Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Challenges in the Cloud

While the cloud service offerings present a simplistic view of IT in case of IaaS or a simplistic view of programming in case PaaS or a simplistic view of resources usage in case of SaaS, the underlying systems level support challenges are huge and highly complex. These stem from the need to offer a uniformly consistent and robustly simplistic view of computing while the underlying systems are highly failure-prone, heterogeneous, resource hogging, and exhibiting serious security shortcomings. The promise of the cloud seems very similar to the typical distributed systems properties that most would prefer to have. Invariably either in the IaaS or PaaS or SaaS cloud services, one is proffered features that smack of full network reliability; or having “instant” or “zero” network latency; or perhaps supporting “infinite” bandwidth; and so on. But then robust distributed systems are built while keeping mind that are these fallacies6 that must be studiously avoided at design time as well as during implementations and deployments. Cloud computing has the ironical role of projecting this idealized view of its services while ensuring that the underlying systems are managed realistically. In fact the challenges in implementing cloud computing services are plenty; prime amongst these are the challenges of
security. The Cloud Security Alliance seeks to address many of these issues.

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