Information Stewardship in Cloud Computing

Information Stewardship in Cloud Computing

David Pym, Martin Sadler
DOI: 10.4018/jssmet.2010010104
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Cloud computing ecosystems of service providers and consumers will become a significant part of the way information services are provided, allowing more agile coalitions, cost savings and improved service delivery. Existing approaches to information security do not readily extend to this complex multi-party world. The authors argue for a mathematical model-based framework for the analysis and management of information stewardship that makes explicit both the expectations and responsibilities of cloud stakeholders and the design assumptions of systems. Such a framework supports integrated economic, technology, and behavioural analyses, so providing a basis for a better understanding of the interplay between preferences, policies, system design, regulations, and Service Level Agreements. The authors suggest approaches to constructing economic, technology, and behavioural models and discuss the challenges in integrating them.
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2. Cloud Computing And Cloud Services

Although many commentators still see cloud computing as more hype than substance, draft working definitions of cloud computing are beginning to emerge. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, Information Technology Laboratory, June 2009 (NIST 2009) propose:

Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network 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 interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics, three delivery models, and four deployment models.

This characterization of cloud computing provides a useful starting point for a discussion of the challenges of information stewardship. It focuses on the relationship between users and the resources that are managed on behalf of the users to provide services.

The characteristics describe how users can gain access to services when they want (on-demand self-service), where they want and with whatever device is at hand (ubiquitous network access), take advantage of the fact, that because many others are using the same service, resources can be provided cheaply, quickly and in appropriate amounts (location independent resource pooling, and rapid elasticity), and understand what they have engaged with (measured service).

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