Wiley | 978-0-470-88799-8 | Datasheet | Wiley Cloud Computing: Principles and Paradigms

Wiley Cloud Computing: Principles and Paradigms
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PART I
FOUNDATIONS
CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD
COMPUTING
WILLIAM VOORSLUYS, JAMES BROBERG, and RAJKUMAR BUYYA
1.1
CLOUD COMPUTING IN A NUTSHELL
When plugging an electric appliance into an outlet, we care neither how electric
power is generated nor how it gets to that outlet. This is possible because
electricity is virtualized; that is, it is readily available from a wall socket that
hides power generation stations and a huge distribution grid. When extended to
information technologies, this concept means delivering useful functions while
hiding how their internals work. Computing itself, to be considered fully
virtualized, must allow computers to be built from distributed components such
as processing, storage, data, and software resources [1].
Technologies such as cluster, grid, and now, cloud computing, have all aimed
at allowing access to large amounts of computing power in a fully virtualized
manner, by aggregating resources and offering a single system view. In
addition, an important aim of these technologies has been delivering computing
as a utility. Utility computing describes a business model for on-demand
delivery of computing power; consumers pay providers based on usage (“payas-you-go”), similar to the way in which we currently obtain services from
traditional public utility services such as water, electricity, gas, and telephony.
Cloud computing has been coined as an umbrella term to describe a category
of sophisticated on-demand computing services initially offered by commercial
providers, such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. It denotes a model on
which a computing infrastructure is viewed as a “cloud,” from which businesses
and individuals access applications from anywhere in the world on demand [2].
The main principle behind this model is offering computing, storage, and
software “as a service.”
Cloud Computing: Principles and Paradigms, Edited by Rajkumar Buyya, James Broberg and
Andrzej Goscinski Copyright r 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
3
4
INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
Many practitioners in the commercial and academic spheres have attempted
to define exactly what “cloud computing” is and what unique characteristics it
presents. Buyya et al. [2] have defined it as follows: “Cloud is a parallel and
distributed computing system consisting of a collection of inter-connected
and virtualised computers that are dynamically provisioned and presented as one
or more unified computing resources based on service-level agreements (SLA)
established through negotiation between the service provider and consumers.”
Vaquero et al. [3] have stated “clouds are a large pool of easily usable and
accessible virtualized resources (such as hardware, development platforms
and/or services). These resources can be dynamically reconfigured to adjust
to a variable load (scale), allowing also for an optimum resource utilization.
This pool of resources is typically exploited by a pay-per-use model in which
guarantees are offered by the Infrastructure Provider by means of customized
Service Level Agreements.”
A recent McKinsey and Co. report [4] claims that “Clouds are hardwarebased services offering compute, network, and storage capacity where:
Hardware management is highly abstracted from the buyer, buyers incur
infrastructure costs as variable OPEX, and infrastructure capacity is highly
elastic.”
A report from the University of California Berkeley [5] summarized the key
characteristics of cloud computing as: “(1) the illusion of infinite computing
resources; (2) the elimination of an up-front commitment by cloud users; and
(3) the ability to pay for use . . . as needed . . .”
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) [6] characterizes cloud computing as “. . . a pay-per-use model for enabling available,
convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable
computing resources (e.g. networks, servers, storage, applications, services)
that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort
or service provider interaction.”
In a more generic definition, Armbrust et al. [5] define cloud as the “data
center hardware and software that provide services.” Similarly, Sotomayor
et al. [7] point out that “cloud” is more often used to refer to the IT
infrastructure deployed on an Infrastructure as a Service provider data center.
While there are countless other definitions, there seems to be common
characteristics between the most notable ones listed above, which a cloud
should have: (i) pay-per-use (no ongoing commitment, utility prices); (ii) elastic
capacity and the illusion of infinite resources; (iii) self-service interface; and
(iv) resources that are abstracted or virtualised.
In addition to raw computing and storage, cloud computing providers
usually offer a broad range of software services. They also include APIs and
development tools that allow developers to build seamlessly scalable applications upon their services. The ultimate goal is allowing customers to run their
everyday IT infrastructure “in the cloud.”
A lot of hype has surrounded the cloud computing area in its infancy, often
considered the most significant switch in the IT world since the advent of the
1.2
ROOTS OF CLOUD COMPUTING
5
Internet [8]. In midst of such hype, a great deal of confusion arises when trying
to define what cloud computing is and which computing infrastructures can be
termed as “clouds.”
Indeed, the long-held dream of delivering computing as a utility has been
realized with the advent of cloud computing [5]. However, over the years,
several technologies have matured and significantly contributed to make cloud
computing viable. In this direction, this introduction tracks the roots of
cloud computing by surveying the main technological advancements that
significantly contributed to the advent of this emerging field. It also explains
concepts and developments by categorizing and comparing the most relevant
R&D efforts in cloud computing, especially public clouds, management tools,
and development frameworks. The most significant practical cloud computing
realizations are listed, with special focus on architectural aspects and innovative
technical features.
1.2
ROOTS OF CLOUD COMPUTING
We can track the roots of clouds computing by observing the advancement of
several technologies, especially in hardware (virtualization, multi-core chips),
Internet technologies (Web services, service-oriented architectures, Web 2.0),
distributed computing (clusters, grids), and systems management (autonomic
computing, data center automation). Figure 1.1 shows the convergence of
technology fields that significantly advanced and contributed to the advent
of cloud computing.
Some of these technologies have been tagged as hype in their early stages
of development; however, they later received significant attention from
academia and were sanctioned by major industry players. Consequently, a
specification and standardization process followed, leading to maturity and
wide adoption. The emergence of cloud computing itself is closely linked to
the maturity of such technologies. We present a closer look at the technologies that form the base of cloud computing, with the aim of providing a
clearer picture of the cloud ecosystem as a whole.
1.2.1
From Mainframes to Clouds
We are currently experiencing a switch in the IT world, from in-house
generated computing power into utility-supplied computing resources delivered
over the Internet as Web services. This trend is similar to what occurred about a
century ago when factories, which used to generate their own electric power,
realized that it is was cheaper just plugging their machines into the newly
formed electric power grid [8].
Computing delivered as a utility can be defined as “on demand delivery of
infrastructure, applications, and business processes in a security-rich, shared,
scalable, and based computer environment over the Internet for a fee” [9].
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INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
Hardware
Utility &
Grid
Computing
Cloud
Computing
SOA
Web 2.0
Web Services
Mashups
Internet Technologies
Distributed Computing
Hardware Virtualization
Multi-core chips
Autonomic Computing
Data Center Automation
Systems Management
FIGURE 1.1. Convergence of various advances leading to the advent of cloud
computing.
This model brings benefits to both consumers and providers of IT services.
Consumers can attain reduction on IT-related costs by choosing to obtain
cheaper services from external providers as opposed to heavily investing on IT
infrastructure and personnel hiring. The “on-demand” component of this
model allows consumers to adapt their IT usage to rapidly increasing or
unpredictable computing needs.
Providers of IT services achieve better operational costs; hardware and
software infrastructures are built to provide multiple solutions and serve many
users, thus increasing efficiency and ultimately leading to faster return on
investment (ROI) as well as lower total cost of ownership (TCO) [10].
Several technologies have in some way aimed at turning the utility computing concept into reality. In the 1970s, companies who offered common data
processing tasks, such as payroll automation, operated time-shared mainframes
as utilities, which could serve dozens of applications and often operated close
to 100% of their capacity. In fact, mainframes had to operate at very high
utilization rates simply because they were very expensive and costs should be
justified by efficient usage [8].
The mainframe era collapsed with the advent of fast and inexpensive
microprocessors and IT data centers moved to collections of commodity
servers. Apart from its clear advantages, this new model inevitably led to
isolation of workload into dedicated servers, mainly due to incompatibilities
1.2
ROOTS OF CLOUD COMPUTING
7
between software stacks and operating systems [11]. In addition, the unavailability of efficient computer networks meant that IT infrastructure should be
hosted in proximity to where it would be consumed. Altogether, these facts
have prevented the utility computing reality of taking place on modern
computer systems.
Similar to old electricity generation stations, which used to power individual
factories, computing servers and desktop computers in a modern organization
are often underutilized, since IT infrastructure is configured to handle theoretical demand peaks. In addition, in the early stages of electricity generation,
electric current could not travel long distances without significant voltage
losses. However, new paradigms emerged culminating on transmission systems
able to make electricity available hundreds of kilometers far off from where it is
generated. Likewise, the advent of increasingly fast fiber-optics networks has
relit the fire, and new technologies for enabling sharing of computing power
over great distances have appeared.
These facts reveal the potential of delivering computing services with
the speed and reliability that businesses enjoy with their local machines. The
benefits of economies of scale and high utilization allow providers to offer
computing services for a fraction of what it costs for a typical company that
generates its own computing power [8].
1.2.2
SOA, Web Services, Web 2.0, and Mashups
The emergence of Web services (WS) open standards has significantly contributed to advances in the domain of software integration [12]. Web services
can glue together applications running on different messaging product platforms, enabling information from one application to be made available to
others, and enabling internal applications to be made available over the
Internet.
Over the years a rich WS software stack has been specified and standardized,
resulting in a multitude of technologies to describe, compose, and orchestrate
services, package and transport messages between services, publish and discover services, represent quality of service (QoS) parameters, and ensure
security in service access [13].
