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Australasian Conference on Information Systems
2-4 Dec 2009, Melbourne
Where are we at with Clou Com!utin"#
$an" % &ate
Where are we at with Cloud Computing?: A Descriptive Literature Review
'aibo $an"
School of Information Mana"ement
(ictoria )ni*ersity of Wellin"ton
+mail, Soatea - " m
Mary &ate
School of Information Mana"ement
(ictoria )ni*ersity of Wellin"ton
+mail, M ary .& ate - *
Cloud computing is an exciting area for research, because of its relative novelty and exploding growth. In this
paper, we present a descriptive literature review and classification scheme for cloud computing research. The
former consists of 58 articles published since the recent inception of cloud computing. Clearly, there is an
explosively increasing amount of cloud computing research has been conducted this year. The articles are
classified and results are presented, based on a scheme that consists of four main categories: technological
issues, business issues, applications, and general. The results show that although current cloud computing
research is still sewed towards technological issues, such as performance, networ, and data management, new
research theme regarding the social and organisational implications of cloud computing is emerging. !e hope
this review will provide a snapshot and reference source of the current state of cloud computing research and
stimulate further research interest.
Keywords: Cloud computing, descriptive literature review
In an a"e of information an "lobalisation, massi*e com!utin" !ower is esire to "enerate business insi"hts an
com!etiti*e a*anta"e 01iu an 2rban, 20034. A traitional way for enter!rises to !rocess their ata is to use the
com!utin" !ower !ro*ie by their own in-house ata centres. 'owe*er o!eratin" a !ri*ate ata centre to 5ee!
u! with the ra!i "rowin" ata !rocessin" re6uests can be com!licate an costly.
Clou com!utin" offers an alternati*e. 7Clou com!utin"8, as a term for this Internet base ser*ice, was
launche by inustry "iants 0e.". 9oo"le, Ama/, etc.4 in late 200:. It !romises to !ro*ie on-eman
com!utin" !ower with 6uic5 im!lementation, little maintenance, less I& staff, an conse6uently lower cost
0Aymerich et al., 20034. As !ro;ecte by mar5et-research firm IDC, I& clou-ser*ice s!enin" will "row from
about )SD<: billion in 2003 to about )SD42 billion by 20<2 01ea*itt, 20094.
&he relati*e no*elty an e=!loin" "rowth of clou com!utin" ma5es it an e=citin" area for research. &he
!resent !a!er aims to assess the state of clou com!utin" research. We !ortray a current lansca!e of this
research stream, where it is toay, an, most im!ortantly, where effort shoul be focuse in the future in orer to
!rouce more 7consumable research8 0>obey an Mar5us, <9934.&he reminer of this !a!er is or"anise as
follows. ?irst a brief o*er*iew of clou com!utin" is "i*en. @e=t the research methoolo"y an our
classification schema are !resente. &his is followe by the results of our literature re*iew an classification.
?inally, some iscussions an conclusion are rawn.
L"%RA"$R% R%&%W
Since this is a literature re*iew !a!er, the literature we e*aluate is mainly iscusse in the boy of the !a!er.
&his section offers a short introuction to what clou com!utin" is, an how it can be istin"uishe from relate
conce!ts such as "ri com!utin".
Clou com!utin" can be re"are to a certain e"ree, as the e*olution of "ri com!utin". Such a close
relationshi! has cause confusion. &he "ri framewor5 is ori"inally ri*en by scientific !ur!oses0e.".
S +& I- ho m e !ro;ect4, an aime at coorinatin" resources that are not sub;ect to centralise control uner
stanar, o!en, "eneral-!ur!ose !rotocols an interfaces 0?oster et al,20034. Clou com!utin" is born for
commercial !ur!oses an naturally ser*ice oriente. It is base on centralise ata centres. &he !rotocols an
interfaces use may not be the same across clous !ro*iers.
Clou com!utin" has com!letely istinct business moel. It offers clear S1As 0Ser*ice 1e*el A"reements4 an is
base on a 7!ay !er use8 !ricin" moel 0Weinhart et al., 20094. &herefore it is !romise that with nothin" but a
creit car, one can "et on-eman access to <00,000A !rocessors from the clous 0?oster et al., 20034. 9ri
com!utin" on the other han is base on a sharin" system, that is, one nees to ;oin the "ri an contribute
com!utin" !ower to "ain access to the com!utin" !ower of other members. In this co-o!erati*e moel, S1As are
not re6uire or enforceable 0Weinhart et al., 20094.
