Derek Long LIS 631 Tech Literature Review: Cloud Computing

Introduction Cloud computing has become a new buzzword in the past few years. It is not unusual these days to hear someone say “wait until we can just put it in the cloud,” when referring to computer data. But, what does that mean exactly? Many people within the computer technology field are touting cloud computing as the new paradigm in computing, akin to the introduction of the PC and the Internet (Sanchati, 2011, 37). This paper will provide an overview of what cloud computing is, why it is the next big thing in computing, address its issues from the views of experts, and its current and future influence on libraries. Definition Cloud computing has yet to obtain a universally accepted definition. There are many parts that make up cloud computing, including infrastructure, platform, applications and service, making conciseness difficult and the reason for why there are varying definitions of cloud computing (Goldner, 2010, 5). One overview definition is that “Cloud computing refers to both the applications delivered as services over the Internet and the hardware and systems software in the data centers that provide those services” (Armbrust, 2010, 50). Simply put, for personal use, cloud computing allows the user to have every piece of needed data at their finger tips by the utilization of software applications, data 1

Subscribers benefit from low initial costs and have access to support services. 5). For many organizations. Cloud computing allows the user to avoid locally hosting multiple servers and equipment and constantly having to deal with hardware failure. This means that the Cloud becomes the development platform and the operating system to which programmers write reusable. What makes Cloud Computing the next Big Thing? With cloud computing. or using platforms to build applications. Also. Software as a Service (SaaS) Applications or software is delivered as a service to the customer who can access the program from any online device. three service areas must be taken into account. cloud computing can simplify processes and save time and money (Goldner. Users will only need an interface to access information that is within the cloud. 3). 2010. All of this means that if cloud computing becomes universally embraced. 2010.storing. When describing the user services that define cloud computing. There is usually some customization or control available to the user with these applications. people will be able to access any of their information that has been put into the cloud from anywhere without having to have their own storage devices. upgrades and compatibility issues. It will change how computers will be made. constantly updated software components that are delivered over a network which can be embedded or loosely coupled with other Web applications (Goldner. access to computing power. in the Internet cloud. some of these are subscription based. software installs. hardware and functionality that were traditionally installed and ran within a local environment are now performed on a network. 2 .

hosting. Here are several beneficial aspects to users that are new in cloud computing. and Force. Platform as a Service (PaaS) PaaS is a computing platform provider that supplies tools and a development environment to help companies build. When a cloud is made available in a pay-as-you-go manner to the general public. upgrading. As of now. However. 2010. They can rent the use of platforms such as Windows Azure. businesses do not need to invest in the infrastructure required for building Web and mobile applications. it is called a public cloud. offers two main products including the Elastic Compute Cloud. With PaaS. and the service being sold is called utility computing (Armbrust. one of the major IaaS providers. 51). 2009). It involves providing both storage services and computing power to the user. these applications that are built using these provider’s services are usually locked into that one platform. subscription based cloud use appears to be the most likely method of how services will be provided.com. or maintaining the software is taking care of by the provider of the cloud service. Amazon’s Web Services. and Simple Storage Service for data storage (Kroski. Google AppEngine. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) This type of cloud computing is also sometimes referred to Hardware as a Service (HaaS). 3 . test. installing. which provides computing resources. and deploy Web-based applications.

software. 2009). paying only for the processing power. Data and systems that are “live” somewhere else beyond the safety of an organization’s firewall is an uncomfortable prospect for some. processors by the hour and storage by the day) and release them as needed. thus rewarding conservation by letting machines and storage go when they are no longer useful (Armbrust. and infrastructure. This causes 4 . Instead of spending on the purchase and maintenance of servers.  And. or storage space they use. so do all of the websites. Issues for Cloud Computing There are definite trust issues involved with working in the cloud. bandwidth.  With the cloud. thereby allowing companies to start small and increase hardware resources only when there is an increase in their needs. This raises a major concern about the provider’s reliability. and potentially business-critical applications they are hosting (Kroski. 51). which eliminate the need for cloud computing users to plan far ahead for provisioning. This can save companies huge sums of money and can also make it easier for starting companies because they do not have to put up large sums of startup money for hardware.  Cloud computing also eliminates an up-front commitment by cloud users. companies are able to scale instantly and on-demand. data. 2010. cloud computing gives businesses the ability to pay for use of computing resources on a short-term basis as needed (ex. they can be rented. If the provider’s systems go down. There are basically infinite computing resources available on-demand that are quick enough to follow load surges.

