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Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution: How Cloud Computing Is Transforming Business and Why You Can't Afford to Be Left Behind

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Charles Babcock

Increase efficiency while saving money with “on-demand” computing The biggest game-changing force in business since the creation of the Internet, cloud computing simplifies and lowers the cost of operations while providing flexibility and … see full wiki

Author: Charles Babcock
Genre: Computers & Internet
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
1 review about Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution:...

The Cloud Revolution Is Here

  • Jun 20, 2010
The Cloud Revolution by Babcock
McGraw Hill Publication

Reviewed by Dr. Joseph S. Maresca

The cloud refers to a number of advances. i.e. the data centers,
the Web setting of conventions for loosely coupled systems and
an ability to activate virtualized servers remotely via
standard Web services. Amazon charges 8.5 cents per hour
for the use of a server on the EC2 cloud infrastructure.

The cloud offers a business model where many services,
including computer server power, storage, network bandwidth
and others can be obtained at a very competitive price.
The cloud now gives the user programmatic control
over a part of the data center and the ability to command
a server in the data center to run an application program.

The user simply swipes a credit card and checks off on
what servers are to be activated by the mouse.
In everyday language, the cloud consists of all those
servers out on the internet which deliver information and
services to end users everywhere.

The new data centers are engineered so that the servers
are configured and managed uniformly. So, fewer people are
required. The cloud data center tolerates hardware failures
and routes work around them. It solves through software
the hardware problems that used to require a shutdown
of machinery and replacement of parts. Managers or trouble
shooting software for these data centers still have a hierarchy
of choices to receive data and record it redundantly or
tridundantly depending upon the criticality of the data.
In addition, the MTBF is available to anticipate equipment
failures with earlier fixes scheduled to
anticipate the breakdown before it occurs.

The internet user of the future will send the server
instructions on what to do, add the data, select from a
list of services and proceed to manipulate the
results utilizing standard algorythms , as necessary.
With cloud computing, the master/slave relationship of computing
will be banished and replaced by a peer-to-peer relationship
arising between the client and server.
Amazon.com has pioneered cloud computing as a rentable
infrastructure in its EC2 data center. The cloud is designed
to host massive clusters of servers like Google's,
whose combined computing power is unimaginable.
The new machine provides the availability of seemingly
endless server cycles for any request sent to it by an end user.

Cloudwatch, Auto Scaling and Elastic Load Balancing are
useful when a hosting Web site doesn't know much about
the traffic. Cloudwatch with Autoscaling results in a
charge of 1.5 cents per hour for each EC2 server used.
Right now, cloud data centers can cost up to a half billion
dollars apiece according to public documents citing Microsoft
permits for cloud centers.

The cloud's operating managers estimate what constitutes
a safe surplus of computing capability utilizing historical
patterns which are derived from the servers' total workload.

The concept of a private cloud is just over the horizon.
A private cloud would be run by a pool of servers functioning
like a single giant computer through a layer
of machine management software. Coping with failure
means giving your application the capability to failover
to another server automatically without losing data.
The redundancy is contained and managed in the software.

Cloud computing does not mean that operations can occur
without some level of control . The standard "General Controls,
Security, Data Recovery" protocols will still apply at the
facility which manages the thousands of servers.

Samples typical audit procedures at the cloud data facility are:
(1) Are the environmental controls relating to heat,
power and light operational?
(2) Is there an Uninterruptible Power Source at the facility?
Has it been tested?
(3) Is there adequate insurance for facility operations?
(4) Is data recoverable when a server fails? How?
(5) Are there provisions for Disaster Recovery?
(6) Is the Contingency Plan set forth to describe actions to
be taken when the facility is operating under an out-of-normal circumstance(s).
i.e. loss of key personnel, unavailability of spare parts from key suppliers etc.
(7) Are software (applications or systems ) programming customizations tested adequately prior to installation
(8) How is data accounted for in the failover procedure?
(9) How are financial charges accounted for and controlled in
the various financial applications

The book is an excellent technical resource. There are areas
for further development.

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