WS standards have been created on top of existing ubiquitous technologies
such as HTTP and XML, thus providing a common mechanism for delivering
services, making them ideal for implementing a service-oriented architecture
(SOA). The purpose of a SOA is to address requirements of loosely coupled,
standards-based, and protocol-independent distributed computing. In a SOA,
software resources are packaged as “services,” which are well-defined, selfcontained modules that provide standard business functionality and are
independent of the state or context of other services. Services are described
in a standard definition language and have a published interface [12].
The maturity of WS has enabled the creation of powerful services that can be
accessed on-demand, in a uniform way. While some WS are published with the
8
INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
intent of serving end-user applications, their true power resides in its interface
being accessible by other services. An enterprise application that follows the
SOA paradigm is a collection of services that together perform complex
business logic [12].
This concept of gluing services initially focused on the enterprise Web, but
gained space in the consumer realm as well, especially with the advent of Web
2.0. In the consumer Web, information and services may be programmatically
aggregated, acting as building blocks of complex compositions, called service
mashups. Many service providers, such as Amazon, del.icio.us, Facebook, and
Google, make their service APIs publicly accessible using standard protocols
such as SOAP and REST [14]. Consequently, one can put an idea of a fully
functional Web application into practice just by gluing pieces with few lines
of code.
In the Software as a Service (SaaS) domain, cloud applications can be built
as compositions of other services from the same or different providers. Services
such user authentication, e-mail, payroll management, and calendars are
examples of building blocks that can be reused and combined in a business
solution in case a single, ready-made system does not provide all those features.
Many building blocks and solutions are now available in public marketplaces.
For example, Programmable Web1 is a public repository of service APIs and
mashups currently listing thousands of APIs and mashups. Popular APIs such
as Google Maps, Flickr, YouTube, Amazon eCommerce, and Twitter, when
combined, produce a variety of interesting solutions, from finding video game
retailers to weather maps. Similarly, Salesforce.com’s offers AppExchange,2
which enables the sharing of solutions developed by third-party developers on
top of Salesforce.com components.
1.2.3
Grid Computing
Grid computing enables aggregation of distributed resources and transparently
access to them. Most production grids such as TeraGrid [15] and EGEE [16]
seek to share compute and storage resources distributed across different
administrative domains, with their main focus being speeding up a broad
range of scientific applications, such as climate modeling, drug design, and
protein analysis.
A key aspect of the grid vision realization has been building standard Web
services-based protocols that allow distributed resources to be “discovered,
accessed, allocated, monitored, accounted for, and billed for, etc., and in
general managed as a single virtual system.” The Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) addresses this need for standardization by defining a set of core
capabilities and behaviors that address key concerns in grid systems.
1
http://www.programmableweb.com
2
http://sites.force.com/appexchange
1.2
ROOTS OF CLOUD COMPUTING
9
Globus Toolkit [18] is a middleware that implements several standard Grid
services and over the years has aided the deployment of several service-oriented
Grid infrastructures and applications. An ecosystem of tools is available to
interact with service grids, including grid brokers, which facilitate user interaction with multiple middleware and implement policies to meet QoS needs.
The development of standardized protocols for several grid computing
activities has contributed—theoretically—to allow delivery of on-demand
computing services over the Internet. However, ensuring QoS in grids has
been perceived as a difficult endeavor [19]. Lack of performance isolation
has prevented grids adoption in a variety of scenarios, especially on environments where resources are oversubscribed or users are uncooperative. Activities
associated with one user or virtual organization (VO) can influence, in an
uncontrollable way, the performance perceived by other users using the same
platform. Therefore, the impossibility of enforcing QoS and guaranteeing
execution time became a problem, especially for time-critical applications [20].
Another issue that has lead to frustration when using grids is the availability
of resources with diverse software configurations, including disparate operating
systems, libraries, compilers, runtime environments, and so forth. At the same
time, user applications would often run only on specially customized environments. Consequently, a portability barrier has often been present on most
grid infrastructures, inhibiting users of adopting grids as utility computing
environments [20].
Virtualization technology has been identified as the perfect fit to issues that
have caused frustration when using grids, such as hosting many dissimilar
software applications on a single physical platform. In this direction, some
research projects (e.g., Globus Virtual Workspaces [20]) aimed at evolving grids
to support an additional layer to virtualize computation, storage, and network
resources.
1.2.4
Utility Computing
With increasing popularity and usage, large grid installations have faced new
problems, such as excessive spikes in demand for resources coupled with
strategic and adversarial behavior by users. Initially, grid resource management
techniques did not ensure fair and equitable access to resources in many
systems. Traditional metrics (throughput, waiting time, and slowdown) failed
to capture the more subtle requirements of users. There were no real incentives
for users to be flexible about resource requirements or job deadlines, nor
provisions to accommodate users with urgent work.
In utility computing environments, users assign a “utility” value to their
jobs, where utility is a fixed or time-varying valuation that captures various
QoS constraints (deadline, importance, satisfaction). The valuation is the
amount they are willing to pay a service provider to satisfy their demands.
The service providers then attempt to maximize their own utility, where said
utility may directly correlate with their profit. Providers can choose to prioritize
10
INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
high yield (i.e., profit per unit of resource) user jobs, leading to a scenario where
shared systems are viewed as a marketplace, where users compete for resources
based on the perceived utility or value of their jobs. Further information and
comparison of these utility computing environments are available in an
extensive survey of these platforms [17].
1.2.5
Hardware Virtualization
Cloud computing services are usually backed by large-scale data centers
composed of thousands of computers. Such data centers are built to serve
many users and host many disparate applications. For this purpose, hardware
virtualization can be considered as a perfect fit to overcome most operational
issues of data center building and maintenance.
The idea of virtualizing a computer system’s resources, including processors,
memory, and I/O devices, has been well established for decades, aiming at
improving sharing and utilization of computer systems [21]. Hardware virtualization allows running multiple operating systems and software stacks on a
single physical platform. As depicted in Figure 1.2, a software layer, the virtual
machine monitor (VMM), also called a hypervisor, mediates access to the
physical hardware presenting to each guest operating system a virtual machine
(VM), which is a set of virtual platform interfaces [22].
The advent of several innovative technologies—multi-core chips, paravirtualization, hardware-assisted virtualization, and live migration of VMs—has
contributed to an increasing adoption of virtualization on server systems.
Traditionally, perceived benefits were improvements on sharing and utilization,
better manageability, and higher reliability. More recently, with the adoption of
virtualization on a broad range of server and client systems, researchers and
practitioners have been emphasizing three basic capabilities regarding
Virtual Machine 1
Virtual Machine 2
Virtual Machine N
User software
User software
User software
Email Server
Facebook App
Data
base
Web
Server
Ruby on
Rails
Java
Linux
App A
App X
App B
App Y
Guest OS
Virtual Machine Monitor (Hypervisor)
Hardware
FIGURE 1.2. A hardware virtualized server hosting three virtual machines, each one
running distinct operating system and user level software stack.
1.2 ROOTS OF CLOUD COMPUTING
11
management of workload in a virtualized system, namely isolation, consolidation, and migration [23].
Workload isolation is achieved since all program instructions are fully
confined inside a VM, which leads to improvements in security. Better
reliability is also achieved because software failures inside one VM do not
affect others [22]. Moreover, better performance control is attained since
execution of one VM should not affect the performance of another VM [23].
The consolidation of several individual and heterogeneous workloads onto a
single physical platform leads to better system utilization. This practice is also
employed for overcoming potential software and hardware incompatibilities in
case of upgrades, given that it is possible to run legacy and new operation
systems concurrently [22].
Workload migration, also referred to as application mobility [23], targets at
facilitating hardware maintenance, load balancing, and disaster recovery. It is
done by encapsulating a guest OS state within a VM and allowing it to be
suspended, fully serialized, migrated to a different platform, and resumed
immediately or preserved to be restored at a later date [22]. A VM’s state
includes a full disk or partition image, configuration files, and an image of its
RAM [20].
A number of VMM platforms exist that are the basis of many utility or
cloud computing environments. The most notable ones, VMWare, Xen, and
KVM, are outlined in the following sections.
VMWare ESXi. VMware is a pioneer in the virtualization market. Its ecosystem of tools ranges from server and desktop virtualization to high-level
management tools [24]. ESXi is a VMM from VMWare. It is a bare-metal
hypervisor, meaning that it installs directly on the physical server, whereas
others may require a host operating system. It provides advanced virtualization
techniques of processor, memory, and I/O. Especially, through memory
ballooning and page sharing, it can overcommit memory, thus increasing the
density of VMs inside a single physical server.
Xen. The Xen hypervisor started as an open-source project and has served as a
base to other virtualization products, both commercial and open-source. It has
pioneered the para-virtualization concept, on which the guest operating system,
by means of a specialized kernel, can interact with the hypervisor, thus
significantly improving performance. In addition to an open-source distribution [25], Xen currently forms the base of commercial hypervisors of a number
of vendors, most notably Citrix XenServer [26] and Oracle VM [27].
KVM. The kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) is a Linux virtualization
subsystem. Is has been part of the mainline Linux kernel since version 2.6.20,
thus being natively supported by several distributions. In addition, activities
such as memory management and scheduling are carried out by existing kernel
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INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
features, thus making KVM simpler and smaller than hypervisors that take
control of the entire machine [28].
