Cloud computing- an emerging trend in education in India 1. Introduction to cloud computing Cloud Computing is the use of common software, functionality or business applications from a remote server that is accessed via the Internet. Basically, the Internet is the “cloud” of applications and services that are available for access by subscribers utilizing a modem from their computer. With Cloud Computing, one simply logs into desired computer applications – such as sales force or office automation programs, web services, data storage services, spam filtering, or even blog sites.
Generally, access to such programs is by monthly or annual paid subscription. Through Cloud Computing, businesses may prevent financial waste, better track employee activities, and avert technological headaches such as computer viruses, system crashes, and loss of data. [pic] Characteristics a) Cloud Computing Is User Centric: Once as a user are connected to the cloud, whatever is stored there—documents, messages, images, applications, whatever—becomes authorized to the user access them. ) Cloud Computing Is Task-Centric: Instead of focusing on the application and what it can do, the focus is on what one need done and how the application can do it for us. Traditional applications—word processing, spreadsheets, email, and so on—are becoming less important than the documents they create. c) Cloud Computing Is Powerful: Connecting hundreds or thousands of computers together in a cloud creates a wealth of computing power impossible with a single desktop PC. d) Cloud Computing Is Accessible: Because data is stored in the cloud, users can instantly retrieve more information from multiple repositories.
We are not limited to a single source of data, as we do with a desktop PC. e) Cloud Computing Is Intelligent: With all the various data stored on the computers in a cloud, data mining and analysis are necessary to access that information in an intelligent manner. f) Cloud Computing Is Programmable: Many of the tasks necessary with cloud computing must be automated. For example, to protect the integrity of the data, information stored on a single computer in the cloud must be replicated on other computers in the cloud.
If that one computer goes offline, the cloud’s programming automatically redistributes that computer’s data to a new computer in the cloud. 2. Services of Cloud Computing The rapid improvement of the capacity of online connectivity gave birth to cloud computing. Although the term was already used since the 90s, the actual adoption of cloud computing in relation to online computing started in the 21st century. Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet.
These services are broadly divided into three categories: a) Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): Infrastructure as a Service is a provision model in which an organization outsources the equipment used to support operations, including storage, hardware, servers and networking components. The service provider owns the equipment and is responsible for housing, running and maintaining it. The client typically pays on a per-use basis. Characteristics and components of IaaS include: • Utility computing service and billing model: (charges per usage) • Automation of administrative tasks. Dynamic scaling. • Desktop virtualization: (multiple network,, centrally located server. ) • Policy-based services. • Internet connectivity. b) Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a way to rent hardware, operating systems, storage and network capacity over the Internet. The service delivery model allows the customer to rent virtualized servers and associated services for running existing applications or developing and testing new ones. Characteristics of Paas include: Operating system features can be changed and upgraded frequently. Geographically distributed development teams can work together on software development projects. • Services can be obtained from diverse sources that cross international boundaries. Initial and ongoing costs can be reduced by the use of infrastructure services from a single vendor rather than maintaining multiple hardware facilities that often perform duplicate functions or suffer from incompatibility problems. • Overall expenses can also be minimized by unification of programming development efforts. ) Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet. SaaS is becoming an increasingly prevalent delivery model as underlying technologies that support Web services and service-oriented architecture (SOA) mature and new developmental approaches, such as Ajax, become popular. SaaS is closely related to the ASP (application service provider) and On Demand Computing software delivery model Characteristics of the SaaS include: easier administration • automatic updates and patch management (acquiring, testing, and installing multiple patches (code)) • compatibility: All users will have the same version of software. • easier collaboration • global accessibility. The traditional model of software distribution, in which software is purchased for and installed on personal computers, is sometimes referred to as software as a product. 3. Advantages Of Cloud Computing 1) Lower-Cost Computers for Users 2) Improved Performance 3) Lower IT Infrastructure Costs 4) Fewer Maintenance Issues 5) Lower Software Costs ) Instant Software Updates 7) Increased Computing Power 8) Unlimited Storage 9) Increased Data Safety 10) Improved Compatibility between Operating Systems 11) Improved Document Format Compatibility 12) Easier Group Collaboration 13) Universal Access to Documents 14) Latest Version Availability 15) Removes the Tether to Specific Devices 4. Disadvantages of cloud computing 1) Requires a Constant Internet Connection 2) Doesn’t Work Well with Low-Speed Connections 3) Can Be Slow 4) Features Might Be Limited 5) Stored Data Might Not Be Secure 6) If the Cloud Loses Your Data, You’re Screwed ) 5. History of Cloud computing [pic] [pic] [pic] 6. Architecture of Cloud Computing Individual users connect to the cloud from their own personal computers or portable devices, over the Internet. To these individual users, the cloud is seen as a single application, device, or document. The hardware in the cloud (and the operating system that manages the hardware connections) is invisible. [pic] It all starts with the front-end interface seen by individual users. This is how users select a task or service (either starting an application or opening a document).
