Innovation and Security: The two seesaw of cloud computing

Source: Internet
Author: User
Keywords Cloud computing security Internet
Cloud computing is a hot-fired term this year, major IT giants: Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, IBM and so on to test the water, the introduction of cloud computing platform and a variety of cloud computing service model to attract the public eye, not only large companies, small and medium-sized enterprises are swarming, and tasted the many benefits of cloud computing.

So what is cloud computing?

In layman's terms. Cloud computing is a huge server cluster, according to the needs of users to dynamically mobilize resources to provide a variety of IT services. The basic principle of cloud computing is that enterprise data centers run more like the Internet by distributing computations across a large number of distributed computers rather than on local computers or remote servers. This allows the enterprise to switch resources to the required applications and to access the computer and storage systems as needed. "Cloud" is the computer group, each group includes hundreds of thousands of units, or even millions of computers. It is called "cloud" because in some ways it has a cloud in the real world, the cloud is generally larger, can be dynamically scalable, the boundary is fuzzy, erratic in the air, you can not and do not need to determine its specific location, but it does exist somewhere.

Cloud computing is a major change in the way humans use computational resources. As is the case with someone, it is like switching from an old single generator to a centralized power supply model. It means that computing power can also be like gas, water and electricity, easy to use, low-cost. The biggest difference is that it is transmitted over the Internet. Merrill predicts that in the next 5 years, cloud computing will have a global market total of more than $95 billion trillion, and 12% of the global software market will shift to cloud computing.

Cloud computing is the innovation of the 21st century

Well-known。 It industry's metabolism is the fastest, because it technology developed rapidly, from computers, mobile phones and other High-tech products of the depreciation speed can be seen. According to a recent Global CEO survey, 80% of CEOs said they are prepared to make faster changes in the future so they can create more value in the field. This change is not simply to discard the old, to create new ones, but to reconsider them on the old basis, to conceptualize and innovate again. The internet has been around for 16 years, and real computing has been running in the data center for more than 16 years, which requires us to rethink and reinvigorate it, and cloud computing is an innovative platform for solving the problems facing data centers.

For now, most of us use PCs to process documents, store data, and share information with other people via e-mail or mobile storage media. Once the PC hard drive or Removable storage media is broken, we will be stranded because of data loss. In the "Cloud computing" era, the cloud will do the work of storing and computing for us. The benefit of the cloud is that the computer can be updated at any time to ensure that the cloud is immortal. At that time, we only need a computer to be able to access the Internet, do not need to care about the storage or calculation of which "cloud", but once necessary, we can use any equipment at any location. such as computers, mobile phones, and so on, quickly calculate and find this information, no longer need to worry about data loss.

The blueprint for cloud computing is now in the future, with only a laptop or a mobile phone, and we can do everything we need through Web services. Even tasks such as supercomputing. From this perspective, end users are the real owners of cloud computing. Clearly, cloud computing is a real innovation to change people's lifestyles.

The characteristics of cloud computing

Cloud computing is developing very quickly, and there are 6 things that we can't avoid and why companies are so highly admired:

One is super large-scale. "Cloud" has a considerable scale, Google Cloud computing already has more than 1 million servers, Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, Yahoo and other "cloud" have hundreds of thousands of servers. It is because Google has an oversized server that makes its search engine the world's first place.

The second is virtualization. Cloud computing enables users to obtain application services in any location using a variety of terminals. The requested resource is from the cloud, not the fixed physical entity application that runs somewhere in the cloud, but in fact, users do not need to know, and do not worry about the location of the application run, only need a laptop or a mobile phone, you can through the network services to achieve everything we need, even the tasks such as supercomputing.

The third is high reliability and high scalability. The cloud uses measures such as data multiple copy fault tolerance, COMPUTE node L-division interchangeability, etc. to ensure high reliability of services, and using cloud computing is more reliable than using a local computer. The scale of the cloud can be scaled dynamically to meet the needs of application and user-scale growth.

Four is universality. Cloud computing is not specific to the application, in the "cloud" under the support of the structure of the ever-changing applications, the same "cloud" can support the operation of different applications. No matter what your computer configuration, as long as you can connect to a network cable, there is a browser, you can obtain services in the Shi Duan.

Five is on-demand service. "Cloud" is a huge pool of resources, on demand to buy close cloud can be like running water, electricity, gas and so on charges.

