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About this book

This book describes the landscape of cloud computing from first principles, leading the reader step-by-step through the process of building and configuring a cloud environment. The book not only considers the technologies for designing and creating cloud computing platforms, but also the business models and frameworks in real-world implementation of cloud platforms. Emphasis is placed on “learning by doing,” and readers are encouraged to experiment with a range of different tools and approaches.
Topics and features: includes review questions, hands-on exercises, study activities and discussion topics throughout the text; demonstrates the approaches used to build cloud computing infrastructures; reviews the social, economic, and political aspects of the on-going growth in cloud computing use; discusses legal and security concerns in cloud computing; examines techniques for the appraisal of financial investment into cloud computing; identifies areas for further research within this rapidly-moving field.

Table of Contents

Cloud Computing Fundamentals


Chapter 1. Introducing Cloud Computing

Everybody seems to be talking about cloud computing. As technology trends go, cloud computing is generating a lot of interest, and along with that interest is a share of hype as well. The aim of this book is to provide you with a sophisticated understanding of what cloud computing is and where it can offer real business advantage. We shall be examining cloud computing from historical, theoretical and practical perspectives, so that you will know what to use, in which situation, and when it will be most appropriate.
Richard Hill, Laurie Hirsch, Peter Lake, Siavash Moshiri

Chapter 2. Business Adoption Models and Legal Aspects of the Cloud

There are alternative ways a business might adopt cloud computing, and we will be reviewing those approaches in this chapter. As we saw earlier, there are many something-as-a-service options available, and many providers provide all of them, whilst some concentrate on specialist areas like data storage or application platforms.
Richard Hill, Laurie Hirsch, Peter Lake, Siavash Moshiri

Chapter 3. Social, Economic and Political Aspects of the Cloud

That technology can make enormous changes to human society is not in doubt. Where would we be without the invention of the wheel? But deep-seated changes have also happened as a result of advances in computing.
Richard Hill, Laurie Hirsch, Peter Lake, Siavash Moshiri

Technological Context


Chapter 4. Cloud Technology

If we are asked to sum up cloud computing in four key words we might arguably choose ‘web’, ‘elasticity’, ‘utility’ and ‘scalability’. In this chapter, we are going to look at the technology underlying the cloud. Cloud applications are accessed via the web, and web technology is integral to the cloud, so we will begin with a brief review of the current state of web technology. We will then move on to virtualisation, a key cloud technology which has many benefits including improved use of resources. Virtualisation can be used to provide the elasticity required to offer cloud computing as a utility. We then turn our attention to the MapReduce programming model, originally developed by the founders of Google and now used to provide scalability to many of the distributed applications which are typical of the cloud and simply too big to be handled in a user-friendly time frame by traditional systems.
Richard Hill, Laurie Hirsch, Peter Lake, Siavash Moshiri

Chapter 5. Cloud Services

Wikipedia defines cloud computing as:
Richard Hill, Laurie Hirsch, Peter Lake, Siavash Moshiri

Chapter 6. Data in the Cloud

These days we tend to think only of computer-based databases, but databases have been with us for centuries. The ancient Egyptians stored data on stone tables in columns and rows. More recently, libraries used a card index system to allow users to retrieve an ISBN number from an indexed drawer, full of cards.
Richard Hill, Laurie Hirsch, Peter Lake, Siavash Moshiri

Chapter 7. Intelligence in the Cloud

We have seen how web and cloud technology allow us to easily store and process vast amounts of information, and as we saw in Chap.​ 6, there are many different data storage models used in the cloud. This chapter looks at how we can start to unlock the hidden potential of that data, to find the ‘golden nuggets’ of truly useful information contained in the overwhelming mass of irrelevant or useless junk and to discover new knowledge via the intelligent analysis of the data. Many of the intelligent tools and techniques discussed here originated well before cloud computing. However, the nature of cloud data, its scalable access to huge resources and the sheer size of the available data means that the advantages of these tools are much more obvious. We have now reached a place where many common web-based tasks would not be possible without them.
Richard Hill, Laurie Hirsch, Peter Lake, Siavash Moshiri

Business Context


Chapter 8. Cloud Economics

The majority of academic and industry literature focuses predominantly on the technical benefits of cloud computing. Where a discussion of business value exists, the technical benefits of cloud computing tend to be espoused:
Richard Hill, Laurie Hirsch, Peter Lake, Siavash Moshiri

Chapter 9. Enterprise Cloud Computing

Enterprise Cloud Computing is the use of cloud computing for competitive advantage. The competitive advantage goes beyond savings in the procurement, management and maintenance of infrastructure, by providing a model of utility computing that enables rapid agility and collaboration capabilities that support business innovation.
Richard Hill, Laurie Hirsch, Peter Lake, Siavash Moshiri

Chapter 10. Cloud Security and Governance

Information Technology is so pervasive now that it is difficult to imagine doing business without it. Organisations record their transactions in databases and save their documents in networked file storage. Some of that information is crucial for competitive advantage, so clearly the security of that information is important. Every day, organisations expend more funds to secure their IT operations, whether it be physical security (swipe card access to underground server bunkers), technological security (encryption) or process security (policies). With all this investment in place, why would any organisation even consider giving away the responsibility of managing their data, when you don’t know where it will reside, and you can only access it over an Internet connection?
Richard Hill, Laurie Hirsch, Peter Lake, Siavash Moshiri

Chapter 11. Developing a Cloud Roadmap

The pace of change and innovation in Information Technology and its increasing contribution to business transformation has been a major source of spending in organisations. At the same time, companies of all sizes have increasingly been affected by unpredictable and uncertain changing business environments in recent years. Whilst externally current business landscape is driven by new hurdles and opportunities such as challenging economy, emerging technologies, increasing commoditisation of technology, shorter information life cycle, increased transparency along the supply chains, changing customer demands and preferences, evolving issues around transparency, privacy, security, as well as associated regulations, compliance and standards, internally organisations are challenged by tighter budgets and emphasis on managing investments effectively, reducing costs, managing the evolving complexity of markets, managing new relationships including developing new business models to differentiate and stay competitive, harnessing the technology capabilities for efficient and effective business delivery, process and operational efficiency, strategically aligning IT resources to business needs for optimised business benefit realisation, managing risk and many more.
Richard Hill, Laurie Hirsch, Peter Lake, Siavash Moshiri

Chapter 12. Cloud Computing Challenges and the Future

In this book, we have examined a variety of reasons why cloud computing might ­succeed, and we have also seen some of its limitations.
Richard Hill, Laurie Hirsch, Peter Lake, Siavash Moshiri
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