The user’s request then gets passed to the system management, which finds the correct resources and then calls the system’s appropriate provisioning services. These services carve out the necessary resources in the cloud, launch the appropriate web application, and either creates or opens the requested document. After the web application is launched, the system’s monitoring and metering functions track the usage of the cloud so that resources are apportioned and attributed to the proper user(s). [pic] 7. The Future of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing may be a relatively new concept for some businesses and consumers. But even though some businesses are only starting to adopt and realizing the advantages of cloud computing, industry giants are already looking forward to the next big step of cloud computing. “cloud” has become the application for business purposes. If a business will not consider their future in cloud computing, the challenges as well as the advantages of cloud computing may not be addressed and fully harnessed. 8. Level of Competition in Cloud Computing Industry Competition is always good in any industry.
Through competition, the best services as well as the most competitive prices will come out. The cloud computing industry is no exception to this rule. Companies such as Amazon, Google, Sun Microsystems and SalesForce. com are only some of the highly recognized companies in the cloud computing industry. These companies offer advantages that will fit the need of any businesses. But the level of competition, as some industry experts predict, could soon be gone. The previously mentioned companies are aggressively promoting their services so that they could become the leader in the industry.
These companies are now spending millions of dollars in hardware upgrades, human resources and even in advertising. Unfortunately, not every company will come out strong. Some industry experts predict that one of the companies will come out of top and might even become the synonym for cloud computing. On the other hand, smaller companies who provide personalized services for cloud computing are slowly coming out in the open. Their personalized services would be limited to few clients which will give them the ability optimize the services to their clients. 9. Services of Cloud Computing in India 1st century economic power house: India, the 2nd fastest growing economy has mesmerized the world with its stunningly high economic growth rate since last 2 decades. A World Bank report has projected that in 2010, the rate of growth of India’s economy would be faster than the currently fastest growing economy (i. e. China). What does this mean for SMBs, PSUs, MNCs or any business entity based in India? Last 5 years have seen Indian companies on a buying spree, resulting in acquiring many big ; small overseas companies. In brief, Indian companies, sitting on a huge cash piles, are ready to rapidly scale up in their niche.
Interestingly, India is a global leader in providing IT services but the implementation of IT in its burgeoning domestic market is still lagging. This may be a boon in disguise as they have an opportunity to lap up the latest Cloud Computing technologies. Currently, most of the companies are start-ups and are nowhere near the global giants like Amazon, Google, Salesforce or Microsoft but they have the potentials to compete with these giants in near future. Here’s the list of India based Cloud Computing Service Providers, in random order. a) Zenith InfoTech • Base Location: Mumbai, India • Cloud Offering: PROUD Cloud Type: IaaS An IT product development and innovation company. With an investment of INR 175-crore, this is considered as India’s one of the most ambitious R;D efforts in IT. The company is expecting 2,000 – 3,000 clients of Proud in next 2 years. b) Wolf Frameworks • Base Location: Bangaluru, India • Cloud Offering: Wolf PaaS • Cloud Type: PaaS Founded in 2006, it provides affordable cloud service with 99. 97% Service Level Assurance. Wolf is a browser based On Demand Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) for rapidly designing and delivering database driven multi-tenant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications.
One can get started without writing any piece of code whatsoever. Coding only comes in when you need custom templates or specific integration Business Rule actions c) OrangeScape • Base Location: Chennai, India • Cloud Offering: OrangeScape Cloud • Cloud Type: PaaS The experience of building business applications of varying complexity across industries has made OrangeScape the most comprehensive PaaS (Platform as a Service) offering in the market. You can transform your idea into a SaaS application and can showcase them to your investors, partners and potential customers.
It has an impressive list of customers viz. Ford, Pfizer, Geojit, Sify etc. d) TCS • Base Location: India • Cloud Offering: ITaaS • Cloud Type: IaaS+SaaS ITaaS is a Nano in software. ITaaS framework is a one-stop shop for total end-to-end IT and hardware solutions. It includes hardware, network, bandwidth ; business software. Currently ITaaS is available for 5 sectors: Manufacturing, Retail, Healthcare, Education and Professional Services. e) Cynapse India • Base Location: Mumbai, India • Cloud Offering: Cyn. in • Cloud Type: IaaS + on Demand SaaS Cyn. n on demand is a cloud hosted service and is the quickest way to get your own cyn. in server, without the hassles of having to set it up. With a Cyn. in on-demand system, you get a dedicated virtual server running a Cyn. in appliance that is maintained ; updated by Cynapse and hosted by Amazon, ensuring an infrastructure-free and worry-free Cyn. in experience. f) Wipro Technologies • Base Location: India • Cloud Offering: Wipro w-SaaS • Cloud Type: SaaS Wipro has built w-SaaS, a platform for rapid SaaS enablement and deployment on cloud, using some of the commonly accepted trends in software engineering and open standards.
