The cloud within us

Mar 27, 2013

The first tentative steps towards a peer-to-peer approach to cloud computing that enables users and removes the risks and costs of relying on industry giants to offer services are being taken by an international team of researchers.

Cloud computing is gradually becoming more and more pervasive as accessibility to broadband internet connections and always-on mobile devices rise. As a system, cloud computing takes on to remote and often distributed computers - the cloud - the software applications and data files that would normally be held on one's personal computer. Major players in the computing industry including, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle/Sun have finally weighed in on the cloud, while the Internet giants, including and Amazon, have been offering cloud services for email, web hosting, data storage, online and much more for several years. The issue from the users' point of view is that one might become entirely reliant on services that may not persist indefinitely or that may come at a rising cost.

Hajar Mousannif of Cadi Ayyad University, in Marrakech, Morocco working with Ismail Khalil and Gabriele Kotsis at University, Linz, Austria, explain that cloud computing relies on various services and systems. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the online applications, such as web-based email among well-known examples are GoogleApps and Salesforce.com. There is then the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), which includes the likes of Microsoft Windows Azure and Amazon Web Services. PaaS allows users to deploy their own applications. Finally, there is Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), this offers access to and/or in the cloud and examples include Rackspace, , and Eucalyptus.

"With , users can access the services based on their requirements regardless of where the services are hosted or how they are delivered," the team says. "Moreover, clients only pay for the quantity of the rented resources (, computation, etc.) they consume." But, they then ask, "Why even pay when you can simply cooperate to get the services you need?"

The collaborators are now introducing a new Peer-to-Peer (P2P) cloud architecture, which they call Cooperation as a Service (CaaS). The system, they say, provides participants with all the necessary infrastructure, platform and software services in the cloud by taking advantage of cooperation among different peers in the system rather than relying on corporate third-party systems.

The proposed CaaS cloud architecture enables computers to share information and other resources with peers on the network in large-scale distributed computing environments. The team explains that the principle relies on a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" approach of mutual assistance. This, they explain, fuels spontaneous participation among the peers, if they don't assist each other, then their own services will not function. Several challenges remain, such as creating a large enough network to sustain a CaaS and to ensure security and privacy are maintained at the level required by each user.

Explore further: Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

More information: "The cloud is not 'there', we are the cloud!" in Int. J. Web and Grid Services, 2013, 9, 1-17.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Head for the clouds, feet firmly on the ground

Mar 05, 2012

Computer engineers in the US writing in the International Journal of Communication Networks and Distributed Systems have reviewed the research literature to get a clear picture of cloud computing, its adoption, use and th ...

Sun Microsystems to offer 'public cloud' service

Mar 18, 2009

(AP) -- Taking a cue from Amazon.com, Sun Microsystems Inc. plans to launch its own "public cloud" service, which will let everyone from big-time corporations to dorm-room entrepreneurs run their businesses on Sun's computers ...

Final version of NIST cloud computing definition published

Oct 26, 2011

After years in the works and 15 drafts, the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) working definition of cloud computing, the 16th and final definition has been published as The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing ...

Virtual servers begin to intrigue smaller businesses

Jul 05, 2012

With the growing buzz around cloud computing - and its benefits of ramping up efficiency while cutting information technology costs - some smaller companies are beginning to weigh its pros and cons, while acknowledging it ...

Oracle buys 'cloud' service firm RightNow

Oct 24, 2011

Enterprise software giant Oracle said Monday it had struck a deal to buy RightNow Technologies, which helps companies manage their cloud computing activities, for $1.5 billion.

Recommended for you

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

11 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Microsoft CEO is driving data-culture mindset

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Microsoft's future strategy: is all about leveraging data, from different sources, coming together using one cohesive Microsoft architecture. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, both in ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Venture investments jump to $9.5B in 1Q

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into an increasing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

White House updating online privacy policy

A new Obama administration privacy policy out Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites. It also clarifies that ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...