Friday, July 20, 2012

Cloud Computing Use Case - Part 1

The Cloud Computing Use Case group brought together some cloud consumers and cloud vendors to provide several use case scenarios for cloud computing that focused on ensuring interoperability, ease of integration, and portability. They wanted to make certain the case studies didn't use closed and proprietary technologies, but centered on an open environment, minimizing vendor lock-in, and increasing customer choice. Open source solutions and open standards deliver innovation and choice for cloud computing consumers.

With several different open standards available in cloud computing, it is important for corporate IT departments to understand the landscape and different approaches to open solutions.
As we start to migrate our data from traditional datacenters to cloud subscription-based utility providers it is imperative that the data remains portable. If the vendor is not using open standards then typically you will need an intermediary service to broker the data conversion.
The white paper's use cases:
  • Provide a practical, customer-experience-based context for discussions on interoperability and standards.
  • Make it clear where existing standards should be used.
  • Focus the industry's attention on the importance of Open Cloud Computing.
  • Make it clear where there is standards work to be done. If a particular use case can't be built today, or if it can only be built with proprietary APIs and products, the industry needs to define standards to make that use case possible.

In today's blog post we are going to start by reviewing their definition of the cloud taxonomy which follows the NIST guidelines. In the diagram below, Service Consumers use the services provided through the cloud, Service Providers manage the cloud infrastructure, and Service Developers create the services themselves.

The Service Consumer

They are the customer or enterprise that is using the service. This could be at any layer of the cloud service model - SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS.

The Service Provider

The Service Provider provides the service to the consumer. This could be in a Public, Private, Hybrid, or Community deployment model with service models of SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS.
Here are the NIST service model definitions:
  • Software as a Service (SaaS):  The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider’s applications running on a cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through either a thin client interface, such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email), or a program interface. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even individual application capabilities, with the possible exception of limited user specific application configuration settings.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS):  The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages, libraries, services, and tools supported by the provider. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers,  operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly configuration settings for the application-hosting environment.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS):  The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, and deployed applications; and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g., host firewalls).
In the service provider diagram, the lowest layer of the stack is the firmware and hardware on which everything else is based. Above that is the software kernel, either the operating system or virtual machine manager that hosts the infrastructure beneath the cloud. The virtualized resources and images include the basic cloud computing services such as processing power, storage and middleware. The virtual images controlled by the VM manager include both the images themselves and the metadata required to manage them.
Crucial to the service provider’s operations is the management layer. At a low level, management requires metering to determine who uses the services and to what extent, provisioning to determine how resources are allocated to consumers, and monitoring to track the status of the system and its resources.

At a higher level, management involves billing to recover costs, capacity planning to ensure that consumer demands will be met, SLA management to ensure that the terms of service agreed to by the provider and consumer are adhered to, and reporting for administrators.
Security applies to all aspects of the service provider’s operations. (The many levels of security requirements are beyond the scope of this paper.) Open standards apply to the provider’s operations as well. A well-rounded set of standards simplify operations within the provider and interoperability with other providers.

Service Developer

The service developer creates, publishes and monitors the cloud service. These are typically "line-of-business" applications that are delivered directly to end users via the SaaS model. Applications written at the IaaS and PaaS levels will subsequently be used by SaaS developers and cloud providers.

Now that we have defined the cloud taxonomy, in my next blog post we will look at the four different ways standards will affect cloud use case scenarios in the Cloud Computing Use Case.
News: Top vBlog 2016 Trending: DRS Advanced Settings