KVM leverages hardware-assisted virtualization, which improves performance and allows it to support unmodified guest operating systems [29];
currently, it supports several versions of Windows, Linux, and UNIX [28].
1.2.6
Virtual Appliances and the Open Virtualization Format
An application combined with the environment needed to run it (operating
system, libraries, compilers, databases, application containers, and so forth) is
referred to as a “virtual appliance.” Packaging application environments in the
shape of virtual appliances eases software customization, configuration, and
patching and improves portability. Most commonly, an appliance is shaped as
a VM disk image associated with hardware requirements, and it can be readily
deployed in a hypervisor.
On-line marketplaces have been set up to allow the exchange of ready-made
appliances containing popular operating systems and useful software combinations, both commercial and open-source. Most notably, the VMWare virtual
appliance marketplace allows users to deploy appliances on VMWare hypervisors or on partners public clouds [30], and Amazon allows developers to share
specialized Amazon Machine Images (AMI) and monetize their usage on
Amazon EC2 [31].
In a multitude of hypervisors, where each one supports a different VM image
format and the formats are incompatible with one another, a great deal of
interoperability issues arises. For instance, Amazon has its Amazon machine
image (AMI) format, made popular on the Amazon EC2 public cloud. Other
formats are used by Citrix XenServer, several Linux distributions that ship with
KVM, Microsoft Hyper-V, and VMware ESX.
In order to facilitate packing and distribution of software to be run on VMs
several vendors, including VMware, IBM, Citrix, Cisco, Microsoft, Dell, and
HP, have devised the Open Virtualization Format (OVF). It aims at being
“open, secure, portable, efficient and extensible” [32]. An OVF package consists
of a file, or set of files, describing the VM hardware characteristics (e.g.,
memory, network cards, and disks), operating system details, startup, and
shutdown actions, the virtual disks themselves, and other metadata containing
product and licensing information. OVF also supports complex packages
composed of multiple VMs (e.g., multi-tier applications) [32].
OVF’s extensibility has encouraged additions relevant to management of
data centers and clouds. Mathews et al. [33] have devised virtual machine
contracts (VMC) as an extension to OVF. A VMC aids in communicating and
managing the complex expectations that VMs have of their runtime environment and vice versa. A simple example of a VMC is when a cloud consumer
wants to specify minimum and maximum amounts of a resource that a VM
needs to function; similarly the cloud provider could express resource limits as a
way to bound resource consumption and costs.
1.3
1.2.7
LAYERS AND TYPES OF CLOUDS
13
Autonomic Computing
The increasing complexity of computing systems has motivated research on
autonomic computing, which seeks to improve systems by decreasing human
involvement in their operation. In other words, systems should manage
themselves, with high-level guidance from humans [34].
Autonomic, or self-managing, systems rely on monitoring probes and
gauges (sensors), on an adaptation engine (autonomic manager) for computing
optimizations based on monitoring data, and on effectors to carry out changes
on the system. IBM’s Autonomic Computing Initiative has contributed to
define the four properties of autonomic systems: self-configuration, selfoptimization, self-healing, and self-protection. IBM has also suggested a
reference model for autonomic control loops of autonomic managers, called
MAPE-K (Monitor Analyze Plan Execute—Knowledge) [34, 35].
The large data centers of cloud computing providers must be managed in an
efficient way. In this sense, the concepts of autonomic computing inspire
software technologies for data center automation, which may perform tasks
such as: management of service levels of running applications; management of
data center capacity; proactive disaster recovery; and automation of VM
provisioning [36].
1.3
LAYERS AND TYPES OF CLOUDS
Cloud computing services are divided into three classes, according to the
abstraction level of the capability provided and the service model of providers,
namely: (1) Infrastructure as a Service, (2) Platform as a Service, and (3) Software
as a Service [6]. Figure 1.3 depicts the layered organization of the cloud stack
from physical infrastructure to applications.
These abstraction levels can also be viewed as a layered architecture where
services of a higher layer can be composed from services of the underlying layer
[37]. The reference model of Buyya et al. [38] explains the role of each layer in
an integrated architecture. A core middleware manages physical resources and
the VMs deployed on top of them; in addition, it provides the required features
(e.g., accounting and billing) to offer multi-tenant pay-as-you-go services.
Cloud development environments are built on top of infrastructure services
to offer application development and deployment capabilities; in this level,
various programming models, libraries, APIs, and mashup editors enable the
creation of a range of business, Web, and scientific applications. Once deployed
in the cloud, these applications can be consumed by end users.
1.3.1
Infrastructure as a Service
Offering virtualized resources (computation, storage, and communication) on
demand is known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) [7]. A cloud infrastructure
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INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
Service
Class
Main Access &
Management Tool
Service content
Cloud Applications
Web Browser
Social networks, Office suites, CRM,
Video processing
Cloud
Development
Environment
Cloud Platform
SaaS
PaaS
IaaS
Programming languages, Frameworks,
Mashups editors, Structured data
Cloud Infrastructure
Virtual
Infrastructure
Manager
17
Compute Servers, Data Storage,
Firewall, Load Balancer
FIGURE 1.3. The cloud computing stack.
enables on-demand provisioning of servers running several choices of operating
systems and a customized software stack. Infrastructure services are considered
to be the bottom layer of cloud computing systems [39].
Amazon Web Services mainly offers IaaS, which in the case of its EC2
service means offering VMs with a software stack that can be customized
similar to how an ordinary physical server would be customized. Users are
given privileges to perform numerous activities to the server, such as: starting
and stopping it, customizing it by installing software packages, attaching
virtual disks to it, and configuring access permissions and firewalls rules.
1.3.2
Platform as a Service
In addition to infrastructure-oriented clouds that provide raw computing and
storage services, another approach is to offer a higher level of abstraction to
make a cloud easily programmable, known as Platform as a Service (PaaS). A
cloud platform offers an environment on which developers create and deploy
applications and do not necessarily need to know how many processors or how
much memory that applications will be using. In addition, multiple programming models and specialized services (e.g., data access, authentication, and
payments) are offered as building blocks to new applications [40].
Google AppEngine, an example of Platform as a Service, offers a scalable
environment for developing and hosting Web applications, which should
be written in specific programming languages such as Python or Java, and use
the services’ own proprietary structured object data store. Building blocks
1.3
LAYERS AND TYPES OF CLOUDS
15
include an in-memory object cache (memcache), mail service, instant messaging
service (XMPP), an image manipulation service, and integration with Google
Accounts authentication service.
1.3.3
Software as a Service
Applications reside on the top of the cloud stack. Services provided by this
layer can be accessed by end users through Web portals. Therefore, consumers
are increasingly shifting from locally installed computer programs to on-line
software services that offer the same functionally. Traditional desktop applications such as word processing and spreadsheet can now be accessed as a service
in the Web. This model of delivering applications, known as Software as a
Service (SaaS), alleviates the burden of software maintenance for customers
and simplifies development and testing for providers [37, 41].
Salesforce.com, which relies on the SaaS model, offers business productivity
applications (CRM) that reside completely on their servers, allowing costumers
to customize and access applications on demand.
1.3.4
Deployment Models
Although cloud computing has emerged mainly from the appearance of public
computing utilities, other deployment models, with variations in physical
location and distribution, have been adopted. In this sense, regardless of its
service class, a cloud can be classified as public, private, community, or hybrid [6]
based on model of deployment as shown in Figure 1.4.
Public/Internet
Clouds
Private/Enterprise
Clouds
3rd party,
multi-tenant Cloud
infrastructure
& services:
Cloud computing
model run
within a company’s
own Data Center/
infrastructure for
internal and/or
partners use.
* available on
subscription basis
(pay as you go)
Hybrid/Mixed Clouds
Mixed usage of
private and public
Clouds:
Leasing public
cloud services
when private cloud
capacity is
insufficient
FIGURE 1.4. Types of clouds based on deployment models.
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INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
Armbrust et al. [5] propose definitions for public cloud as a “cloud made
available in a pay-as-you-go manner to the general public” and private cloud as
“internal data center of a business or other organization, not made available to
the general public.”
In most cases, establishing a private cloud means restructuring an existing
infrastructure by adding virtualization and cloud-like interfaces. This allows
users to interact with the local data center while experiencing the same
advantages of public clouds, most notably self-service interface, privileged
access to virtual servers, and per-usage metering and billing.
A community cloud is “shared by several organizations and supports a
specific community that has shared concerns (e.g., mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations) [6].”
A hybrid cloud takes shape when a private cloud is supplemented with
computing capacity from public clouds [7]. The approach of temporarily
renting capacity to handle spikes in load is known as “cloud-bursting” [42].
1.4
DESIRED FEATURES OF A CLOUD
Certain features of a cloud are essential to enable services that truly represent
the cloud computing model and satisfy expectations of consumers, and cloud
offerings must be (i) self-service, (ii) per-usage metered and billed, (iii) elastic,
and (iv) customizable.
1.4.1
Self-Service
Consumers of cloud computing services expect on-demand, nearly instant
access to resources. To support this expectation, clouds must allow self-service
access so that customers can request, customize, pay, and use services without
intervention of human operators [6].
