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Cloud Storage and Computing

Written By: 

Vikas Gulia

Cloud in simple word as we all understand is “storage and computing of data on the online server”. Actually there is nothing like “cloud” , its just a metaphor which symbolise the online or remoteness in the digital world. It is referred so by programmer and developer around the world to show the intermidiate medium in any network. Cloud does not exist in real but is a representation of the pool of resource used in the network to process any data.

Cloud Computing and storage gives the ability to share the resources and reallocate it dynamically. Cloud computing and cloud storage are two stages of the same process. We can relate them with “to process we need data, and processed data we need to store somewhere”. So having both computation and storage at a place (in single system) reduce the network traffic to access a resource stored at the remote server. Storing whole data at a single place practically reduce half of the traffic. The cloud computing and storage serve the backbone for the IOT. And Therefore word “Cloud” hold a deep meaning inside it, in all domains.

History

The word “cloud” was first used to represent the internet based computing. There is no single term which can exactly define the cloud computing. Cloud is collection of modern technology, web services and virtualisation. The word cloud was flipped with mainframe computing, where employees used to access mainframe from the terminal. Since it was not possible to maintain such a computer for every employee, network was create to provide all the resource from one single Mainframe system.

When computer were connected in network, there was need to maintain a system which can store data and process the request coming from different client system. This formed the foundation of Cloud. Cloud computing and storage is a concept of modern IT infrastructure where billions of computer and devices are connected to network of networks just to process the request of other consumer PC. These computer are super computer which have the capability to handle request and process trillions of request in just seconds.

We all heard about the google drive, dropbox, etc where we store our data. We can save all our data there. And the fun part is that we can access it from anywhere like desktop, mobile, tablet, or any other device which support internet. This is a very simple example of Cloud stoage or Online Storage. Cloud form a web platform instead of local hard disk to store and process the data. The data processing capability is distributed and spread across the network to provide better service.

How IoT is linked to the Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has evolved to greater stage as we expected in very less time. IoT is now an application or side version of cloud computing. IoT provide interface to the user and consumer through cloud computing. Internet of things is nothing but a concept where all the electronics device are trying to connect to internet. Cloud computing provide virtually unlimited computational capability to the device.

Graphical Presentation of Cloud Storage and Computing

Fig. 1: Graphical Presentation of Cloud Storage and Computing

IoT is basically a Private network and therefore it is not directly a part of open Cloud but can access private and hybird cloud for the resources. Cloud based computing reduce the overhead of the device and reduce on-chip storage. We can treat cloud as virtual system which can interface any kind of device and process its request. Cloud provide direct storage on the server of the host. Sensor nodes in the IoT can directly access cloud storage to store their data on the servers.

As per basic definition we can state, Cloud computing is a concept of using network of remote server hosted on internet to store, manage and process user’s data, rather than local server or a PC to perform such functions. But if we are integrating Cloud computing and IoT, we need to change some terminology. When IoT is used on cloud a new concept of networking is generated.

IoT is network based on WSN. If WSN have the access to store, manage and process the data through internet, then it must use Cloud. Since the IoT access a private network it need to be protected on the cloud, which is shared network. So that only limited or priveledged user /device can use the resource shared by the IoT WSN. With the advancement of 4G-LTE cellular network and wifi the IoT is growing with a faster rate. And therefore can access Cloud server more easily and securely.

The collective usage of Cloud and IoT gives a brand new domain of research known as “Fog Computing” also called as “Fogging”. It is a distributed computing infrastructure.Fog sometimes also comes by the name of “Cisco fog computing”, as it a registered name by Cisco. The word Fog conveys meaning of localized cloud which provide faster access by staying closer to the data source.

Fog Computing

The term “Fog computing” was introduced by professor Salvatore J. Stolfo. The Fog computing is a side version or an improved version of cloud which does not deal with the centralisation but focus mainly on the localization of the resources.

Fog computing is advance concept of sharing IoT on a Cloud, where some application run at client or IoT nodes and some run as cloud servers. Fog computing decentralize the cloud computing concept and emphasise on the end-user or client objective rather than sharing the resources. It dynamically checks the density of traffic and route it to provide quality of service( QoS). The concept is still not yet developed fully or commercially. The concept perceived both large cloud systems and big data structures based servers making it compatible with the existing network of both virtual and real devices.

Fog computing is kind of a new breed of cloud computing which not only connect the cloud but also provide connectivity to the IoT network. It’s main aim is to reduce the amount of the data transported to and back from the cloud server. It also increase the efficiency and reduce the rate of transfer. In fogging most of the data processing will done at node end or client side in a gateway system.

This distributed approach is growing because of the wide acceptability of the IoT. Since the amount of nodes and data handled by the WSN is enormous it need to be processed and standardized at the node itself in order to stored at cloud. This method not only reduce the amount of data but also reduce the time to access the data from cloud. Computation done at client server or localized server reduce the need of storing the data at the Centralised server. User can directly access any info from localized server.

IoT and Cloud

IoT and Cloud are coupled together to form a unit which will form chain of network. The preference to localized server than centralised server will reduce the rate of data transfer. Special purpose cloud server can be implement by the use to access the information store by the IoT nodes. These cloud will gather and distribute the info more faster and secure. The good thing about integrating IoT with Cloud is that we can practically connect “anything” to the internet which can either process or gather data.

Cloud hold and delivers the resourses on demand over the Internet as a Service (IaaS). Cloud computing process the data as Software as a Service(SaaS). Both these can be utilised to make a smart environment. So many tools are available in the open source which provide the capabality to configure the IoT based on Cloud. Some of those are IoT by Oracle, BlueMix by IBM, SAP IoT, OpenRemote, ioBridge and lot more. These can be used to configure the IoT and we need separately implement the gateway to handle the access to store and process the data.

IoT and cloud are changing the face of normal internet usage by the human kind. Most of the Enterprise and Business are converting their resources into Cloud and IoT based. This increase the productivity of the company and also help them reduce and smartly configure their resources. The number is keep on increasing day after day.

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