In this !a!er, we see clou com!utin" is base on 7a lar"e !ool of easily usable an accessible *irtualise
resources 0such as harware, e*elo!ment !latforms anBor ser*ices48 0(a6uero et al., 2009, !.C<4. &hese
resources are ty!ically built in centralise ata centres an are ynamically re-confi"ure to achie*e an o!timum
utili/ation. Clous are !ro*ie by a !ay-as-you-"o moel in which "uarantees are offere by the !ro*iers by
means of customi/e S1As 0Ser*ice 1e*el A"reements4. &his turns com!utin" !ower into a !ublic utility which
will brin" a !rofoun 7!arai"m shift8 to the I& inustry an e*en to society as a whole.
Clou com!utin" has !romise many technolo"ical an sociolo"ical benefits. &he com!utin" !ower is "enerate
from hi"hly centralise an stanari/e ata centres which contain u! to millions of ser*ers, with a
consierable economy of scale. ?rom an enter!rise stan!oint, clou com!utin" can eli*er on-eman
com!utin" !ower at a *ery low if not any cost of the u!front infrastructure an on"oin" maintenance. Clou
com!utin" also !romises to !ro*ie better !erformance, reliability an scalability 0+ro"mus, 20094. &here is
some e*ience that these are bein" eli*ere, 0?o= et al., 20094. ?rom an en*ironmental stan!oint, owin" to the
a*ance electrical an coolin" systems use by its centralise ata centres, clou com!utin" has !romise to
brin" low en*ironmental cost an hi"h ener"y efficiency, com!are to the traitional scattere enter!rise ata
centres 0Dat/, 20094. All in all, these seucti*e !romises ha*e rawn rastically increasin" attention of a worl
wie scale.
R%'%ARC( )%"(#D#L#*+
A Descriptive Literature Review
1iterature re*iew is an essential a!!roach to 7conce!tualise research areas an sur*ey an synthesi/e !rior
research8 0Webster an Watson, 20024. It irectly contributes to a cumulati*e culture which is esire in any
research fiel, es!ecially in IS. It is su""este that the lac5 of re*iew articles has been hinerin" the !ro"ress of
IS fiel 0Webster an Watson, 20024.
A literature re*iew can be conucte in ifferent ways. ?i"ure <, shows four methos of literature re*iew,
@arrati*e >e*iew, Descri!ti*e >e*iew, (ote Countin", an Meta Analysis. &hese four re*iew methos are
!lace in a 6ualitati*e-6uantitati*e continuum to illustrate their ifferent focuses 0Din" an 'e, 200C4.
?i"ure < >e*iew Methos on a Eualitati*e-Euantitati*e Continuum
&he narrati*e re*iew is the traitional way of re*iewin" the literature an is s5ewe towars a 6ualitati*e
inter!retation of the literature. It is conucte by *erbally escribin" the !ast stuies, focusin" on theories an
framewor5s, elementary factors an their research outcomes, with re"ar to a hy!othesi/e relationshi! 0Din"
an 'e, 200C4. 'owe*er, there is no consensus towars a stanari/e !roceure of narrati*e re*iew. 'ow to
conuct a narrati*e re*iew lar"ely e!ens on the re*iewerFs !ersonal !reference, thus this a!!roach is easily
*ulnerable to sub;ecti*ity. It is not rare for 7two re*iews to arri*e at rather ifferent conclusion from the same
"eneral boy of literature8 09u//o et al., <93G, !. 4034.
A escri!ti*e re*iew focuses on re*ealin" an inter!retable !attern from the e=istin" literature 09u//o et al.,
<93G4.It !rouces some 6uantification, often in the form of fre6uency analysis, such as !ublication time, research
methoolo"y, research outcomes etc. Such a re*iew metho often has a systematic !roceure incluin"
searchin", filterin" an classifyin" !rocesses. ?irst a re*iewer nees to conuct a com!rehensi*e literature search
to collect as many rele*ant !a!ers as !ossible in an in*esti"ate area. &hen the re*iewer treats an ini*iual
stuy as one ata recor an ientifies trens an !atterns amon" the !a!ers sur*eye 0Din" an 'e, 200C4. &he
outcome of such a re*iew is often claime to be re!resentati*e of the state of art of a research omain.
(ote countin" is "enerally use to raw inferences u!on focal relationshi!s by combinin" ini*iual research
finin"s 0Din" an 'e 200C4. 'ere a tally is mae of the fre6uency with which e=istin" research finin"s su!!ort
a !articular !ro!osition. Most li5ely it is a!!lie to "enerate insi"hts from a series of e=!eriments. &he !remise
unerlyin" this a!!roach is that re!eate results in the same irection across multi!le stuies, e*en some of them
are non-si"nificant, may be more !owerful e*ience than a sin"le si"nificant result 0Din" an 'e, 200C4.