1.4.2
Per-Usage Metering and Billing
Cloud computing eliminates up-front commitment by users, allowing them to
request and use only the necessary amount. Services must be priced on a shortterm basis (e.g., by the hour), allowing users to release (and not pay for)
resources as soon as they are not needed [5]. For these reasons, clouds must
implement features to allow efficient trading of service such as pricing,
accounting, and billing [2]. Metering should be done accordingly for different
types of service (e.g., storage, processing, and bandwidth) and usage promptly
reported, thus providing greater transparency [6].
1.4.3
Elasticity
Cloud computing gives the illusion of infinite computing resources available on
demand [5]. Therefore users expect clouds to rapidly provide resources in any
1.5
CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT
17
quantity at any time. In particular, it is expected that the additional resources
can be (a) provisioned, possibly automatically, when an application load
increases and (b) released when load decreases (scale up and down) [6].
1.4.4
Customization
In a multi-tenant cloud a great disparity between user needs is often the case.
Thus, resources rented from the cloud must be highly customizable. In the case
of infrastructure services, customization means allowing users to deploy
specialized virtual appliances and to be given privileged (root) access to the
virtual servers. Other service classes (PaaS and SaaS) offer less flexibility and
are not suitable for general-purpose computing [5], but still are expected to
provide a certain level of customization.
1.5
CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT
A key challenge IaaS providers face when building a cloud infrastructure is
managing physical and virtual resources, namely servers, storage, and networks, in a holistic fashion [43]. The orchestration of resources must be
performed in a way to rapidly and dynamically provision resources to
applications [7].
The software toolkit responsible for this orchestration is called a virtual
infrastructure manager (VIM) [7]. This type of software resembles a traditional
operating system—but instead of dealing with a single computer, it aggregates
resources from multiple computers, presenting a uniform view to user and
applications. The term “cloud operating system” is also used to refer to it [43].
Other terms include “infrastructure sharing software [44]” and “virtual infrastructure engine [45].”
Sotomayor et al. [7], in their description of the cloud ecosystem of software
tools, propose a differentiation between two categories of tools used to manage
clouds. The first category—cloud toolkits—includes those that “expose a
remote and secure interface for creating, controlling and monitoring virtualize
resources,” but do not specialize in VI management. Tools in the second
category—the virtual infrastructure managers—provide advanced features
such as automatic load balancing and server consolidation, but do not expose
remote cloud-like interfaces. However, the authors point out that there is a
superposition between the categories; cloud toolkits can also manage virtual
infrastructures, although they usually provide less sophisticated features than
specialized VI managers do.
The availability of a remote cloud-like interface and the ability of managing
many users and their permissions are the primary features that would
distinguish “cloud toolkits” from “VIMs.” However, in this chapter, we place
both categories of tools under the same group (of the VIMs) and, when
applicable, we highlight the availability of a remote interface as a feature.
18
INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
Virtually all VIMs we investigated present a set of basic features related to
managing the life cycle of VMs, including networking groups of VMs together
and setting up virtual disks for VMs. These basic features pretty much define
whether a tool can be used in practical cloud deployments or not. On the other
hand, only a handful of software present advanced features (e.g., high
availability) which allow them to be used in large-scale production clouds.
1.5.1
Features
We now present a list of both basic and advanced features that are usually
available in VIMs.
Virtualization Support. The multi-tenancy aspect of clouds requires multiple
customers with disparate requirements to be served by a single hardware
infrastructure. Virtualized resources (CPUs, memory, etc.) can be sized and
resized with certain flexibility. These features make hardware virtualization, the
ideal technology to create a virtual infrastructure that partitions a data center
among multiple tenants.
Self-Service, On-Demand Resource Provisioning. Self-service access to
resources has been perceived as one the most attractive features of clouds. This
feature enables users to directly obtain services from clouds, such as spawning
the creation of a server and tailoring its software, configurations, and security
policies, without interacting with a human system administrator. This capability “eliminates the need for more time-consuming, labor-intensive, humandriven procurement processes familiar to many in IT” [46]. Therefore, exposing
a self-service interface, through which users can easily interact with the system,
is a highly desirable feature of a VI manager.
Multiple Backend Hypervisors. Different virtualization models and tools
offer different benefits, drawbacks, and limitations. Thus, some VI managers
provide a uniform management layer regardless of the virtualization technology used. This characteristic is more visible in open-source VI managers, which
usually provide pluggable drivers to interact with multiple hypervisors [7]. In
this direction, the aim of libvirt [47] is to provide a uniform API that VI
managers can use to manage domains (a VM or container running an instance
of an operating system) in virtualized nodes using standard operations that
abstract hypervisor specific calls.
Storage Virtualization. Virtualizing storage means abstracting logical storage from physical storage. By consolidating all available storage devices in a
data center, it allows creating virtual disks independent from device and
location. Storage devices are commonly organized in a storage area network
(SAN) and attached to servers via protocols such as Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and
1.5
CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT
19
NFS; a storage controller provides the layer of abstraction between virtual and
physical storage [48].
In the VI management sphere, storage virtualization support is often
restricted to commercial products of companies such as VMWare and Citrix.
Other products feature ways of pooling and managing storage devices, but
administrators are still aware of each individual device.
Interface to Public Clouds. Researchers have perceived that extending the
capacity of a local in-house computing infrastructure by borrowing resources
from public clouds is advantageous. In this fashion, institutions can make good
use of their available resources and, in case of spikes in demand, extra load can
be offloaded to rented resources [45].
A VI manager can be used in a hybrid cloud setup if it offers a driver to
manage the life cycle of virtualized resources obtained from external cloud
providers. To the applications, the use of leased resources must ideally be
transparent.
Virtual Networking. Virtual networks allow creating an isolated network on
top of a physical infrastructure independently from physical topology and
locations [49]. A virtual LAN (VLAN) allows isolating traffic that shares a
switched network, allowing VMs to be grouped into the same broadcast
domain. Additionally, a VLAN can be configured to block traffic originated
from VMs from other networks. Similarly, the VPN (virtual private network)
concept is used to describe a secure and private overlay network on top of a
public network (most commonly the public Internet) [50].
Support for creating and configuring virtual networks to group VMs placed
throughout a data center is provided by most VI managers. Additionally, VI
managers that interface with public clouds often support secure VPNs
connecting local and remote VMs.
Dynamic Resource Allocation. Increased awareness of energy consumption
in data centers has encouraged the practice of dynamic consolidating VMs in a
fewer number of servers. In cloud infrastructures, where applications
have variable and dynamic needs, capacity management and demand prediction are especially complicated. This fact triggers the need for dynamic resource
allocation aiming at obtaining a timely match of supply and demand [51].
Energy consumption reduction and better management of SLAs can be
achieved by dynamically remapping VMs to physical machines at regular
intervals. Machines that are not assigned any VM can be turned off or put on a
low power state. In the same fashion, overheating can be avoided by moving
load away from hotspots [52].
A number of VI managers include a dynamic resource allocation feature that
continuously monitors utilization across resource pools and reallocates available resources among VMs according to application needs.
20
INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
Virtual Clusters. Several VI managers can holistically manage groups of
VMs. This feature is useful for provisioning computing virtual clusters on
demand, and interconnected VMs for multi-tier Internet applications [53].
Reservation and Negotiation Mechanism. When users request computational resources to available at a specific time, requests are termed advance
reservations (AR), in contrast to best-effort requests, when users request
resources whenever available [54]. To support complex requests, such as AR,
a VI manager must allow users to “lease” resources expressing more complex
terms (e.g., the period of time of a reservation). This is especially useful in
clouds on which resources are scarce; since not all requests may be satisfied
immediately, they can benefit of VM placement strategies that support queues,
priorities, and advance reservations [55].
Additionally, leases may be negotiated and renegotiated, allowing provider
and consumer to modify a lease or present counter proposals until an
agreement is reached. This feature is illustrated by the case in which an AR
request for a given slot cannot be satisfied, but the provider can offer a distinct
slot that is still satisfactory to the user. This problem has been addressed in
OpenPEX, which incorporates a bilateral negotiation protocol that allows
users and providers to come to an alternative agreement by exchanging offers
and counter offers [56].
High Availability and Data Recovery. The high availability (HA) feature of
VI managers aims at minimizing application downtime and preventing business
disruption. A few VI managers accomplish this by providing a failover
mechanism, which detects failure of both physical and virtual servers and
restarts VMs on healthy physical servers. This style of HA protects from host,
but not VM, failures [57, 58].
For mission critical applications, when a failover solution involving restarting VMs does not suffice, additional levels of fault tolerance that rely on
redundancy of VMs are implemented. In this style, redundant and synchronized VMs (running or in standby) are kept in a secondary physical server. The
HA solution monitors failures of system components such as servers, VMs,
disks, and network and ensures that a duplicate VM serves the application in
case of failures [58].
Data backup in clouds should take into account the high data volume
involved in VM management. Frequent backup of a large number of VMs,
each one with multiple virtual disks attached, should be done with minimal
interference in the systems performance. In this sense, some VI managers offer
data protection mechanisms that perform incremental backups of VM images.
The backup workload is often assigned to proxies, thus offloading production
server and reducing network overhead [59].
1.5
1.5.2
CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT
21
Case Studies
In this section, we describe the main features of the most popular VI managers
available. Only the most prominent and distinguishing features of each tool are
discussed in detail. A detailed side-by-side feature comparison of VI managers
is presented in Table 1.1.