Six is extremely inexpensive. Because the special fault-tolerant measure of "cloud" can use the extremely inexpensive node to form the stone; The automated centralized management of the cloud enables a large number of enterprises to not be burdened with the increasingly high cost of data center management; The commonality of the cloud makes the utilization ratio of the resources increase greatly compared with the traditional system, so the user can enjoy the low cost advantage of "cloud" fully. This is why cloud computing is favored by SMEs.

Several major forms of cloud computing

The InfoWorld website has discussed several broad forms of cloud computing with dozens of companies, analysts, and it users:

(1) SAAS (software as a service). This type of cloud computing passes the program to thousands of users through the browser. In the eyes of users, this eliminates the need for server and software licensing, especially from a vendor standpoint, so that only a single program is required, which can reduce the cost SaaS is more commonly used in human resource management procedures and FRP.

(2) Practical calculation (Utility Computing). This cloud computing is the creation of virtual data Centers for the IT industry, enabling it to centralize memory, I/O devices, storage, and computing capabilities as a virtual resource pool the entire network.

(3) Network services. Closely related to SaaS, network service providers are able to provide APIs that allow developers to develop more internet-based applications rather than providing stand-alone programs.

(4) PaaS (Platform as a service). Another kind of SaaS, this form of cloud computing provides the development environment as a service. You can use the middleman's device to develop your own program and upload it to users via the Internet and its servers.

(5) MSP (Management service provider). One of the oldest applications of cloud computing. This application is more for the IT industry rather than end users, often used for mail virus scanning, program monitoring and so on.

(6) Commercial service platform. Mixed application of SaaS and MSP. Such cloud computing provides a platform for interaction between users and providers, such as the user's personal expense management system, which manages its expenses according to the user's settings and coordinates the various services it subscribes to.

(7) Internet integration. Integrate companies that provide similar services on the Internet so that users can more easily compare and select their own service providers.

Cloud computing Applications Blossom

Because it is the result of a variety of technology mixed evolution, cloud computing maturity is high, the development is extremely fast. Big companies such as Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Yahoo are the pioneers of cloud computing. Many successful companies in cloud computing include Salesforce, Facebook, Youtube and MySpace.

More than two years ago, Amazon was one of the first companies to enter the emerging markets for cloud computing, creating a good start for businesses trying to get into the field. Amazon uses flexible computing Clouds (EC2) and simple storage services (S3) to provide computing and storage services for the enterprise. The Fee-based service items R includes storage server bandwidth, CPU resources, and monthly fees. Amazon's revenue from cloud computing has reached $100 million trillion, according to data from Third-party statistical agencies. Visible, cloud computing is one of Amazon's fastest growing Asian affairs.

The most famous example of cloud computing currently in use is Amazon's EC2 grid. The New York Times recently rented the grid to create a 4 TB PDF repository of data capacity, containing 11 million articles from the New York Times between 1851l and 1920. According to Derek Gottfrid of the New York Times, he used 100 Amazon EC2 instances and a Hadoop application to complete all 11 million articles in less than 24 hours, and produced another 1.5 TB of data. The total was 240 dollars. Even if cloud computing is not a mainstream service application, it is a viable option to provide this rare processing power.

Google is the largest user of cloud computing. Google's search engine is built on the support of more than 1 million servers in more than 200 locations, and the number of these facilities is growing rapidly. Google Earth, maps, Gmail. Docs also use these infrastructures. With applications such as Goopte docs, user data is stored somewhere on the internet and can be accessed very conveniently through any Internet-connected system. Currently, Google has allowed third parties to run large parallel applications via Google App engine in Google's cloud computing. Today, they are opening their "cloud" to businesses in application hosting, corporate Search, and more.

IBM launched the "Blue Cloud" computing platform in November 2007 to provide customers with the cloud computing platform to buy. It includes a series of automated, self-management, and self-healing virtualization cloud computing software that enables applications from around the world to access distributed, large server pools, enabling data centers to run computations in an environment similar to the Internet. IBM plans to invest 300 million dollars in 10 countries to build 13 cloud computing centers in 2009.

Microsoft followed cloud computing and launched its Windows Azure operating system in October 2008. A zure (translated as "Blue Sky") is another disruptive transformation of Microsoft after Windows replaces DOS-by creating a new cloud computing platform on the Internet architecture that allows Windows to truly reach the "blue sky" from PCs. Microsoft has the world's billions of Windows user desktops and browsers, and now it connects them to the blue sky. The bottom of Azure is Microsoft's Global infrastructure service system, made up of fourth generation data centers around the world.