Meta-analysis aims at statistically !ro*iin" su!!orts to a research to!ic by synthesi/in" an analysin" the
6uantitati*e results of many em!irical stuies 0Din" an 'e, 200C4. In most cases, it may s!ecifically e=amine
the relationshi!s between certain Ine!enent (ariables 0I(s4 an De!enent (ariables 0D(s4 eri*e from
e=istin" research finin"s. Eualitati*e stuies ha*e to be e=clue by a meta-analysis ue to its e=tremely
6uantitati*e nature. 2nly similar 6uantitati*e stuies are collecte for a meta-analysis. &he incenti*e of this
a!!roach is to "enerate a much less ;u"mental an sub;ecti*e literature re*iew u!on a s!ecific research conte=t.
2ur ob;ecti*e is to !ortray a lansca!e of clou com!utin" as an emer"in" research area an !ro*ie a sna!shot
or reference !oint to "uie future e*elo!ment. 9i*en the nascence of this research area, we o not an coul not
aim at e=aminin" any *ariables, correlations, or theories. We fin a escri!ti*e re*iew a!!roach was most
a!!ro!riate. &he !roceure of this escri!ti*e re*iew is escribe in the ne=t section.
'cope o, the Literature 'earch
&he first ste! of a literature analysis stuy is to locate rele*ant literature throu"h com!uter an manual searches.
&raitionally this is one by tar"etin" some !rominent ;ournals an conferences. &his a!!roach is rele*ant to
other research to!ics li5e +lectronic Commerce where some ma;or !ublication outlets ha*e been forme by the
lon" e*elo!ment of the research area 0Hharati an &arasewich, 20024. 'owe*er focusin" on limite outlets
cannot be ;ustifie for a literature re*iew on clou com!utin" as this is a recent !henomenon which ;ust emer"e
two years a"o, therefore the !ublication channels are still lar"ely scattere. In the meantime, usin" online
atabases search as a !rimary literature collectin" a!!roach has become an emer"in" culture amon" IS
researchers who are intereste in contem!orary !henomena 0Ietter an Mclean, 2009J Sabherwal, 200:J
'wan" an &horn, <9994. &herefore for a literature re*iew on clou com!utin", it is safe an !ractical to focus
on online atabases rather than library collections.
?our !rominent online atabases, ACM Di"ital 1ibrary, I+++ K!lore, IroEuest 0AHIBI@?2>M4, an
ScienceDirect 0+lse*ier4 were tar"ete. &hese four atabases co*er almost all of the ISWorlFs to! C0 IS ;ournals
an most of to! <0 IS conferences 01e*y an +llist, 200:4. We therefore belie*e these atabases are
com!rehensi*e enou"h to !rouce a literature set which can re!resent the current status of IS research literature.
We conucte 5eywor an abstract search across all the four atabases an all years 0till Lr Muly 20094 with
the !hrase 7clou com!utin"8. &he search aime at !eer-re*iewe, scholarly articles, therefore restrictions were
use if a*ailable 0e.". the 7scholarly ;ournals, incluin" !eer re*iewe8 o!tion was selecte in IroEuestJ the
7;ournal, !roceein"8 o!tions were selecte in ACM i"ital library4. &he initial search resulte in <:< hits.
-iltering .rocess
&he <:< articles were then analyse in 2 ste!s. ?irstly by scannin" the title an abstract of the articles, u!licates,
eitorials, 5eynotes an !anel tal5s were e=clueJ this left 3G articles. Seconly, followin" a !roceure outline
by 9ro*er et al. 0<99L4, the full te=t of each article was re*ieweJ those which were not focuse on clou
com!utin", instea merely mentionin" clou com!utin" as a conce!t or a rele*ant technolo"y, were iscare.
?inally C3 articles, whose !henomenon of interest is clearly the technolo"ies, business a!!lications an im!acts
of clou com!utin" remaine in the +nnote atabase for further classification.
Classi,ication 'cheme
&he classification framewor5, shown in &able <, was base on the literature re*iew, the interest of clou
com!utin" research, an the e=istin" classification schemes of IS 0Har5i et al., <99L4. &he C3 articles were full
te=t re*iewe an "rou!e into 4 broa omains, &echnolo"ical issues, Husiness issues, A!!lications, an
9eneral. &his "rou!in" is base on assi"nin" the sin"le most a!!licable to!ic-omain to an article. &hen each
omain was i*ie into sub omains accorin" to the s!ecific research interest of the articles. It is ine*itable
that any !iece of research may contribute to se*eral of these sub omains. 'owe*er, by assi"nin" one article to
only one !rimary sub omain, we are able to offer a sim!lifie classification of the ma;or omains within current
clou com!utin" research an conce!tualise the relationshi!s between these omains.
": Technological issues: &his omain focuses on the clou com!utin" technolo"y. Articles in this omain are
!rouce by researchers who see clou com!utin" as a white-bo= an are intereste in its com!onents an
mechanism. ?i*e cate"ories are relate to technolo"ical issues.
<. Clou Ierformance, &his sub omain co*ers articles focusin" on the assessment, measurement, an
o!timi/ation of the !erformance of the clous. &his inclues stuies that attem!t to 6uantify the !erformance of
clou com!utin" 0@a!!er an Hientinesi, 2009J ?o= et al., 20094, refine wor5flow scheulin" an loa balancin"
0Dornemann et al., 2009J Sin"h et al., 20094, an im!ro*e CI) !erformance 0$ou et al, 2009, Woo an 1ee,
2. @etwor5, &his inclues esi"n an mana"ement of the !hysical an lo"ical networ5 su!!ortin" s!ecial
re6uirements of clou com!utin". &his sub omain consists of stuies aressin" !roblems about clou
com!utin" networ5 to!olo"ies an constructions 0Streitber"er an +ymann, 2009J 'ou et al, 20094, lar"e scale
inter-clou networ5s !rotocols 0Hernstein et al., 20094, an clou le*el traffic control 0Matos et al., 20094.
L. Data Mana"ement, &his sub omain aims at s!ecific issues associate with the un!receente scale of ata
!rocesse in the clous. Such as ata !arallelism 09u an 9rossman, 20034, ata consistency 0(o"els, 20094,
an o!timise al"orithms an methos for clou le*el ata minin" 0Mohnson, 2009J 9rossman an 9u, 20034.
4. )ser control, 9i*in" u! user sie control is wiely critici/e to be a ownsie of usin" clou com!utin"
ser*ice. Articles in this sub omain attem!t to technolo"ically miti"ate such concerns by !ro*iin" solutions for
retainin" user control o*er ata 0Descher et al, 20094 an 6uic5 mi"ration across clous 0'irofuchi et al ,20094, .
& able < Classification of to!ics in Clou Com!utin"
& o!ics Sub-& o!ics
Clou Ierformance, @etwor5, Data Mana"ement,
)ser Control, Software De*elo!ment
Husiness Issues CostBHenefit, Iricin"BHillin", 1e"al issues, Iri*acy
A!!lications +-Science, Dnowle"e Mana"ement, Search +n"ines
9eneral ?ounationBIntrouctions, Im!lementations
C. Software De*elo!ment, &his sub omain re!resents a stream of research focusin" on e*elo!in" istribute
an !arallel software in clou com!utin" en*ironment 0>ellermeyer et al, 20094.
#: #usiness issues: &his omain concerns the business moels an im!lications of clou com!utin" technolo"y.
Articles in this omain treat clou com!utin" as a blac5-bo= technolo"y which can "enerate business *alue to
both !ro*iers an users.
<. CostBHenefit, &his sub omain focuses lar"ely on usersF sie. >esearchers aim at 6uantifyin" the cost an
benefit for mi"ratin" com!utin" tas5s onto the clous 0Assuncao et al., 20094. Such effort can further hel! users
with selectin" clou ser*ices 0Nen" et al., 20094.
2. Iricin"BHillin", Articles in this sub omain mainly focus on !ro*iersF sie. &hey !ro!ose !ricin" an billin"
moels for clou !ro*iers in orer to retain customers an "uarantee !rofit 0$eo et al., 20094.
L. Iri*acy, It is ine*itable that in a clou com!utin" !arai"m, !ri*acy is always a concern as the clou users
ha*e to u!loa, an in most case, store their ata in !ublicly accessible ata enters. >esearch in this sub omain
ar"ues that !ri*acy !rotection better shoul be consiere early on, at the clou system esi"n !hase rather than
!ost !olicy ma5in" sta"e 0Iearson, 20094.
4. 1e"al issues, Clou com!utin" also in*ol*es many le"al issues re"arin" ata !rotection, confientiality,
co!yri"ht, an auit ri"ht etc. 0Moint et al., 20094
C: "pplications: &his omain consists of stuies which ten to s!eculate or im!lement fresh a!!lications on
clou com!utin" !latforms.
<. +-Science, A ma;or consumer "rou! of com!utin" !ower is the +-Science community. +-Science refers to the
scientific isci!lines 0i.e. earth science, bio-informatics, !article !hysics, etc.4 where e=!losi*ely increasin" ata
"athere from sensors an instruments 0i.e. the C>+@ 1ar"e 'aron Collier4 nee to be !rocesse in a timely
manner. Clou com!utin", with its tremenous com!utin" !ower an ine=!ensi*e cost has rawn consierable
attention from +-Science community. Articles in this sub omain aim at unerstanin" the im!act of clou
com!utin" on current com!utin" infrastructure of +-Science 0'a/elhurst, 20094.
2. Dnowle"e Mana"ement, DM is critical to 5nowle"e intensi*e inustries. &hese inustries "enerally re6uire
lar"e scale ata !rocessin" an com!utin" !ower as well. >esearch in this sub omain s!eculates how to
architecturally blen 5nowle"e mana"ement !ractices with clou com!utin" an web 2.0 0Delic an >iley,
L. Search +n"ines, Web search en"ines naturally nee to eal with arbitrary amounts of metaata cross the whole
Internet. >esearch in this sub omain aims at the utili/ation of a clou com!utin" framewor5 in the semantic
search en"ines 0Mi5a an &ummarelo, 20094.
$: %eneral: &his omain contains articles that iscuss "eneral as!ects of clou com!utin" research, such as
founational conce!ts or introuctions to clou com!utin", or "eneral im!lementation, etc.
<. ?ounationalBIntrouctions, &his sub omain inclues articles that introuce the efinitions an com!onents
of clou com!utin", an com!are them with other com!utin" !arai"ms 01en5 et al., 20094.
2. Im!lementation, &his contains literature which illustrates the im!lementation of clou com!utin" framewor5
an shares e=!erience about its !ros an cons 0Aymerich et al., 20034.
&his re*iew ta5es a escri!ti*e a!!roach. We !ro*ie an o*er*iew of the current e*elo!ments in clou
com!utin" research, by conuctin" a systematic literature classification usin" the classification scheme !resente
abo*e. &he results of the classification are !resente ne=t.
R%'$L"' A!D A!AL+''
A total of C3 articles were classifie accorin" to our scheme. We also analyse the article by year of
!ublication, research methos, !rimary contribution, an the !ublication outlets.
Distributions o, the articles by year
&here are no stuies relate to 7clou com!utin"8 before 200G because it i not e=ist uner this name. As
!re*iously mentione, the term 7Clou com!utin"8 was coine by inustry !ractitioners in 200:. Acaemic
researchers starte to embar5 on this 7banwa"on8 later in 200G. &he number of articles !ublishe in the first
half of 2009 0L94 has alreay ouble that of the whole of 2003 0<34. &his e=!losi*e "rowin" of !ublications
reflects the increasin" enthusiasm on the clou com!utin" !arai"m.
Distributions o, articles by topics
7&echnolo"ical issues8 clearly stans out as the most hea*ily !ublishe research to!ic 023 articles, 43O4,
followe by 79eneral issues8 0<C articles, 2:O4, 7Husiness issues8 09 articles, <:O4 while the least !ublishe
to!ic is 7A!!lications8 0: articles, <0O4. &his !robably is because that there are still many technolo"ical
obstacles for the "rowth of clou com!utin" which nee to be remo*e, such as Data 1oc5-In, Data
Confientiality an Auitability, Data &ransfer Hottlenec5s, an Ierformance )n!reictability, etc. 0Armbrust et
al, 20094.
&able 2 lists the number of articles for each technolo"ical issue. We can see that the ma;ority, <L articles 04:O4
are base on clou !erformance. &his is unsur!risin" as the !erformance of clou com!utin" is always a critical
factor to be consiere by any user "rou!s. &herefore the measurement, assessment an im!ro*ement of the
!erformance of a certain clou com!utin" ser*ice is of "reat interest to the researchers. @etwor5 issues are
secon 0G articles, 2CO4 as currently the banwith in many areas is still a bottlenec5 which hiners the full
actuali/ation of clou com!utin" !ower. >esearchers attem!t to release the ma=imum !ower of the clous by
im!ro*in" the efficiency an ca!acity of current networ5 architecture 0Minno an &su5ishima, 2009J Hernstein et
al., 20094.
& able 2 @ u m ber of &echnolo"ical Issues A rticles
& echnolo"ical Issues @ um ber of articles
Clou Ierformance <L04:O4
@etwor5 G02CO4
Data Mana"ement 40<4O4
)ser Control L0<<O4
Software De*elo!ment <04O4
&otal 230<00O4
&able L shows the number of articles in to!ics of business issues. CostBbenefit stans at the first with C:O of the
articles, followe by !ricin"Bbillin" in relate to 22O articles. &his echoes the tren that most or"anisations ha*e
refocuse on cost efficiency with re"ar to I& in*estment uner the current economic ownturn. +*aluatin" an
A summary table of all articles classifie is also !ro*ie in the A!!eni=.
6uantifyin" costs an benefits of clou com!utin" ser*ices is *ery !ertinent for those or"anisations which are
!lannin" to ao!t clou com!utin" mainly for a cost-sa*in" !ur!ose. ?or e=am!le, Assuncao et al., 020094
conucte a series of e=!eriments to assess the cost of im!ro*in" the !erformance in a scenario in which a lar"e
or"anisation that has its own com!utin" infrastructure but want to allocate aitional resources from a clou
!ro*ier. Althou"h le"al issues an !ri*acy are still a concern, seemin"ly a lesser concern than "ettin" the cost
an !rice structure ri"ht.
& able L @ u m ber of H usiness Issues A rticles
H usiness Issues @ um ber of articles
CostBHenefit C0C:O4
Iricin"BHillin" 2022O4
1e"al Issues <0<<O4
Iri*acy <0<<O4
&otal 90<00O4
&able 4 shows the number of articles in relate to a!!lications. :GO of the articles are on +-Science. Althou"h
5nowle"e mana"ement an search en"ines are also belie*e to be !rominent a!!lications 0Delic an >iley,
2009J Mi5a an &ummarello, 20094, the alreay e=istin" hun"er for arbitrary com!utin" !ower in +-Science
communities clearly !ro*o5es much more !assion.
& able 4 @ u m ber of A !!lication A rticles
A !!lications @ um ber of articles
+-Science 40:GO4
Dnowle"e Mana"ement <0<GO4
Search en"ines <0<GO4
&otal :0<00O4
&able C shows the number of articles in "eneral to!ics. :GO of the articles are "eneral introuctions which
!ro*ie founational conce!ts an 5nowle"e of clou com!utin". ?or e=am!le, ?oster et al., 020034 e=!lain the
ifferences between "ri com!utin" an clou com!utin" by ma5in" a com!rehensi*e com!arison. Mei et al.,
020034 !ro*ie a com!arison framewor5 to clarify the ifferences between clou com!utin", ser*ice com!utin",
an ubi6uitous com!utin". +ffort in this irection is unerstanable as clou com!utin", after all, is still a fresh
!arai"m which nees more time to be well conce!tualise.
& able C @ u m ber of 9 eneral A rticles
9 eneral @ um ber of articles
?ounationalBIntrouctions <00:GO4
Im!lementations C0LLO4
&otal <C0<00O4
Distributions o, articles by research methods
&he research methos of the articles were also ientifie an classifie. &he bul5 of the articles we re*iewe, L:
articles 0:2O4 use e=!erimental, simulation, an esi"n research methos.&his can be seen as a irect result of
the most focuse research to!ic 7&echnolo"ical Issues8 which nee to be sol*e by technolo"ical a!!roaches.
>esearch has focuse on testin" an enhancin" the !erformance of the clous 0@a!!er an Hientinesi, 20094,
a;ustin" the networ5 esi"n 0Matos et al., 20094, im!ro*in" the ata !rocessin" 09rossman an 9u, 20034.
A consierable !ortion of articles 02:O4 are base on s!eculation an commentary. &he authors of these
!ublications are often senior researchers who ha*e com!rehensi*e e=!eriences in acaemia or inustry, or both.
9i*en their e=tensi*e 5nowle"e an shar! insi"hts, their conce!tual s!eculation on any as!ects of clou
com!utin" coul be seen as *aluable. Most articles in founationalBintrouctions cate"ory 0see &able C4 were
!rouce throu"h this a!!roach.
71iterature re*iew8 is the least use research metho in our sam!le an only G articles 0<2O4 are base on this
a!!roach. &his is unsur!risin" ue to the fact that *ery limite e=tant literature is irectly relate to clou
com!utin" which was only !ro!ose as a fresh com!utin" !arai"m a!!ro=imately two years a"o.
Distributions o, articles by primary contributions
&he !rimary contributions of these articles were also cate"orise. &hirty-fi*e !ercent 020 articles4 of the articles
!ro*ie some insi"hts an *isions about the fiel, eri*e from s!eculations 0Delic an >iley, 20094,
e=!eriments 0'a/elhurst, 20034 an literature re*iews 0(a6uero et al., 20094. &hirty-one !ercent 0<3 articles4 of
the articles contribute some e=em!lar systems or tools for measurin" clou !erformance 0$i"ibasi et al.,20094
an refinin" clou com!utin" architecture 01a"ar-Ca*illa et al., 20094.