Apache VCL. The Virtual Computing Lab [60, 61] project has been incepted
in 2004 by researchers at the North Carolina State University as a way to
provide customized environments to computer lab users. The software components that support NCSU’s initiative have been released as open-source and
incorporated by the Apache Foundation.
Since its inception, the main objective of VCL has been providing desktop
(virtual lab) and HPC computing environments anytime, in a flexible costeffective way and with minimal intervention of IT staff. In this sense, VCL was
one of the first projects to create a tool with features such as: self-service Web
portal, to reduce administrative burden; advance reservation of capacity, to
provide resources during classes; and deployment of customized machine
images on multiple computers, to provide clusters on demand.
In summary, Apache VCL provides the following features: (i) multi-platform
controller, based on Apache/PHP; (ii) Web portal and XML-RPC interfaces;
(iii) support for VMware hypervisors (ESX, ESXi, and Server); (iv) virtual
networks; (v) virtual clusters; and (vi) advance reservation of capacity.
AppLogic. AppLogic [62] is a commercial VI manager, the flagship product of
3tera Inc. from California, USA. The company has labeled this product as a
Grid Operating System.
AppLogic provides a fabric to manage clusters of virtualized servers,
focusing on managing multi-tier Web applications. It views an entire application as a collection of components that must be managed as a single entity.
Several components such as firewalls, load balancers, Web servers, application
servers, and database servers can be set up and linked together. Whenever the
application is started, the system manufactures and assembles the virtual
infrastructure required to run it. Once the application is stopped, AppLogic
tears down the infrastructure built for it [63].
AppLogic offers dynamic appliances to add functionality such as Disaster
Recovery and Power optimization to applications [62]. The key differential of
this approach is that additional functionalities are implemented as another
pluggable appliance instead of being added as a core functionality of the VI
manager.
In summary, 3tera AppLogic provides the following features: Linux-based
controller; CLI and GUI interfaces; Xen backend; Global Volume Store (GVS)
storage virtualization; virtual networks; virtual clusters; dynamic resource
allocation; high availability; and data protection.
22
Proprietary Windows
GPL v3
BSD
Apache v2
Apache v2
GPL v2
Citrix Essentials
Enomaly ECP
Eucalyptus
Nimbus
OpenNEbula
OpenPEX
Proprietary Linux,
Windows
Proprietary Linux,
Windows
Platform
ISF
Platform VMO
VMWare
vSphere
Fedora Linux
GPL v2
Proprietary Linux
oVirt
Multiplatform
(Java)
Linux
Linux
Linux
Linux
Proprietary Linux
AppLogic
Multiplatform
(Apache/
PHP)
Apache v2
Apache
VCL
License
Installation
Platform of
Controller
CLI, GUI,
Portal, WS
Portal
Portal
Portal
Portal, WS
XML-RPC,
CLI, Java
EC2 WS,
WSRF, CLI
EC2 WS, CLI
Portal, WS
GUI, CLI,
Portal,
XML-RPC
GUI, CLI
Portal,
XML-RPC
VMware
ESX, ESXi
XenServer
Hyper-V
XenServer,
VMWare ESX
KVM
XenServer
Xen, KVM
Xen, KVM
Xen, KVM
VMware
vStorage
VMFS
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Citrix
Storage
Link
XenServer,
Hyper-V
Xen
Global
Volume
Store (GVS)
No
Storage
Virtualization
Xen
VMware
ESX, ESXi,
Server
Client UI,
API, Language
Backend
Bindings
Hypervisor(s)
TABLE 1.1. Feature Comparison of Virtual Infrastructure Managers
VMware
vCloud partners
No
EC2, IBM CoD,
HP Enterprise
Services
No
No
Amazon EC2,
Elastic Hosts
EC2
EC2
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Amazon EC2
Yes
Yes
VMware
DRM
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Via
integration with
OpenNebula
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
Virtual Dynamic Resource
Networks
Allocation
No
No
Interface to
Public Cloud
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
(via Haizea)
Yes
Yes
Unclear
No
No
No
Yes
No
Unclear
No
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes (via
integration with
OpenNebula)
No
Yes
Yes
No
Data
Protection
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
Advance
Reservation of
High
Capacity
Availability
1.5
CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT
23
Citrix Essentials. The Citrix Essentials suite is one the most feature complete
VI management software available, focusing on management and automation
of data centers. It is essentially a hypervisor-agnostic solution, currently
supporting Citrix XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V [64].
By providing several access interfaces, it facilitates both human and
programmatic interaction with the controller. Automation of tasks is also
aided by a workflow orchestration mechanism.
In summary, Citrix Essentials provides the following features: Windowsbased controller; GUI, CLI, Web portal, and XML-RPC interfaces; support
for XenServer and Hyper-V hypervisors; Citrix Storage Link storage virtualization; virtual networks; dynamic resource allocation; three-level high availability (i.e., recovery by VM restart, recovery by activating paused duplicate
VM, and running duplicate VM continuously) [58]; data protection with Citrix
Consolidated Backup.
Enomaly ECP. The Enomaly Elastic Computing Platform, in its most
complete edition, offers most features a service provider needs to build an
IaaS cloud.
Most notably, ECP Service Provider Edition offers a Web-based customer
dashboard that allows users to fully control the life cycle of VMs. Usage
accounting is performed in real time and can be viewed by users. Similar to the
functionality of virtual appliance marketplaces, ECP allows providers and
users to package and exchange applications.
In summary, Enomaly ECP provides the following features: Linux-based
controller; Web portal and Web services (REST) interfaces; Xen back-end;
interface to the Amazon EC2 public cloud; virtual networks; virtual clusters
(ElasticValet).
Eucalyptus. The Eucalyptus [39] framework was one of the first open-source
projects to focus on building IaaS clouds. It has been developed with the intent
of providing an open-source implementation nearly identical in functionality to
Amazon Web Services APIs. Therefore, users can interact with a Eucalyptus
cloud using the same tools they use to access Amazon EC2. It also distinguishes
itself from other tools because it provides a storage cloud API—emulating the
Amazon S3 API—for storing general user data and VM images.
In summary, Eucalyptus provides the following features: Linux-based controller with administration Web portal; EC2-compatible (SOAP, Query) and S3compatible (SOAP, REST) CLI and Web portal interfaces; Xen, KVM, and
VMWare backends; Amazon EBS-compatible virtual storage devices; interface
to the Amazon EC2 public cloud; virtual networks.
Nimbus3. The Nimbus toolkit [20] is built on top of the Globus framework.
Nimbus provides most features in common with other open-source VI
managers, such as an EC2-compatible front-end API, support to Xen, and a
backend interface to Amazon EC2. However, it distinguishes from others by
24
INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
providing a Globus Web Services Resource Framework (WSRF) interface. It
also provides a backend service, named Pilot, which spawns VMs on clusters
managed by a local resource manager (LRM) such as PBS and SGE.
Nimbus’ core was engineered around the Spring framework to be easily
extensible, thus allowing several internal components to be replaced and also
eases the integration with other systems.
In summary, Nimbus provides the following features: Linux-based controller; EC2-compatible (SOAP) and WSRF interfaces; Xen and KVM backend
and a Pilot program to spawn VMs through an LRM; interface to the Amazon
EC2 public cloud; virtual networks; one-click virtual clusters.
OpenNebula. OpenNebula is one of the most feature-rich open-source VI
managers. It was initially conceived to manage local virtual infrastructure, but
has also included remote interfaces that make it viable to build public clouds.
Altogether, four programming APIs are available: XML-RPC and libvirt [47]
for local interaction; a subset of EC2 (Query) APIs and the OpenNebula Cloud
API (OCA) for public access [7, 65].
Its architecture is modular, encompassing several specialized pluggable
components. The Core module orchestrates physical servers and their hypervisors, storage nodes, and network fabric. Management operations are performed
through pluggable Drivers, which interact with APIs of hypervisors, storage and
network technologies, and public clouds. The Scheduler module, which is in
charge of assigning pending VM requests to physical hosts, offers dynamic
resource allocation features. Administrators can choose between different
scheduling objectives such as packing VMs in fewer hosts or keeping the load
balanced. Via integration with the Haizea lease scheduler [66], OpenNebula also
supports advance reservation of capacity and queuing of best-effort leases [7].
In summary, OpenNebula provides the following features: Linux-based
controller; CLI, XML-RPC, EC2-compatible Query and OCA interfaces;
Xen, KVM, and VMware backend; interface to public clouds (Amazon EC2,
ElasticHosts); virtual networks; dynamic resource allocation; advance reservation of capacity.
OpenPEX. OpenPEX (Open Provisioning and EXecution Environment) was
constructed around the notion of using advance reservations as the primary
method for allocating VM instances. It distinguishes from other VI managers by
its leases negotiation mechanism, which incorporates a bilateral negotiation
protocol that allows users and providers to come to an agreement by exchanging
offers and counter offers when their original requests cannot be satisfied.
In summary, OpenPEX provides the following features: multi-platform
(Java) controller; Web portal and Web services (REST) interfaces; Citrix
XenServer backend; advance reservation of capacity with negotiation [56].
oVirt. oVirt is an open-source VI manager, sponsored by Red Hat’s Emergent
Technology group. It provides most of the basic features of other VI managers,
1.5
CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT
25
including support for managing physical server pools, storage pools, user
accounts, and VMs. All features are accessible through a Web interface [67].
