What is Cloud Computing ? – Day 3

In the previous post we have go through about various Cloud Computing as services  iaas, paas IDaas Naas and saas.

Now in this post we will study about the cloud computing management and cloud data storage. All the information in the What is Cloud Computing series is bring from http://www.tutorialspoint.com and howstuffworks.com the main aim of this series to provide information on cloud computing and in the next few post we will look into how clouds work for java.  Now lets move on to Cloud Management.

Cloud Computing Management

It is the responsibility of cloud provider to manage resources and their performance. Management may include several aspects of cloud computing such as load balancing, performance, storage and backups, capacity, deployment , etc. Management is required to access full functionality of resources in the cloud. Cloud Management involves a number of tasks to be performed by the cloud provider to ensure efficient use of cloud resources. Here, we will discuss some of these tasks:cloud_computing-cloud_management_tasks

AUDIT SYSTEM BACKUPS

It is required to timely audit the backups to ensure you can successfully restore randomly selected files of different users. Backups can be performed in following ways:

  • Backing up files by the company, from on-site computers to the disks that reside within the cloud.
  • Backing up files by the cloud provider.

It is necessary to know if cloud provider has encrypted the data, who has access to that data and if the backup is taken at different locations, you must know where.

SYSTEM’S DATA FLOW

The managers should develop a diagram describing a detailed process flow. This process flow will describe the movement of company’s data throughout the cloud solution.

BEWARE OF VENDOR LOCK-IN

The managers must know the procedure to exit from services of a particular cloud provider. There must exist procedures, enabling the managers to export company’s data to a file and importing it to another provider.

KNOWING PROVIDER’S SECURITY PROCEDURES

The managers should know the security plans of the provider for different services:

  • Multitenant use
  • E-commerce processing
  • Employee screening
  • Encryption policy

MONITOR CAPACITY PLANNING AND SCALING CAPABILITIES

The managers should know the capacity planning in order to ensure whether the cloud provider will meet the future capacity requirement for his business or not.

It is also required to manage scaling capabilities in order to ensure services can be scaled up or down as per the user need.

MONITOR AUDIT-LOG USE

In order to identify the errors in the system, managers must audit the logs on a regular basis.

SOLUTION TESTING AND VALIDATION

It is necessary to test the solutions provided by the provider in order to validate that it gives the correct result and is error-free. This is necessary for a system to be robust and reliable.

Cloud Computing Data Storage

Cloud Storage is a service that allows to save data on offsite storage system managed by third-party and is made accessible by a web services API.

Storage Devices

Storage devices can be broadly classified into two categories:

  • Block Storage Devices
  • File Storage Devices

BLOCK STORAGE DEVICES

Block Storage Devices offer raw storage to the clients. This raw storage can be partitioned to create volumes.

FILE STORAGE DEVICES

File Storage Devices offers storage to clients in form of files, maintaining its own file system. This storage is in the form of Network Attached Storage (NAS).

Cloud Storage Classes

Cloud Storage can be broadly classified into two categories:

  • Unmanaged Cloud Storage
  • Managed Cloud Storage

UNMANAGED CLOUD STORAGE

Unmanaged Cloud Storage means that the storage is preconfigured for the consumer. The consumer cannot format nor the consumer can install own file system or change drive properties.

MANAGED CLOUD STORAGE

Managed Cloud Storage offers online storage space on demand. Managed cloud storage system presents what appears to the user to be a raw disk that the user can partition and format.

Creating Cloud Storage System

The cloud storage system stores multiple copies of data on multiple servers and in multiple locations. If one system fails, then it only requires to change the pointer to stored object’s location.

To aggregate storage assets into cloud storage systems, the cloud provider can use storage virtualization software, StorageGRID. It creates a virtualization layer that fetches storage from different storage devices into a single management system. It can also manage data from CIFSand NFS file system over the Internet. The following diagram shows how SystemGRID virtualizes the storage into storage clouds:

cloud_computing-data_storage

Virtual Storage Containers

Virtual storage containers offer high performance cloud storage systems. Logical Unit Number (LNU) of device, files and other objects are created in virtual storage containers. Following diagram shows a virtual storage container, defining a cloud storage domain:

cloud_computing-virtual_storage_containers

Challenges

Storing the data in cloud is not that simple task. Apart from its flexibility and convenience, it also has several challenges faced by the consumers. The consumers require ability to:

  • Provision additional storage on demand.
  • Know and restrict the physical location of the stored data.
  • Verify how data was erased?
  • Have access to a documented process for surely disposing of data storage hardware.
  • Administrator access control over data.

References:

http://www.tutorialspoint.com/cloud_computing

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