In China, the development of cloud computing is also very rapid. May 10, 2008, IBM in China Wuxi Taihu New Town Science and Education Industrial Park established China's first cloud computing center into operation. June 24, 2008, IBM in Beijing IBM China Innovation Center set up a second China's cloud computing center--IBM Greater China Region Cloud Computing Center; 2008 I1 28th, Guangdong Electronic Industry Research Institute and Dongguan Songshan Lake Science and Technology Industrial Park Management Committee signed, Guangdong Electronics Research Institute will be in Dongguan Songshan Lake investment 200 million yuan to build a cloud computing platform; December 30, 2008, Alibaba Group's subsidiary company Ali Software and Jiangsu province Nanjing government formally signed the 2009-year Strategic cooperation framework agreement, plans in early 2009 in Nanjing to establish the first domestic " E-commerce cloud computing Center. The first investment will reach billion yuan; century interconnection launched the Cloudex product line, including the full Internet Host service "cloudexcomputing services", the base 10 online storage Virtualization "C1oudex Storage Service", Internet cloud computing services such as data security services for personal and corporate Internet cloud backup; the China Mobile Research Institute has started early in cloud computing exploration and has completed a cloud computing center experiment. Mobile Chairman and CEO Wang Wang believes that cloud computing and Internet mobility is the future direction of development.

If cloud computing brings benefits to the IT department of large enterprises, it can be a godsend for small and medium-sized enterprises. In the past, small companies were understaffed, it budgets were tight, and the productivity of the millions of-dollar IT equipment was a dream, and now cloud computing is sending them big enterprise-class technologies that are extremely inexpensive upfront and easy to upgrade. The importance of this emerging trend is unquestionable, but it is only the beginning of a series of changes. Cloud computing not only the size of the enterprise caused by the gap between the pros and cons, and very likely to make the pros and cons of the potential of the main. Simply put, the most powerful and innovative technology in the world today is no longer unique to large enterprises. Cloud computing allows everyone to reach the top it technology at a very low cost.

Security concerns are looming.

The future blueprint for cloud computing is so beautiful, is it really invulnerable and omnipotent?

This is not the case, Google Gmail in February this year, a global failure, service outage time of up to 4 hours. It is reported that the failure is due to a ten European data center routine maintenance, resulting in another European data center overload, chain effect expansion and other data cups, resulting in global disconnection.

Microsoft's cloud computing platform, Azure, stopped running for about 22 hours in mid-March, and Microsoft has so far given no detailed cause for failure. However, industry analysts believe that the azure platform of the outage and its central processing and storage equipment failures.

In addition to Google and Microsoft's cloud computing services, Amazon S3 service last year was disconnected for 6 hours. In this view, cloud computing is not necessarily hundred-percent safe. Although cloud computing manufacturers have repeatedly sworn to claim that they can guarantee up to 99.99% reliability and security, users have to believe that the 0.01% tiny possibility of falling into their own head, the loss is immeasurable.

Of course, in addition to system failures, there are the following vulnerabilities:

1. Cloud computing security lack of standards

There are a number of standards that apply to IT security and compliance, including services such as SAS Interactive Management (SAS interaction Management), which are used to manage most business interactions, and these interactions are bound to migrate to cloud computing environments.

At the same time, unless there are security models and standards for the cloud architecture, most of the risk and the blame for the problems will fall directly on the IT department, not the cloud service provider.

Kristin Lovejoy, head of IBM's security, governance and risk management department, also believes that ultimately, consumers of cloud services are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. So for the enterprise, must choose to adopt cloud service, if is non-critical task, can put in cloud computing environment electricity if is the core, is the key task, must put it behind the firewall.

2. Cloud computing faces potential privacy issues

If companies are looking to reduce it costs and complexity by leveraging cloud computing services, the preemption should ensure that there is no potential privacy issue in the process, according to a report released recently by the World Privacy Forum.

Once you give the data to outsiders, you face potential problems. Businesses may often not even know where their data is stored. Information sometimes ends up in multiple places, and each place may need to comply with different privacy requirements. The enterprise should also investigate the hosting service provider in advance to ensure that the data security and privacy measures in the cloud environment are at least as reliable as their own measures. It is also important to know what business continuity and disaster recovery measures are implemented by cloud services providers and the policies that deal with data breaches. Users who want to cut costs through cloud computing tend to overlook such issues and need to clarify the privacy aspects of their contracts.