The oVirt admin node, which is also a VM, provides a Web server, secure
authentication services based on freeIPA, and provisioning services to manage
VM image and their transfer to the managed nodes. Each managed node libvirt,
which interfaces with the hypervisor.
In summary, oVirt provides the following features: Fedora Linux-based
controller packaged as a virtual appliance; Web portal interface; KVM backend.
Platform ISF. Infrastructure Sharing Facility (ISF) is the VI manager offering
from Platform Computing [68]. The company, mainly through its LSF family
of products, has been serving the HPC market for several years.
ISF’s architecture is divided into three layers. The top most Service Delivery
layer includes the user interfaces (i.e., self-service portal and APIs); the
Allocation Engine provides reservation and allocation policies; and the bottom
layer—Resource Integrations—provides adapters to interact with hypervisors,
provisioning tools, and other systems (i.e., external public clouds). The
Allocation Engine also provides policies to address several objectives, such as
minimizing energy consumption, reducing impact of failures, and maximizing
application performance [44].
ISF is built upon Platform’s VM Orchestrator, which, as a standalone
product, aims at speeding up delivery of VMs to end users. It also provides high
availability by restarting VMs when hosts fail and duplicating the VM that
hosts the VMO controller [69].
In summary, ISF provides the following features: Linux-based controller
packaged as a virtual appliance; Web portal interface; dynamic resource
allocation; advance reservation of capacity; high availability.
VMWare vSphere and vCloud. vSphere is VMware’s suite of tools aimed at
transforming IT infrastructures into private clouds [36, 43]. It distinguishes
from other VI managers as one of the most feature-rich, due to the company’s
several offerings in all levels the architecture.
In the vSphere architecture, servers run on the ESXi platform. A separate
server runs vCenter Server, which centralizes control over the entire virtual
infrastructure. Through the vSphere Client software, administrators connect to
vCenter Server to perform various tasks.
The Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) makes allocation decisions
based on predefined rules and policies. It continuously monitors the amount
of resources available to VMs and, if necessary, makes allocation changes to
meet VM requirements. In the storage virtualization realm, vStorage VMFS is
a cluster file system to provide aggregate several disks in a single volume.
VMFS is especially optimized to store VM images and virtual disks. It supports
storage equipment that use Fibre Channel or iSCSI SAN.
In its basic setup, vSphere is essentially a private administration suite. Selfservice VM provisioning to end users is provided via the vCloud API, which
26
INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
interfaces with vCenter Server. In this configuration, vSphere can be used by
service providers to build public clouds. In terms of interfacing with public
clouds, vSphere interfaces with the vCloud API, thus enabling cloud-bursting
into external clouds.
In summary, vSphere provides the following features: Windows-based
controller (vCenter Server); CLI, GUI, Web portal, and Web services interfaces;
VMware ESX, ESXi backend; VMware vStorage VMFS storage virtualization;
interface to external clouds (VMware vCloud partners); virtual networks
(VMWare Distributed Switch); dynamic resource allocation (VMware DRM);
high availability; data protection (VMWare Consolidated Backup).
1.6
INFRASTRUCTURE AS A SERVICE PROVIDERS
Public Infrastructure as a Service providers commonly offer virtual servers
containing one or more CPUs, running several choices of operating systems
and a customized software stack. In addition, storage space and communication facilities are often provided.
1.6.1
Features
In spite of being based on a common set of features, IaaS offerings can be
distinguished by the availability of specialized features that influence the
cost benefit ratio to be experienced by user applications when moved to
the cloud. The most relevant features are: (i) geographic distribution of data
centers; (ii) variety of user interfaces and APIs to access the system; (iii)
specialized components and services that aid particular applications (e.g., loadbalancers, firewalls); (iv) choice of virtualization platform and operating systems;
and (v) different billing methods and period (e.g., prepaid vs. post-paid, hourly
vs. monthly).
Geographic Presence. To improve availability and responsiveness, a provider of worldwide services would typically build several data centers distributed
around the world. For example, Amazon Web Services presents the concept of
“availability zones” and “regions” for its EC2 service. Availability zones are
“distinct locations that are engineered to be insulated from failures in other
availability zones and provide inexpensive, low-latency network connectivity to
other availability zones in the same region.” Regions, in turn, “are geographically dispersed and will be in separate geographic areas or countries [70].”
User Interfaces and Access to Servers. Ideally, a public IaaS provider
must provide multiple access means to its cloud, thus catering for various users
and their preferences. Different types of user interfaces (UI) provide different
levels of abstraction, the most common being graphical user interfaces (GUI),
command-line tools (CLI), and Web service (WS) APIs.
1.6 INFRASTRUCTURE AS A SERVICE PROVIDERS
27
GUIs are preferred by end users who need to launch, customize, and
monitor a few virtual servers and do not necessary need to repeat the process
several times. On the other hand, CLIs offer more flexibility and the possibility
of automating repetitive tasks via scripts (e.g., start and shutdown a number of
virtual servers at regular intervals). WS APIs offer programmatic access to a
cloud using standard HTTP requests, thus allowing complex services to be built
on top of IaaS clouds.
Advance Reservation of Capacity. Advance reservations allow users to
request for an IaaS provider to reserve resources for a specific time frame in the
future, thus ensuring that cloud resources will be available at that time.
However, most clouds only support best-effort requests; that is, users requests
are server whenever resources are available [54].
Amazon Reserved Instances is a form of advance reservation of capacity,
allowing users to pay a fixed amount of money in advance to guarantee
resource availability at anytime during an agreed period and then paying a
discounted hourly rate when resources are in use. However, only long periods
of 1 to 3 years are offered; therefore, users cannot express their reservations in
finer granularities—for example, hours or days.
Automatic Scaling and Load Balancing. As mentioned earlier in this
chapter, elasticity is a key characteristic of the cloud computing model.
Applications often need to scale up and down to meet varying load conditions.
Automatic scaling is a highly desirable feature of IaaS clouds. It allow users to
set conditions for when they want their applications to scale up and down,
based on application-specific metrics such as transactions per second, number
of simultaneous users, request latency, and so forth.
When the number of virtual servers is increased by automatic scaling,
incoming traffic must be automatically distributed among the available servers.
This activity enables applications to promptly respond to traffic increase while
also achieving greater fault tolerance.
Service-Level Agreement. Service-level agreements (SLAs) are offered by
IaaS providers to express their commitment to delivery of a certain QoS. To
customers it serves as a warranty. An SLA usually include availability and
performance guarantees. Additionally, metrics must be agreed upon by all
parties as well as penalties for violating these expectations.
Most IaaS providers focus their SLA terms on availability guarantees,
specifying the minimum percentage of time the system will be available during a
certain period. For instance, Amazon EC2 states that “if the annual uptime
Percentage for a customer drops below 99.95% for the service year, that
customer is eligible to receive a service credit equal to 10% of their bill.3”
3
http://aws.amazon.com/ec2-sla
28
INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
Hypervisor and Operating System Choice. Traditionally, IaaS offerings
have been based on heavily customized open-source Xen deployments. IaaS
providers needed expertise in Linux, networking, virtualization, metering,
resource management, and many other low-level aspects to successfully deploy
and maintain their cloud offerings. More recently, there has been an emergence
of turnkey IaaS platforms such as VMWare vCloud and Citrix Cloud Center
(C3) which have lowered the barrier of entry for IaaS competitors, leading to a
rapid expansion in the IaaS marketplace.
1.6.2
Case Studies
In this section, we describe the main features of the most popular public IaaS
clouds. Only the most prominent and distinguishing features of each one are
discussed in detail. A detailed side-by-side feature comparison of IaaS offerings
is presented in Table 1.2.
Amazon Web Services. Amazon WS4 (AWS) is one of the major players in
the cloud computing market. It pioneered the introduction of IaaS clouds in
2006. It offers a variety cloud services, most notably: S3 (storage), EC2 (virtual
servers), Cloudfront (content delivery), Cloudfront Streaming (video streaming), SimpleDB (structured datastore), RDS (Relational Database), SQS
(reliable messaging), and Elastic MapReduce (data processing).
The Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) offers Xen-based virtual servers (instances)
that can be instantiated from Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). Instances are
available in a variety of sizes, operating systems, architectures, and price. CPU
capacity of instances is measured in Amazon Compute Units and, although fixed
for each instance, vary among instance types from 1 (small instance) to 20 (high
CPU instance). Each instance provides a certain amount of nonpersistent disk
space; a persistence disk service (Elastic Block Storage) allows attaching virtual
disks to instances with space up to 1TB.
Elasticity can be achieved by combining the CloudWatch, Auto Scaling, and
Elastic Load Balancing features, which allow the number of instances to scale
up and down automatically based on a set of customizable rules, and traffic to
be distributed across available instances. Fixed IP address (Elastic IPs) are not
available by default, but can be obtained at an additional cost.
In summary, Amazon EC2 provides the following features: multiple data
centers available in the United States (East and West) and Europe; CLI, Web
services (SOAP and Query), Web-based console user interfaces; access to
instance mainly via SSH (Linux) and Remote Desktop (Windows); advanced
reservation of capacity (aka reserved instances) that guarantees availability for
periods of 1 and 3 years; 99.5% availability SLA; per hour pricing; Linux and
Windows operating systems; automatic scaling; load balancing.
