Cloud Technology: Development Trends, Examples Of Execution
Cloud computing has a long history (the concept originated in 1960), but the term itself only gained a foothold a few years ago, in 2007. Despite the widespread and frequent use of the term, it still lacks a clear and unambiguous definition, because in the process of cloud technology development the wording undergoes more and more changes and additions. Therefore, instead of a strict definition, I give its most common version: "Cloud computing is a technology of distributed data processing, in which computer resources and capacities are made available to the user as an Internet service."
3 Types of Clouds
According to the deployment model, clouds can be divided into private, public, and hybrid.
A private cloud is an IT infrastructure that is controlled and operated for the benefit of a single organization. A private cloud can be owned, managed, and operated by the organization (customer) itself, by an external operator, or partly by the customer and partly by the operator.
A public cloud is an IT infrastructure intended for free use by the general public. The users of the data located in the cloud are not able to manage and maintain this cloud, and all responsibility for these matters lies with its owner. The public cloud can be owned, managed, and operated by commercial, academic, and government organizations (or a combination of these). A public cloud physically exists in the legal jurisdiction of the owner - the service provider (cloud provider).
A hybrid cloud is an IT infrastructure that is a combination of private and public clouds that are interconnected by standardized or proprietary data and application technologies. Responsibility for the management of cloud services is shared between the private cloud service provider and the customer organization. In essence, the hybrid cloud is not a stand-alone type of cloud deployment, but only indicates the close integration of public and private cloud systems.
The boundary between private and hybrid cloud deployments is not yet completely clear. So, it is difficult to find reliable predictions that allow assessing the prospects of hybrid, public and private models in the near future. At the same time, there are enough reasons to foresee the growing popularity of the hybrid model. The following advantages of this model can be highlighted:
Hybrid clouds allow to control key data due to the possibility to leave it in the internal secured network of the company;
The hybrid model makes it possible to integrate and combine public cloud services from different vendors.
According to the service model, it is currently accepted to divide cloud technologies into the following ones:
SaaS (Software as a Service) - providing an application for end-users with access via the Internet;
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) - provision of hardware IT infrastructure, including servers, networks, and information storage devices (often, when speaking about IaaS, we mean leasing virtual servers on someone else's equipment);
PaaS (Platform as a Service) is IaaS plus operating system and API (Application Programming Interface).
While IaaS-class cloud applications are based on virtualization technologies, PaaS-class solutions, in addition to virtualization, require additional tools. They allow to develop network applications with higher efficiency and lower costs.
Economic Development Outlook
To estimate the economic benefits and forecast the development of cloud technologies, here are the data obtained by the Center for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), and the IDC analytical company.
Estimating the economic importance of different models of cloud computing deployment for the European economy, the CEBR researchers argue that 39.3% of economic benefits will accrue to the hybrid model, 35.1% - to private clouds, and only 25.6% - to public cloud services.
In addition to economic benefits, cloud computing is also quite environmentally friendly. The introduction of cloud computing will not only save money on the equipment involved but will also increase the efficiency of computing power.
According to the results of the annual CNews Analytics survey, every sixth company was going to develop some kind of cloud services in the past year. In 2020 only 10% of companies were going to develop cloud infrastructure, but in 2021, 20% of respondents already set a similar goal.
Such growth rates correlate well with IDC data. The analysts of this international company believe that in the near future the cloud market will grow by an average of 100% per year. According to IDC, in 2021 the market volume will barely exceed $45 million, but by the end of 2022, it will reach $1.2 billion.
Cloud Technology and Internet of Things
Cloud technologies are used not only in off-the-shelf networking and server equipment but also are gradually penetrating the embedded cloud market, becoming the reason for large-scale market restructuring.
The widespread adoption of embedded systems leads to the placement of computer processors in products for various kinds of special applications, such as industrial automation (M2M modules, resource meters, smart sensors, etc.), and up to everyday personal products (cars, household appliances, etc.) to control the operation of devices, collect data or provide interactive features through connection to a computer network.
The idea of connecting all kinds of devices to a global network is called the Internet of Things (IoT). According to Kevin Dallas, general manager of Microsoft Windows Embedded, the idea of the Internet of Things has existed for many years, but its implementation lacked one link to build such a network: the cloud.
It can be assumed that in the near future, most of the data obtained will be collected and processed by end embedded intelligent devices (specialists from VDC Research Group Inc. call them Scalable Edge Nodes - SEN) united in a differentiated intelligent IP network.
In conclusion, Ming-Chin Wu, the president of Advantech Industrial Automation Group said in his recent speech that the next 15 years will be the time of the Internet of Things and cloud computing.