Should the Cloud Computing Definition Include a Big Data Perspective?

Should the Cloud Computing Definition Include a Big Data Perspective?

Rafik Ouanouki (École de Technologie Supérieure, Canada), Abraham Gomez Morales (École de Technologie Supérieure, Canada) and Alain April (École de Technologie Supérieure, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch104
OnDemand PDF Download:
$30.00
List Price: $37.50

Chapter Preview

Top

Introduction

Vaquero et al. (2008) list more than twenty existing Cloud Computing definitions in their paper, and conclude by proposing an additional one. At this rate, we will have a confusing number of definitions before long! This is typical of the inflated expectations of a recent technology, as the cycle of hype surrounding it reaches a peak. At this stage, it is important to step back and try to see Cloud Computing for what it really is. This is exactly what the ISO/JTC1/SC38 committee proposes to accomplish in the next few years. Working Group 3 was specifically created to look at normalizing Cloud Computing terminology.

Looking at the original ideaof the term Cloud Computing, a key question was raised, why so many definitions exist for such simple words. The basic concepts expressed by the term are quite simple. The word computing refers to any activity that involves computer processing or storage (Shackelford et al., 2006). A computer manipulates and stores data, which commonly reside on the hard drive of a computer, or in other hardware such as NAS (network-attached storage), commodity hardware (affordable and readily available hardware), the mainframe, etc. The hard drive can store anything, including structured data, unstructured data, software, databases, etc. In Cloud Computing terminology, these capabilities are designed as services, and these services are offered services in a cloud, anywhere on earth. In other words, its location does not matter. This term also refers to networked computers, among which processing power is distributed.

Where the confusion begins, and so many different definitions are generated, is if those definitions try to include: 1) different perspectives (i.e. Infrastructure versus Software Engineering); 2) too many technical details; 3) a specific technology point of view. For example some definition includes concepts like billing features, type of access, security issues, ownership of data, and even quality features associated with the technology. Since these concepts vary depending on the technology and can evolve, the definition of Cloud Computing can become broader and fuzzier over time.

One of the leading proposals for an internationally accepted definition of Cloud Computing has beenproposed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):

“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 service models, and four deployment models.

This proposal implies that the terminology of those essential characteristics, service models, and deployment models must also be precisely defined. Table 1 shows how these three concepts are defined in the NIST proposal:

Table 1.
NIST Cloud Computing definition
Essential characteristics
On-demand self service
Broad network access
Multi-tenancy
Resource pooling
Rapid elasticity
Measured service
Service models
Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS)
Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Deployment models
Private Cloud
Community Cloud
Public Cloud
Hybrid Cloud

The above definition was initially intended to serve as a means for broad comparisons of cloud services and deployment strategies, and to provide a baseline for discussion – from what Cloud Computing is, to how best to use it.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cloud Computing: The term Cloud Computing is divided into two words; the word computing refers to any activity that involves computer processing or storage, a computer manipulates and stores data, which commonly reside on the hard drive of a computer, or in other hardware such as NAS (network-attached storage), commodity hardware (affordable and readily available hardware), the mainframe, etc. The hard drive can store anything, including structured data, unstructured data, software, databases, etc. In Cloud Computing terminology, these capabilities are designed as services, and these services are offered services in a cloud , anywhere on earth. In other words, its location does not matter. This term also refers to networked computers, among which processing power is distributed. Distribution is a key element in Cloud Computing to enable processing large set data’s.

Cloud Service: A cloud service can be software or hardware offered over a network, usually Internet but could be also over a private network when dealing with private cloud. Many services emerge with the cloud computing paradigm such as Software as a service, Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a service and so one. A more generic abbreviation for services offered in the Cloud is referred to as XaaS where X represents the service offered in the Cloud.

Cloud Computing Technology: The technology that best enable Cloud Computing paradigm. Cloud Computing technology can evolve or changed over time but not the definition of Cloud Computing.

Definition: A definition of a term is a description that best explains what the term means. A definition includes only related and mandatory description, optional fields maybe be explain under a separate section. A definition is an explanation that doesn’t change with time, in other words, given a definition of a term in technology area for example, it does not change with the evolution of the technology.

Optional Characteristic: The complete opposite of the essential characteristics. An optional can be removed from the main definition of a term without affecting the definition and usually preferable to be mentioned outside the main definition under a separate section in a text.

Essential Characteristic: An essential characteristic in the context of this article is an element that could not be excluded from the main definition of a concept. When excluded, the definition is altered and could either be a none complete definition or may refer to another concept.

Analogy: A way to explain a point of view, not a demonstration or a deduction. It is a way of explaining a point of view by looking at a simpler example.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset