Cloud Computing System and Its Layers


Cloud Computing System and Its Layers

Cloud computing system stunned the world with its introduction. From day one, businesses around the world have shown interest in the functionally and the systematic engineering of this system. However cloud computing has ever been challenged by its reliability, security and pricing issues.

A number of businesses have also formally raised objection against the pricing of this particular system. But this system continues to attract new clients around the world. People have realized that with this system around them they don’t need to make unnecessary investments for developing new departments. They can just purchase the services from this cloud computing system. Cloud computing holds a strong and bright future.

Looking closely a cloud computing system a person can easily see that it is a combination of several different layers of technology. These layers of technology are overlapping each other and thus produce a cloud effect. You need to reach the right layers to get the maximum benefit.

The base layer is considered to be very importable and called the “hardware layer”. As the name suggest this is the layer where you have all your hardware installed for cloud computing. This is like a base plate where you have all your physical hardware is setup. This layer has multiple servers, multiple data stores and all equipment is powered with multiple power supplies. At first there were no secondary power supplies installed in the cloud computing and this resulted in unplanned down times. To avoid this and to secure the client’s confidence in the system secondary sources were installed.

Layer above the “hardware layer” is called “the virtualization layer” this layer is a collection of numerous operating systems and at the end of each operating system there is a cluster of hardware installed and ready to function. Virtualization layer provides a perfect platform for the hardware to interact and commanded by an operating system as in a personal computer. When a person hires the services and pays for them his business will be lead to the appropriate server and his business can then use the servers or data storages and other desired hardware. This layer provides an interactive umbrella to the base hardware layer. Without this layer hardware layer will not function and the cloud system will crash. Virtual machines that are created and then pooled together are essential to provide flexibility and elasticity in the whole cloud computing system. Virtualization layer is a fundamental layer of this system and failure of system at this layer will cut off the link between the upper layers and the physical hardware itself. This can produce disastrous results for customer oriented markets. There have been a number of cases where goodwill of business has been adversely affected.

Virtualization layer is also connected to a superior layer called the “IaaS layer”. This layer provides a control interface to the virtual machines at a lower level. Virtual machines are to be controlled and not everyone is a coding expert. Therefore an easy to follow user interface is required to provide an understandable platform from where commands can easily be sent to the virtual machines. User interface can be in several different forms. Usually a web portal design is used and is very popular among clients. However, recently API designs have also been used. These API are easy to use and provide prompt results. Some of the service providers in the cloud system also provide client services such as database management at this layer. This makes the tasks very simple. A user can use easy to follow instructions and store his data using a colorful web portal. It is taken into consideration that this utility is housed in a cocoon of fashion and color. This makes the job easier at the client’s end. Amazon is one of the major names that operate at this level using the EC2 and S3 along with database services.

IaaS layer is working is controlled by another layer called the “PaaS layer”. This layer has been developed with one objective in mind to make things simple. Along with easy management of virtual machines, clients and the end user can use the IaaS layer for management purposes but the main objective of computer technology if to provide smartest possible solutions in easiest manner available. This layer also provides a hassle free management of the virtual machines. Also a platform if presented to the end user for his programming needs. He can tweak the API or the web portal script to control the management himself. Force.con and Google App Engine are two of the brightest examples to elaborate the purpose of this layer.

IaaS layer is also under command of another layer commonly known as the “SaaS layer”. There are businesses who don’t want to develop their own custom computer application to interact with the IaaS layer all together. They want to use a pre-developed and trusted application. Usually corporations and SME’s choose to operate on this particular layer. Services available at this layer include the most demanded service including the e-mail. Application is developed by the vendor himself and the business at this layer will authenticate to use the services. There is another important issue that rises at this particular stage. This stage is also called the billing stage, as the supplier and the client can come in to agreement where the client will pay either a flat fee or based on the consumption. Client’s like to operate at the stage as they get full functionality without investing in development of the application themselves. Cloud computing research has shown a significant increase in the number of clients that are entering this system to operate on this stage.

Cloud computing system has evolved from a mere experiment into a fully functional model. By looking at the several different layers it can be easily concluded that this system follows a pyramid approach. Where client is at the top and he interacts and exercise his control till the last layer.


Sharath Reddy

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