Amon" the e=em!lar systems, an interestin" tren can be seen is that many acaemic researchers ten to buil
their own systems uner the clou com!utin" !arai"m an emonstrate su!erior !erformance com!are to the
counter!arts use by commercial clou !ro*iers. ?or e=am!le 9rossman et al. 020094 esi"ne a mileware
calle S!here an com!are it with 'aoo! 0$ahooP Inc.,20094. &he results of their e=!eriments showe the
former is almost 2 to L times faster than the latter 09rossman et al., 20094.
&wenty-two !ercent 0<L articles4 of the articles !ro*ie some al"orithms or methos to sol*e certain !roblems,
i.e. the al"orithm for clou wor5flow scheulin" 0$an", et al., 20034, the al"orithm for clou ser*ice selection
0Nen" et al.,20094. Most of these were eri*e from e=!eriments or simulations. &wel*e !ercent 0G articles4 of
the articles !ro*ie some framewor5s or moels which were "enerate by literature re*iew 0$ouseff et al., 20094
or s!eculations 0Weinhart et al., 20094.
.ublication outlets
&he !ublication outlets of the articles were also analyse. &he ma;ority of the literature 042 articles, G2O4 is from
conference !roceein"s, while only 23O 0<: articles4 is from ;ournals. &his to some e"ree reflects the "eneral
lifecycle of acaemic !ublication, namely, first "et throu"h a conference, after that, to a ;ournal. As clou
com!utin" is new research !henomenon, such an unbalance is unsur!risin".
& able : D istributions of A rticles by Mournals
Mournal @ o of !ublications
?uture 9eneration Com!uter Systems L
I& !rofessional L
Com!utin" in Science % +n"ineerin" 2
Communications of the ACM 2
Com!uter @etwor5s <
Com!uter 1aw % Security >e*iew <
I+++ Com!uter <
I+++ Intelli"ent Systems <
SI9C2MM Com!uter Communication >e*iew <
SI92IS 2!eratin" System >e*iew <
&otal <:
&he <: ;ournal articles were !ublishe across ten ;ournals as shown in &able :. Clearly most of the ma;or IS
;ournals 01e*y an +llis, 200:4 ha*e not embar5e on the clou com!utin" 7banwa"on8 yet. It is
unerstanable as there are still 6uite a few technolo"ical obstacles in front of a worl wie ao!tion of clou
com!utin", it may be a bit early for most IS researcher to in*esti"ate the social an or"anisational issues of this
new !arai"m.
&able G Distributions of Articles by Conferences 0!artial4
Conference @o of !ublications
I+++BACM International Sym!osium on the Cluster Com!utin" an the 9ri C
I+++ International Conference on +-Science 4
ICS+ Wor5sho! on the Software +n"ineerin" Challen"es of Clou Com!utin" 4
9ri Com!utin" +n*ironments Wor5sho! 2
ACMBI+++ conference on Su!ercom!utin". <
ACM +uro!ean conference on Com!uter systems. <
ACM international sym!osium on 'i"h !erformance istribute com!utin". <
I+++ Asia-Iacific Ser*ices Com!utin" Conference <
I+++ International Conference on Data +n"ineerin" <
I+++ International Conference on 'i"h Ierformance Com!utin" an Communications <
&otal 2<
'alf of the conference articles were !resente at ten conferences as shown in &able G. &he other half are
!ublishe *ia other 2< conferences 0not liste4, one at each. We belie*e such abunant !ublication outlets echo
the broaly rele*ant nature of clou com!utin" an also will encoura"e more researchers to conuct clou
com!utin" relate stuies.
D'C$''#! A!D C#!CL$'#!'
&his !a!er has limitations. ?irst, our sam!le was mainly base on acaemic !ublications. As clou com!utin" is
inustry-ri*en in nature, many "oo !rofessional articles may also embrace this !henomenon. &his may hiner
the ability of the !resent !a!er to elineate a com!lete !icture for the current e*elo!ment in this omain.
Seconly, our search criteria may be incom!lete, as some !a!ers that o not ha*e the term clou com!utin" in
the title or 5ey wors may not ha*e been inclue.
