Cloud Computing, its present and future in India

Aamjunta on Cloud Computing, its present and future in India.

What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a mechanism in which applications are served over the Internet, instead of traditional means of serving on the desktop computer or LAN. In cloud computing, the hardware and software are placed in a distributed manner and the applications or services are served as Software as a Service (Saas). All the processing and file-saving will be done “in the cloud” of the Internet, and the users will plug into or access that cloud to do their work. This can be done strictly on a usage-basis.

In cloud computing, the various data center hardware and software are connected to form a “cloud”. When this kind of cloud is made available to the users on a “rent basis” or “pay-as-you-use basis”, then the cloud is called as “public could”. Similar to public cloud, we define “private cloud” as cloud formed by hardware and software of various data centers which provide services to a particular organization, instead of general public.

Fundamentally, cloud computing provides a thin separation between the resources used and personal computer of an user. In this mechanism, as explained above, the resources (such as applications/software as services) may not exist locally in the personal computer of the user or the LAN. Instead, these services are physically present at different places/data centers over the Internet. The physical and logical separation between the users and the service providers (the data centers) allows the users to simply use the services even without owning them in their PC and get benefited.

In addition, cloud computing also allows the service providers (vendors) to create/develop new applications/services and to expand their business. By providing services over a “cloud” in the Internet, this technology reduces the complications of copyright, licensing and AMC to a great extent. However, there are a few downsides to it.

Architecturally, there are various layers: at the top, Cloud Computing (SaaS -Software as a Service), Cloud Software Environment (PaaS -Platform as a Service), Cloud Software Infrastructure, Software Kernel and at the bottom, Firmware/Hardware (HaaS -Hardware as a Service). The Computational Resources (IaaS -Infrastructure as a Service), Storage (DaaS -Data as a Service) and Communications (CaaS -Communications as a Service) units are part of the Cloud Software Infrastructure layer.

With the rise in deployment of cloud computing, quality of services of cloud computing in terms of (i) security, (ii) reliability, (iii) application response time, (iv) availability and (v) scalability, etc. become major concerns in the operational and deployment level. The service providers must ensure that there is seamless connectivity to the “cloud” for users across the globe. Since all of the users’ documentation/data is in control of the service provider, security and protection system of the files becomes highly necessary. If PC crashes, data is still out there in the cloud but if the reverse happens, then the user faces tough without any other back-up!

Therefore, security of data is equally important when an organization switches from a conventional system to a cloud computing system – it must choose the vendor carefully. While this robust technology reduces administrative costs dramatically, the risks lie in areas of service disruption, connectivity and online security! Similarly, application response time and scalability also pose a major problem in the design of the cloud. In addition to the above, care needs to be taken in terms of usage, cost of deployment, and complexity before bringing one service from the PC world to the cloud world.

Job opportunities for students in Cloud Computing
Looking at the benefits of cloud computing most of the organizations are venturing into the world of cloud computing. In many cases, organizations are moving some part of their services from the individual user level to cloud level, resulting in provision of public cloud or private cloud to users. This kind of technological transformation requires a need of “expert group” in the organization not only to create the cloud, but also to sustain the cloud. This is a new technology and hence bring careers to many. With the increasing trend to bring more and more services to the cloud, there exits many job opportunities for fresher as well as experts. Like the developers, could computing also generates more employability for test engineers, as the testing requirement of cloud based services are quite different from conventional local services.

Expertise required to study cloud computing?
Expertise in terms of idea on a working knowledge of computer networks is handy. However, it is not mandatory. Since most of the services or applications can be provided through Internet or through web services, software development skills such as web services, AJAX and SOAP, etc. provide more job opportunities. Unlike conventional services or applications provided through a local PC, cloud based services requires thorough architectural design to simultaneously provide many services to the users. This requires specific skills in the development process.

Though an engineering background is not mandatory, development skills such as AJAX, SOAP, Web services like .Net, Java, Testing skills will be handy to sustain and grow.

Possible research interest among students their career options in India
Cloud computing is becoming a hot research topic and attracts students at the level of Masters, PhDs and at other levels. Prominent research areas include Quality of Services in cloud computing, virtualization, resource sharing, multi-threading, licensing, pricing models, etc. Academic organizations as well as private and government organizations are showing more and interest in these fields. There is a group (faculty and students) at Computer Science and Engg of IIT Bombay, India actively working in cloud computing, and are involved in R&D related to various aspects of cloud computing. Other than IIT Bombay, IBM India Research Lab (IBM IRL), Bangalore, TCS Innovation Lab, HP Labs India are some of the major R&D organizations working in cloud computing.

Cloud Computing and IT Industries in India
IT companies in India as well as abroad are showing interest on professionals with cloud computing background. This is because most of the IT companies are moving their applications from the user PC to their cloud. This helps in obtaining quick access to software services and products, lowering license, infrastructure and maintenance costs, providing instant software updates (version controls), increasing computing power (perform supercomputing-like tasks by utilizing power of thousands of computers and servers), providing unlimited data storage capacity, increasing data safety (if PC crashes, data is still out there in the cloud), improving compatibility between operating systems (in “clouds”, data matters ; not operating systems), improving document format compatibility, easing group collaborations, enhancing productivity and high utilization factors (leading to expansion of business).

Almost all IT companies are recruiting people with cloud computing as a skill. However, service industries such as TCS, Wipro, Infosys, CTS, GSS Infotech are becoming the major recruiters. Companies like Google, Mirosoft, Amazon, etc., also provide job opportunities as these companies mostly provide and maintain the infrastructure of the “cloud”. Other major commercial cloud providers are Yahoo, Verizon, HP, vmware, b-hive, 3tera, Q-layer, CYCLECOMPUTING, MOSSO, Engine Yard, Joyent, etc,

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8 Responses

  1. Hi,
    Your Blog Is Very Good.It providing useful information for all.

    Thank You,

  2. It is a relevant and useful post. Keep sharing
    SAAS is the latest buzz in tech circles and in India, it is much beyond early adoption levels. More and more customers are signing up for various services.

  3. Hello, I enjoy reading through your article post. I like to write
    a little comment to support you.

  4. Hot technical topic. Is there any research in cloud computing happening at IISc? Do you have any idea?

    From users’ perspective, cloud computing is a good choice, but delivering cloud computing is the toughest thing as there is no Internet bandwidth. Thanks for the post.

  5. Thank Mahalingam for your comment. Yes, in IISc there are people in CS working on cloud computing.

    You are right… we do not have Internet bandwidth to provide seamless services. With the present setup the cloud services will always be in cloud 🙂

  6. Hi aamjunta,
    Your blog gives good information about the latest cloud buzz. Actually I would like to know more details about this area so is it possible you to send mail to mohanchaudhari@gmail.com, so I can ask those questions….waiting for your mail…Thanks in advance…Mohan

  7. Thanks for your interest… I am sending you a test email from my ‘aamjunta’ ID. Please send your queries to that; I will send my replies at the earliest.

  8. hi aamjunta
    send a test mail to me also .. i have a lot doubts regarding this topic and i think u r best person to my clarifications

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