So is it possible for us to avoid the risk of cloud computing? In fact, any innovation can be risky, and we always find ways to reduce and eliminate risk:

(1) Control the data position. Another problem that affects the size of customers is the location of the data because different countries apply different privacy and data management laws. So it's particularly important for companies that are involved in cross-border business. The EU, for example, has strict rules on which data on the individual can be kept and kept for long. Many banking regulators also require customers ' financial data to remain in their home countries, and many compliance requirements cannot be put together with other data on a shared server or database.

Today, users may not even know where their data is in the cloud computing environment. This fact brings with it a variety of compliance issues such as data privacy, isolation, and security. But the question of uncertain data positions is beginning to change, as Google allows customers to specify where to keep their Google Apps data, thanks to its acquisition of an e-mail security company Postinie and, for example, a Swiss bank that requires customer data files to be kept in a Swiss country, Google can do that now.

A further step is the ability to physically isolate users ' data from other customers ' data in a multi-tenant architecture of cloud computing environments. However, this isolation technology is expected to be implemented through a virtualization technology that is still in its early stages but increasingly powerful.

(2) Data encryption. Data encryption can mitigate some of the privacy risks associated with unintentional or malicious disclosure-this encryption is for data that is stored on the server of the cloud service provider and for the end user. In addition, the implementation of a two-factor validation scheme to control access to data stored by cloud service providers is expected to ensure that only users with access to data can see the data. Of course, if the enterprise is all in place, and has done the work beforehand, it is not much different to store the data itself or to store the data by the cloud service provider.

(3) Data loss and backup processing. Where are the data stored? Who has access to data security? This is a big problem because cloud service providers have little experience in dealing with sensitive data in addition to software and services (Software ASA Service, SaaS) providers. In general, data is shared and stored in cloud services and therefore potentially dangerous. In fact, it's risky to keep data inside the company, not to mention cloud services. This approach, which often evaluates the risks/benefits of data access within an enterprise, can also be applied to cloud services. Determining what data can be transferred to cloud services and how to protect the data requires that we understand the criteria of the well verification vendor and make sure that they can be modified.

When using cloud services, such as the flexible computing cloud of Amazon, an enterprise can encrypt data for operating systems, applications, or database management systems running in virtual instances. When using other services, such as application hosting, IT organizations need to keep an eye out for developing programs to ensure that security measures, such as data encryption, are built into the program.

Businesses should carefully consider the risk of data loss, regardless of where the data is stored. Amazon understands that computers fail from time to time, so it is recommended that their customers deal with computer failures through redundancy and backup plans. Some cloud vendors provide backup services or data export capabilities, so that enterprises can create their own data preparation other vendors require customers to use the enterprise's own development or third-party development of the backup program.

Future trends in cloud computing

There is no doubt that the widespread use of cloud computing will bring about changes in people's lives. It will be possible to radically change the user's habit of using the computer, allowing users to move from a table to a core use of various applications to the web-focused activities. And the computer may degenerate into a simple terminal, no longer need to install a variety of software like now, while the configuration and upgrade of these software to bother. Future computers may be used only for network connectivity and services that use cloud computing.

The biggest change should be the enterprise (especially the small and medium-sized enterprises), they can quickly build the various applications they want, without any more trouble for server resources. Whether cloud computing can eventually reach individuals, I'm afraid, will need to look ahead for some time to develop.

Of course, cloud computing is also facing challenges in the future, where security and privacy will be the primary issue. Imagine, if the future, user and enterprise data are highly concentrated in a computing cloud or data center, and these computing clouds are likely to become the primary target of terrorists, once the terrorists succeed, whether it will lead the whole world backward for several years, or even decades? How can users trust companies that provide cloud storage and cloud services to ensure that companies do not disclose users ' privacy? All this is a problem that must be addressed when cloud computing is truly pervasive.

Zhang Zhiwei, vice president of Google China Research Institute, said that the current industry speculation of the V calculation concept, there is no denying that there are a lot of business promotion factors, but no one dares to deny that this is the trend of the development of the Internet. Any new revolutionary things go through a process from the advent to the widespread acceptance of the user. It seems that the way cloud computing balances innovation and security depends on time, and as bandwidth and the corresponding service patterns mature enough, the cloud will grow larger, and cloud computing will revolutionize the Internet.

At the RSA security conference held in San Francisco this April, Cisco's president and chief executive, Chambers, said many of the days would be delivered on the Internet in the form of a free service, allowing businesses to take advantage of the risk of stealing core secrets from rivals. "There is no doubt that innovation always coexists with security, so people have to be careful about the balance," Chambers said. So, how can people get away from the problems caused by security, one of the best solution is to build a sound security monitoring system. ”

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