using the services provided in SingTel Marketplace. Once SingTel Marketplace Data Centres which host the company's data is down or its connection is lost due to SingTel network, SingTel will face the same problem with Google for the same bad impact for companies to lost trust in SingTel for their services.

The above example is one of the pros in Cloud Computing that all data will be all dependby the service provider. Companies would be helpless if their data is lost at the service provider data centre.

3.4.2 Boon Keong Case Study

MailTrust

Mailtrust is the fastest growing business email specialist in America hosting more than 800,000 emails accounts for more than 100,000 businesses worldwide, with up to about 10 gigabytes of storage space per email account.

In 2006, mailtrust's growth was ranging from 5-10% per month and they were outgrowing its data backup processes very quickly.

Mailtrust turned to the Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for a faster, more cost-efficient online storage solution together with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS).

With Amazon S3 now, Mailtrust has a fully scalable, high performance back system. They are now able to eliminate duplication of emails in their backup client and backup all in parallel.

Compare & Contrast with SingTel Marketplace

SingTel Marketplace has similarities with Amazon Simple Storage Service as a reputational company and hence, their back up services would need to be equally good. Moreover, SingTel Marketplace might provides web hosting services which will be the almost the same business as Amazon Simple Storage Service.

Hence, SingTel Marketplace should take Mailtust as a case study on their solution on how to eliminate duplication of emails in their backup client and backup all in parallel.

3.4.3 Chong Wei Case Study

Microsoft data loss

The brand of the smart phone affected in the data loss was Danger Hiptop (also known as Sidekick). It was connected through the T-Mobile's (a mobile phone service provider) network. The company which produced the Sidekick, Danger, Inc was bought by Microsoft in February 2009, who then took over the running of the data centres and its servers where the Sidekick's user data was stored.

During a period of two weeks in late September 2009, users of the Sidekick began to suffer from data outages and on 10 October 2009, T-Mobile announced that the personal data like email, contact numbers stored on Sidekick would be lost permanently. However on 15 October 2009, Microsoft announced that it is in the process of restoring most of the data.

The data outage is caused by server failure at the data centres taken over by Microsoft. The series of errors from the server failure also causes damage to the main and backup data. Approximately 800,000 users were affected by this incident.

Compare & Contrast with SingTel Marketplace

SingTel Marketplace has similarity like T-Mobile especially where its parent company, SingTel is the largest mobile provider in Singapore which host data like contacts and Singnet is one of the IT Services by Singtel which host data like emails. SingTel Marketplace might have related applications which allow consumers to manage emails and contacts using mobile phone, hence, once data server failed, the impact is as great to be comparing to T-Mobile.

SingTel Marketplace either to be a Cloud Computing Business or SingTel itself have to fully equipped with the worst scenarios will all necessary backups facility in place to cater for data servers failure.

4. References

On top of the heading references, the following list of reference book identifies the source information from this citation:

* http://www.zdnetasia.com/news/internet/0,39044908,62056109,00.htm

* http://www.idc.com.sg/CloudComputing2009/

* http://www.ida.gov.sg/News%20and%20Events/20050906103951.aspx?getPagetype=20

* http://home.singtel.com/news_centre/news_releases/2009_07_14.asp

* http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/intalio-opens-cloud-computing-center-of-excellence-in-singapore,1036301.shtml

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