Wipro chose Oracle (Oracle Database, Oracle WebLogic Application Server and Oracle VM) as the deployment platform for w-SaaS enabled applications. The software vendor can deploy the same application on-premise or on the cloud using w-SaaS and Oracle. g) Netmagic Solutions • Base Location: Mumbai, India • Cloud Offering: CloudNet, CloudServe, PrivateCloud • Cloud Type: IaaS Netmagic looks like a dedicated cloud provider in Indian market with a potential to become a big player in near future. h) Reliance Data Center (a division of Reliance Communications) • Base Location: India Cloud Offering: Reliance Cloud Computing Services • Cloud Type: IaaS+SaaS+PaaS A hosted infrastructure service based on the Microsoft platform for Enterprises and SMBs – geared to deliver India’s largest cloud infrastructure. i) Infosys Technologies • Base Location: Bangalore, India. • Cloud Offering: Cloud based Solution for Auto Sector. • Cloud Type: SaaS Infosys’ Cloud Computing Consulting and Service offerings enable organizations to adopt the Cloud Computing platform selectively and effectively. But brand Infosys, the most recognized IT brand from India has to put significant efforts to catch up with other cloud providers. ) Synage • Base Location: Mumbai, India. • Cloud Offering: DeskAway • Cloud Type: SaaS A Web company delivering software as a service (SaaS) over the Internet to the global audience. DeskAway is the flagship product of Synage, based on a monthly or yearly subscription model, requiring zero-installation, and powered by a cutting-edge user interface, It’s the future of project ; team collaboration software. Though the companies listed here have a long way to go before they can be compared with the best in the world yet they have the potential to grow big with the growing Indian economy. 0) cloud computing and education Cloud computing is another buzz word spilling into the education sector and IT press. What does it mean for a teacher, for education, for a school? The term ‘cloud computing’ is synonymous with the terms ‘Software as a service’ (SaaS), a hosted service, or utility computing. And for anyone who wants to work from multiple locations – such as different campuses, home, conferences, and while travelling – cloud computing makes perfect sense.
Using the services is a simple matter – register for free, agree to the terms and conditions, and then use the application. You don‘t pay, you don’t sign up for a plan, you (usually) don’t have to download anything, or pay licensing fees. For an individual, this is web heaven. What does it mean for education? Cloud computing is used in two ways in the education sector: • by individual teachers or schools: they use the cloud to support particular teaching and learning experiences and the software is available, free, and ready to use.
For students cloud applications can add richness and variety to their learning experience enabling them to undertake study activities and collaborate with other students outside standard school hours. The cloud enables an individual teacher to exploit new web software applications for learning purposes without their school. • by jurisdictions: committing to an enterprise implementation. It enables and supports innovation in the use of new technologies for learning with minimal investment. What does it mean for schools? Cloud computing is used to provide enterprise services to schools and jurisdictions.
A simple example of this is the New South Wales Department of Education and Training which is using Google’s Gmail service to provide an email service to all its school students. The use of the cloud means that increases in usage levels can be easily and immediately accommodated – that is, the service provider can supply additional computer processing power or storage capacity at peak periods, and can reduce supply when it’s not needed. That means jurisdictions don’t have to have to buy, support and maintain a whole infrastructure to service short peak periods. Instead it can utilize the capacity of the cloud. nternet juggernaut Google launched its 3D virtual world ‘Lively’ in July 2008 and closed it in December the same year, much to the dismay of some educators who had started using it for teaching and learning purposes. Cloud computing in education- 2010 Universities are already onboard. According to Educause, about 20% of Universities have already moved to a SaaS model for email. This isn’t limited to small schools, Clemson University which has nearly 20,000 students switched from web mail to Gmail several years ago. Many schools are also embracing or considering Google Apps. Universites have a long history of academic cooperation.
Whether through regional consortiums or techology, colleges and Universites have long built cooperative relationships with other institutions. University systems have a tremendous financial incentive to build shared cloud computing facilities. Alternatively, leading institutions could recoup investment in HPC research computers by selling excess cloud capacity to smaller institutions. Universities have the right identity infrastructure in place. Many schools have already built strong central identity management platforms using open standards around Web Services, Liberty, SAML, and XACML.
Additionally, Universities have been strong adopters of Federated Identity technologies like PKI, and In Common. This identity infrastructure is necessary for central cloud services authentication which is absolutely crucial for privacy, compliance, governance, and chargeback billing. In addition to these factors, Universities are notoriously lean when it comes to IT, therefore provisioning a service/application makes a lot more sense the provisioning IT technology infrastructure and then provisioning a service/application.
Finally, cloud computing will not be limited to higher education alone — actually, it is a perfect fit for K-12 as well. States could establish and run central cloud computing services for schools, eliminate the need for local IT and tech support, and level the playing computing field between rich and poor school districts. In summary, cloud computing infrastructure, platforms, and applications fit education like a glove. Universities are already on board so expect some of the most aggressive and creative cloud implementations to be based on campus.
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