&he intention of this !a!er is to illustrate a lansca!e of current acaemic research from an IS stan!oint. We
ha*e !resente a escri!ti*e re*iew, classifyin" the literature of e=tant clou com!utin" research in a ran"e of
cate"ories. &he results !resente in this !a!er ha*e se*eral im!lications.
?irst, we e=!ect an e=!onential "rowth in the number of clou com!utin" research in a near future. Accorin" to
our re*iew, the number of research articles in the first half year of 2009 has alreay ouble that of the whole of
2003. &he economic ownturn is fuellin" the burnin" interest towars clou com!utin", there is no oubt that
clou com!utin" research will increase si"nificantly in future. A wie *ariety of !ublication outlets are acce!tin"
research on clou com!utin", with a focus, at this sta"e, on more technical outlets.
Secon, a unifie efinition an a set of technical stanars of clou com!utin" are bein" for"e. Many
researchers 0Huyya et al.,2009J ?oster et al., 2003J Mei et al.,2003J Weinhart et al., 20094 are wor5in" on
clarifyin" the salient features of clou com!utin" an ifferentiatin" it from other framewor5s 0i.e. "ri
com!utin", ser*ice com!utin", cluster com!utin", an ubi6uitous com!utin"4. +ffort in this irection clearly
efines the technolo"ical com!onents of clou com!utin" an miti"ates the confusions aroun its bounary.
&hir, while currently the ma;ority of the articles focus on clou !ro*iers or bro5ers an aim at aressin"
technolo"ical obstacles, little has been one from clou consumerFs stan!oint. It may be that this is a natural
e*olution, an that the technolo"y nees to !erform reliably before mission-critical business a!!lications can be
?inally, our re*iew inicate that theory builin" is still not at the centre of clou com!utin" research. Instea,
most stuies focus on !ra=is. &his is consistent with the tren in other nascent research areas such as mobile
business 0Scorna*acca et al.,200:4. &he missin" of soli theoretical founations is always a concern in IS
acaemics. &his is because of a traitional *iew that the acaemic le"itimacy of a research fiel hin"es on the
!resence or absence of core theories. 'owe*er, recently, 1yytinen an Din" 020044 ar"ue that, to increase
le"itimacy of an 7a!!lie research8 fiel li5e IS, rele*ance to !ra=is, can an shoul be !lace at the centre.
Salience an stron" results shoul be ma;or eterminants of the acaemic le"itimacy of IS research fiel. Clou
com!utin" clearly has salience. Iroucin" stron" research results relate to !ra=is may be a natural way to
stren"then the le"itimacy of this research area.
@e*ertheless, the "lobal recession is forcin" the I& functions of or"anisations to focus on cost an resource
efficiency which is !romise as a ma;or benefit of clou com!utin". We su""est that information systems
researchers coul consier the followin" 6uestions. Shoul an enter!rise ao!t clou com!utin" an when# &his
coul be in*esti"ate from the !oint of *iew of IS strate"y, an or"anisational iffusion of inno*ation. If yes,
what as!ects shoul be consiere when choosin" a clou !ro*ier# What criteria can be use to ma5e a
com!arison across the ifferent clou ser*ices# &his coul be informe by insi"hts from outsourcin" literature.
Will clou com!utin" hel! to miti"ate the information systems mana"ement !roblems ty!ically e=!erience by
small-meium enter!rises# All these 6uestions are currently unanswere but coul be answerable. Clou
com!utin" has is!laye hu"e !otential for IS researchers to !rouce 7consumable research8 0>obey an
Mar5us, <9934. Hy in*esti"atin" these 6uestions, IS researcher may be able to hel! the ecision ma5in" of
enter!rises towars clou com!utin" ao!tion.
Althou"h this re*iew cannot claim to be e=hausti*e, it !ro*ies some insi"hts into the state-of-the-art. 2ur
classification an escri!ti*e re*iew can !ro*ie a sna!shot an reference base for acaemics an !ractitioners
with an interest in clou com!utin".
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Iricin"BHillin" Weinhart et al., 2009J $eo et al., 2009.
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'aibo $an" % Mary &ate S 2009. &he authors assi"n to ACIS an eucational an non-!rofit institutions a non-
e=clusi*e licence to use this ocument for !ersonal use an in courses of instruction !ro*ie that the article is
use in full an this co!yri"ht statement is re!rouce. &he authors also "rant a non-e=clusi*e licence to ACIS to
!ublish this ocument in full in the Conference Ia!ers an Iroceein"s. &hose ocuments may be !ublishe on
the Worl Wie Web, CD->2M, in !rinte form, an on mirror sites on the Worl Wie Web. Any other usa"e
is !rohibite without the e=!ress !ermission of the authors.