4
http://aws.amazon.com
29
Rackspace US
Cloud
(Dallas, TX)
Servers
Joyent
Cloud
US (Emeryville,
CA; San
Diego,
CA; Andover,
MA; Dallas,
TX)
UK
Flexiscale
GoGrid
US East,
Europe
Amazon
EC2
Geographic
Presence
SSH
SSH (Linux),
Remote
Desktop
(Windows)
Primary
Access to
Server
No
No
Amazon
reserved
instances
(Available in
1 or 3 years
terms, starting
from reservation
time)
Advance
Reservation of
Capacity
Portal, REST, SSH
Python, PHP,
Java, C#/.
NET
No
SSH,
No
VirtualMin
(Web-based
system
administration)
REST, Java,
SSH
PHP, Python,
Ruby
Web Console
CLI, WS,
Portal
Client UI
API Language
Bindings
100%
100%
100%
100%
Hour
Month
Hour
Hour
Linux,
Windows
Linux,
Windows
Linux,
Windows
Guest
Operating
Systems
Xen
Linux
Load
Balancing
No
No
No
No
Runtime
Server
Resizing/
Vertical
Scaling
No
Both
hardware
(F5 networks)
and software
(Zeus)
Hardware
(F5)
1 6 CPUs
1 4 CPUs
1 20 EC2
compute
units
Processor
Memory, disk
(requires
reboot)
Automatic
CPU bursting
(up to 100%
of available
CPU power
of physical
host)
Storage
30 480 GB
Quad-core
0.25 16 10 620 GB
CPU (CPU
GB
power is
weighed
proportionally
to memory
size)
0.25 32 5 100 GB
GB
0.5 8
GB
0.5 16 20 270 GB
GB
1.7 15 160 1690 GB
GB
1 GB 1 TB
(per EBS
volume)
Memory
Instance Hardware Capacity
Automatic
1/16 8 CPUs
CPU bursting
(up to 8
CPUs)
No
Zeus
Processors,
software
memory
loadbalancing (requires
reboot)
Available
Elastic Load
with
Balancing
Amazon
CloudWatch
Automated
Horizontal
Scaling
OS Level
OpenSolaris No
(Solaris
Containers)
Xen
Xen
Xen
Smallest
Billing
Unit
Hypervisor
99.95% Hour
SLA
Uptime
TABLE 1.2. Feature Comparison Public Cloud Offerings (Infrastructure as a Service)
30
INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
Flexiscale. Flexiscale is a UK-based provider offering services similar in
nature to Amazon Web Services. However, its virtual servers offer some
distinct features, most notably: persistent storage by default, fixed IP addresses,
dedicated VLAN, a wider range of server sizes, and runtime adjustment of CPU
capacity (aka CPU bursting/vertical scaling). Similar to the clouds, this service
is also priced by the hour.
In summary, the Flexiscale cloud provides the following features: available
in UK; Web services (SOAP), Web-based user interfaces; access to virtual
server mainly via SSH (Linux) and Remote Desktop (Windows); 100%
availability SLA with automatic recovery of VMs in case of hardware failure;
per hour pricing; Linux and Windows operating systems; automatic scaling
(horizontal/vertical).
Joyent. Joyent’s Public Cloud offers servers based on Solaris containers
virtualization technology. These servers, dubbed accelerators, allow deploying
various specialized software-stack based on a customized version of OpenSolaris operating system, which include by default a Web-based configuration
tool and several pre-installed software, such as Apache, MySQL, PHP, Ruby
on Rails, and Java. Software load balancing is available as an accelerator in
addition to hardware load balancers.
A notable feature of Joyent’s virtual servers is automatic vertical scaling of
CPU cores, which means a virtual server can make use of additional CPUs
automatically up to the maximum number of cores available in the physical
host.
In summary, the Joyent public cloud offers the following features: multiple
geographic locations in the United States; Web-based user interface; access to
virtual server via SSH and Web-based administration tool; 100% availability
SLA; per month pricing; OS-level virtualization Solaris containers; OpenSolaris operating systems; automatic scaling (vertical).
GoGrid. GoGrid, like many other IaaS providers, allows its customers to
utilize a range of pre-made Windows and Linux images, in a range of fixed
instance sizes. GoGrid also offers “value-added” stacks on top for applications
such as high-volume Web serving, e-Commerce, and database stores.
It offers some notable features, such as a “hybrid hosting” facility, which
combines traditional dedicated hosts with auto-scaling cloud server infrastructure. In this approach, users can take advantage of dedicated hosting (which
may be required due to specific performance, security or legal compliance
reasons) and combine it with on-demand cloud infrastructure as appropriate,
taking the benefits of each style of computing.
As part of its core IaaS offerings, GoGrid also provides free hardware load
balancing, auto-scaling capabilities, and persistent storage, features that
typically add an additional cost for most other IaaS providers.
1.7
PLATFORM AS A SERVICE PROVIDERS
31
Rackspace Cloud Servers. Rackspace Cloud Servers is an IaaS solution
that provides fixed size instances in the cloud. Cloud Servers offers a range of
Linux-based pre-made images. A user can request different-sized images, where
the size is measured by requested RAM, not CPU.
Like GoGrid, Cloud Servers also offers hybrid approach where dedicated
and cloud server infrastructures can be combined to take the best aspects of
both styles of hosting as required. Cloud Servers, as part of its default offering,
enables fixed (static) IP addresses, persistent storage, and load balancing (via
A-DNS) at no additional cost.
1.7
PLATFORM AS A SERVICE PROVIDERS
Public Platform as a Service providers commonly offer a development and
deployment environment that allow users to create and run their applications
with little or no concern to low-level details of the platform. In addition,
specific programming languages and frameworks are made available in the
platform, as well as other services such as persistent data storage and inmemory caches.
1.7.1
Features
Programming Models, Languages, and Frameworks. Programming models made available by IaaS providers define how users can express their
applications using higher levels of abstraction and efficiently run them on the
cloud platform. Each model aims at efficiently solving a particular problem. In
the cloud computing domain, the most common activities that require
specialized models are: processing of large dataset in clusters of computers
(MapReduce model), development of request-based Web services and applications; definition and orchestration of business processes in the form of workflows (Workflow model); and high-performance distributed execution of
various computational tasks.
For user convenience, PaaS providers usually support multiple programming
languages. Most commonly used languages in platforms include Python and
Java (e.g., Google AppEngine), .NET languages (e.g., Microsoft Azure),
and Ruby (e.g., Heroku). Force.com has devised its own programming
language (Apex) and an Excel-like query language, which provide higher levels
of abstraction to key platform functionalities.
A variety of software frameworks are usually made available to PaaS
developers, depending on application focus. Providers that focus on Web
and enterprise application hosting offer popular frameworks such as Ruby on
Rails, Spring, Java EE, and .NET.
Persistence Options. A persistence layer is essential to allow applications to
record their state and recover it in case of crashes, as well as to store user data.
32
INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
Traditionally, Web and enterprise application developers have chosen relational databases as the preferred persistence method. These databases offer fast
and reliable structured data storage and transaction processing, but may lack
scalability to handle several petabytes of data stored in commodity computers
[71].
In the cloud computing domain, distributed storage technologies have
emerged, which seek to be robust and highly scalable, at the expense of
relational structure and convenient query languages. For example, Amazon
SimpleDB and Google AppEngine datastore offer schema-less, automatically
indexed database services [70]. Data queries can be performed only on
individual tables; that is, join operations are unsupported for the sake of
scalability.
1.7.2
Case Studies
In this section, we describe the main features of some Platform as Service
(PaaS) offerings. A more detailed side-by-side feature comparison of VI
managers is presented in Table 1.3.
Aneka. Aneka [72] is a .NET-based service-oriented resource management
and development platform. Each server in an Aneka deployment (dubbed
Aneka cloud node) hosts the Aneka container, which provides the base
infrastructure that consists of services for persistence, security (authorization,
authentication and auditing), and communication (message handling and
dispatching). Cloud nodes can be either physical server, virtual machines
(XenServer and VMware are supported), and instances rented from Amazon
EC2.
The Aneka container can also host any number of optional services that can
be added by developers to augment the capabilities of an Aneka Cloud node,
thus providing a single, extensible framework for orchestrating various
application models.
Several programming models are supported by such task models to enable
execution of legacy HPC applications and MapReduce, which enables a variety
of data-mining and search applications.
Users request resources via a client to a reservation services manager of the
Aneka master node, which manages all cloud nodes and contains scheduling
service to distribute request to cloud nodes.