While companies can save money on equipment and software with cloud computing by not having to fork over large sums of money for housing technology. companies cannot pass audits of their capabilities by prospective clients if they cannot demonstrate who has access to their data and how they keep unauthorized personnel from retrieving information (Leavitt. The companies data is not under the control of the organization’s own staff. the extent of cloud computing 5 . and data import and export (Leavitt. 18). Online Databases that libraries have utilized are accessed as cloud applications. they could incur higher network bandwidth charges from their service providers (Leavitt. 5). Cost is an issue as well. 2009. However. Clients want to be sure their information is kept safe. Libraries have been using some cloud computing services for more than a decade. 18). 19). Cloud Computing for Libraries Cloud computing is not exactly a new thing for libraries. 2010. causing worries of not having control over designs and the platform being used by the cloud provider (Leavitt.IT departments to be very wary of cloud computing because of the outsourcing to an outside provider. 2009. Without having data in-house they cannot personally assure the client because that information is out of their hands and in the cloud. Another big issue at this time for cloud computing is that there are no cloud computing standards for elements and processes such as APIs. Large union catalogs can also be defined as cloud applications (Goldner. the storage of server images for disaster recovery. 2009. 2009. Lastly. This will need to be addressed before cloud computing becomes universally used. 18).

therefore more data to be shared through the cloud because libraries would not have to process the same data another library has already put into the cloud. Meaning. If a change is needed. When library systems are deployed as open cloud solutions. etc. When this data is maintained in the cloud. (Goldner. This would be a huge shift for libraries. thus eliminated individual libraries’ workloads. 8). With this. data storage in the cloud can bring many benefits for libraries. maintenance and backup of this data is now done once. cooperative preservation or digitization. cooperative sharing of materials. they could concentrate their activities in other areas that are not concerned with data that is already available on the shared cloud. Libraries can agree to share pools of data for cooperative collection building. Arguably the biggest and most significant one to recognize is that replicated data being stored over hundreds and thousands of times across multiple libraries can be shared. if a 6 . instead of multiple times at separate libraries. Many available cloud solutions offer this type of openness with published application program interfaces (APIs) that many programmers can take advantage of. 2010.capabilities has drastically expanded and libraries can benefit greatly from cloud computing. The following are some advantageous possibilities cloud computing can provide libraries. Overall this would allow for more data to be processed. only one library needs to perform the change and then they can share it to all of the other libraries. the library community itself can create extensions to their core services and more importantly share them throughout the community using cloud solutions. The advantages of an open service oriented architecture for libraries does end there. Like the advantages of technology deployed and accessed as cloud solutions.

Libraries have the responsibility of preserving information. They will be able to rely on the maintenance provided by the cloud. 2011. it not only can conserve library resources but also can improve its user satisfaction (Sanchati. Libraries will want to consider what types of information and/or processes they want to trust to put into the cloud. 2010. it is in effect relinquishing that obligation of duty. 7). which is to preserve information (Kroski. It is the duty of libraries to provide its constituents access to the information that they seek. 2009). 39). The potential of cloud computing would increase the amount of material the patrons of libraries could access. and therefore help libraries fulfill their main objective to their constituents. Cloud computing conceivably would dramatically improve the amount of information that users could access and the ease to which they could access it. and the new technologies introduced and implemented by other libraries that are involved in the open access cloud. One point that could be made is that if a library is outsourcing its preservation. than it is no longer performing one of the traditional jobs of libraries. libraries will not always have to be dependent on a vendor or other third party to start taking advantage of services and technologies (Goldner.new service or technology emerges. By establishing a pubic cloud among many university libraries. There are some issues with cloud computing that libraries will need to keep in mind. many of which pertain to the general issues that are listed above in the issues section. 7 . If a particular library is no longer preserving anything and purely relying on the material in the cloud.

(September 2009). And.libraryjournal. 2009). 11 Issue. (2009). they should be concerned with records retention requirements.Libraries will also need to consider practical problems such as the privacy of sensitive information. Ellyssa. 8 . 50-58. References Armbrust. Matt. Cloud Computing: A digital library’s perspective. Is Cloud Computing really ready for the Prime Time. Teregowda. it is difficult to tell if there will be privacy issues when putting records in to the cloud. 115 – 122. Urgaonkar. like their patron records. or storing and accessing bibliographic data (Kroski. Global Journal of Computer Science and Technology Vol. Communications of the ACM. Library Cloud Atlas: A Guide to Cloud Computing and Storage | Stacking the Tech The Library Journal. Computer 42.L. 2010 3rd International Conference on Advanced Computer Theory and Engineering. Giles. http://www. C. Michael. Libraries can choose to continue to host some of their own systems while using the cloud for less sensitive processes such as hosting library websites. (July 2010). Winds of change: Libraries and Cloud Computing. But. (2010). backing up media collections.com/article/CA6695772. 53 Issue 4. A View of cloud computing. and Gaurav kulkarni. Sanchati. Without cloud computing yet being fully implemented. OCLC. Vol. (April 2010). it does not need to be an all-or-nothing decision. Cloud Computing in Digital and University Libraries. (July 2011). and B.html Leavitt. Libraries just need to be conscious and cautious of these issues as they move forward with what appears to be a very beneficial technology for them. Ruseph. 12. et al. P. Kroski. Neal. Goldner.

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