App Engine. Google App Engine lets you run your Python and Java Web
applications on elastic infrastructure supplied by Google. App Engine allows
your applications to scale dynamically as your traffic and data storage
requirements increase or decrease. It gives developers a choice between a
Python stack and Java. The App Engine serving architecture is notable in
that it allows real-time auto-scaling without virtualization for many common
types of Web applications. However, such auto-scaling is dependent on the
33
Web
applications
Data processing Hive and Pig,
Cascading,
Java, Ruby,
Perl, Python,
PHP, R,
C++
Heroku
Amazon
Elastic
MapReduce
Karmasphere
Studio for
Hadoop (NetBeans-based)
Command-line
tools
Azure tools for
Microsoft
Visual Studio
.NET
Enterprise and
Web
applications
Microsoft
Windows
Azure
Ruby on Rails
Eclipse-based
IDE, Webbased wizard
Eclipse-based
IDE
Standalone
SDK
Apex
Python, Java
.NET
Enterprise
applications
(esp. CRM)
.Net enterprise
applications,
HPC
Web
applications
Developer
Tools
Force.com
AppEngine
Aneka
Target Use
Programming
Language,
Frameworks
Requestbased web
programming
MapReduce
Request-based
Web
programming
Workflow,
Excel-like
formula
language,
Request-based
web
programming
Unrestricted
Threads, Task,
MapReduce
Programming
Models
TABLE 1.3. Feature Comparison of Platform-as-a-Service Cloud Offerings
Yes
No
Amazon S3
Amazon EC2
Amazon EC2
Own data
centers
Yes
Table/BLOB/
queue storage,
SQL services
PostgreSQL,
Amazon RDS
Own data
centers
Unclear
Own object
database
Own data
centers
Amazon EC2
Backend
Infrastructure
Providers
Yes
No
Automatic
Scaling
BigTable
Flat files,
RDBMS, HDFS
Persistence
Options
34
INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
application developer using a limited subset of the native APIs on each
platform, and in some instances you need to use specific Google APIs such
as URLFetch, Datastore, and memcache in place of certain native API calls.
For example, a deployed App Engine application cannot write to the file system
directly (you must use the Google Datastore) or open a socket or access
another host directly (you must use Google URL fetch service). A Java
application cannot create a new Thread either.
Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure Cloud Services offers developers a hosted .
NET Stack (C#, VB.Net, ASP.NET). In addition, a Java & Ruby SDK for
.NET Services is also available. The Azure system consists of a number of
elements. The Windows Azure Fabric Controller provides auto-scaling and
reliability, and it manages memory resources and load balancing. The .NET
Service Bus registers and connects applications together. The .NET Access
Control identity providers include enterprise directories and Windows LiveID.
Finally, the .NET Workflow allows construction and execution of workflow
instances.
Force.com. In conjunction with the Salesforce.com service, the Force.com
PaaS allows developers to create add-on functionality that integrates into main
Salesforce CRM SaaS application.
Force.com offers developers two approaches to create applications that can
be deployed on its SaaS plaform: a hosted Apex or Visualforce application.
Apex is a proprietary Java-like language that can be used to create Salesforce
applications. Visualforce is an XML-like syntax for building UIs in HTML,
AJAX, or Flex to overlay over the Salesforce hosted CRM system. An
application store called AppExchange is also provided, which offers a paid &
free application directory.
Heroku. Heroku is a platform for instant deployment of Ruby on Rails Web
applications. In the Heroku system, servers are invisibly managed by the
platform and are never exposed to users. Applications are automatically
dispersed across different CPU cores and servers, maximizing performance
and minimizing contention. Heroku has an advanced logic layer than can
automatically route around failures, ensuring seamless and uninterrupted
service at all times.
1.8
CHALLENGES AND RISKS
Despite the initial success and popularity of the cloud computing paradigm and
the extensive availability of providers and tools, a significant number of
challenges and risks are inherent to this new model of computing. Providers,
developers, and end users must consider these challenges and risks to take good
advantage of cloud computing. Issues to be faced include user privacy, data
1.8
CHALLENGES AND RISKS
35
security, data lock-in, availability of service, disaster recovery, performance,
scalability, energy-efficiency, and programmability.
1.8.1
Security, Privacy, and Trust
Ambrust et al. [5] cite information security as a main issue: “current cloud
offerings are essentially public . . . exposing the system to more attacks.” For
this reason there are potentially additional challenges to make cloud computing
environments as secure as in-house IT systems. At the same time, existing, wellunderstood technologies can be leveraged, such as data encryption, VLANs,
and firewalls.
Security and privacy affect the entire cloud computing stack, since there is a
massive use of third-party services and infrastructures that are used to host
important data or to perform critical operations. In this scenario, the trust
toward providers is fundamental to ensure the desired level of privacy for
applications hosted in the cloud [38].
Legal and regulatory issues also need attention. When data are moved into
the Cloud, providers may choose to locate them anywhere on the planet. The
physical location of data centers determines the set of laws that can be applied
to the management of data. For example, specific cryptography techniques
could not be used because they are not allowed in some countries. Similarly,
country laws can impose that sensitive data, such as patient health records, are
to be stored within national borders.
1.8.2
Data Lock-In and Standardization
A major concern of cloud computing users is about having their data locked-in
by a certain provider. Users may want to move data and applications out from
a provider that does not meet their requirements. However, in their current
form, cloud computing infrastructures and platforms do not employ standard
methods of storing user data and applications. Consequently, they do not
interoperate and user data are not portable.
The answer to this concern is standardization. In this direction, there are
efforts to create open standards for cloud computing.
The Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum (CCIF) was formed by
organizations such as Intel, Sun, and Cisco in order to “enable a global cloud
computing ecosystem whereby organizations are able to seamlessly work
together for the purposes for wider industry adoption of cloud computing
technology.” The development of the Unified Cloud Interface (UCI) by CCIF
aims at creating a standard programmatic point of access to an entire cloud
infrastructure.
In the hardware virtualization sphere, the Open Virtual Format (OVF) aims
at facilitating packing and distribution of software to be run on VMs so that
virtual appliances can be made portable—that is, seamlessly run on hypervisor
of different vendors.
36
1.8.3
INTRODUCTION TO CLOUD COMPUTING
Availability, Fault-Tolerance, and Disaster Recovery
It is expected that users will have certain expectations about the service level to
be provided once their applications are moved to the cloud. These expectations
include availability of the service, its overall performance, and what measures
are to be taken when something goes wrong in the system or its components. In
summary, users seek for a warranty before they can comfortably move their
business to the cloud.
SLAs, which include QoS requirements, must be ideally set up between
customers and cloud computing providers to act as warranty. An SLA specifies
the details of the service to be provided, including availability and performance
guarantees. Additionally, metrics must be agreed upon by all parties, and
penalties for violating the expectations must also be approved.
1.8.4
Resource Management and Energy-Efficiency
One important challenge faced by providers of cloud computing services is the
efficient management of virtualized resource pools. Physical resources such as
CPU cores, disk space, and network bandwidth must be sliced and shared
among virtual machines running potentially heterogeneous workloads.
The multi-dimensional nature of virtual machines complicates the activity
of finding a good mapping of VMs onto available physical hosts while
maximizing user utility. Dimensions to be considered include: number of
CPUs, amount of memory, size of virtual disks, and network bandwidth.
Dynamic VM mapping policies may leverage the ability to suspend, migrate,
and resume VMs as an easy way of preempting low-priority allocations in
favor of higher-priority ones. Migration of VMs also brings additional
challenges such as detecting when to initiate a migration, which VM to
migrate, and where to migrate. In addition, policies may take advantage of
live migration of virtual machines to relocate data center load without
significantly disrupting running services. In this case, an additional concern
is the trade-off between the negative impact of a live migration on the
performance and stability of a service and the benefits to be achieved with
that migration [73].
Another challenge concerns the outstanding amount of data to be managed
in various VM management activities. Such data amount is a result of
particular abilities of virtual machines, including the ability of traveling
through space (i.e., migration) and time (i.e., checkpointing and rewinding)
[74], operations that may be required in load balancing, backup, and recovery
scenarios. In addition, dynamic provisioning of new VMs and replicating
existing VMs require efficient mechanisms to make VM block storage devices
(e.g., image files) quickly available at selected hosts.
Data centers consumer large amounts of electricity. According to a data
published by HP [4], 100 server racks can consume 1.3 MW of power and another
1.3 MW are required by the cooling system, thus costing USD 2.6 million per
REFERENCES
37
year. Besides the monetary cost, data centers significantly impact the environment in terms of CO2 emissions from the cooling systems [52].
In addition to optimize application performance, dynamic resource management can also improve utilization and consequently minimize energy consumption in data centers. This can be done by judiciously consolidating workload
onto smaller number of servers and turning off idle resources.
1.9
SUMMARY
Cloud computing is a new computing paradigm that offers a huge amount of
compute and storage resources to the masses. Individuals (e.g., scientists) and
enterprises (e.g., startup companies) can have access to these resources by
paying a small amount of money just for what is really needed.
This introductory chapter has surveyed many technologies that have led to
the advent of cloud computing, concluding that this new paradigm has been a
result of an evolution rather than a revolution.
In their various shapes and flavors, clouds aim at offering compute, storage,
network, software, or a combination of those “as a service.” Infrastructure-,
Platform-, and Software-as-a-service are the three most common nomenclatures for the levels of abstraction of cloud computing services, ranging from
“raw” virtual servers to elaborate hosted applications.
A great popularity and apparent success have been visible in this area.
However, as discussed in this chapter, significant challenges and risks need to
be tackled by industry and academia in order to guarantee the long-term
success of cloud computing. Visible trends in this sphere include the emergence
of standards; the creation of value-added services by augmenting, combining,
and brokering existing compute, storage, and software services; and the
availability of more providers in all levels, thus increasing competiveness and
innovation. In this sense, numerous opportunities exist for practitioners seeking
to create solutions for cloud computing.
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