Encyclopedia of Cloud Computing
JUL 12, 2016 12:38 PM
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Encyclopedia of Cloud Computing

By San Murugesan and Irena Bojanova

This is an edited excerpt from Encyclopedia of Cloud Computing, ©Wiley 2016.

Clouds are powerful change‐agents and enablers. Several converging and complementary factors are driving the rise of cloud computing. The increasing maturity of cloud technologies and cloud service offerings coupled with users’ greater awareness of the cloud’s benefits (and limitations) is accelerating the cloud’s adoption. Better Internet connectivity, intense competition among cloud service providers (CSPs), and digitalization of enterprises, particularly micro‐, small‐, and medium‐sized businesses, are increasing the clouds’ use.

Cloud computing is changing the way people and enterprises use computers and their work practices, as well as how companies and governments deploy their computer applications. It will drastically improve access to information for all as well as cut IT costs. It redefines not only the information and communication technology (ICT) industry but also enterprise IT in all industry and business sectors. It is also driving innovations by small enterprises and facilitating deployment of new applications that would otherwise be infeasible.

The introduction of new cloud computing platforms and applications, and the emergence of open standards for cloud computing will boost cloud computing’s appeal to both cloud providers and users.  Furthermore, clouds will enable open‐source and freelance developers to deploy their applications in the clouds and profit from their developments. As a result, more open‐source software will be published in the cloud. Clouds will also help close the digital divide prevalent in emerging and underdeveloped economies and may help save our planet by providing a greener computing environment.

Cloud Ecosystem

In order to embrace the cloud successfully  and harness its power for traditional and new kinds of applications, we must recognize the features and promises of one or more of the three foundational cloud services – software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). We must also understand and properly address other aspects such as security, privacy, access management, compliance requirements, availability, and functional continuity in case of cloud failure. Furthermore, adopters need to learn how to architect cloud‐based systems that meet their specific requirements. We may have to use cloud services from more than one service provider, aggregate those services, and integrate them on premises’ legacy systems or applications.

To assist cloud users in their transition to the cloud, a broader cloud ecosystem is emerging that aims to offer a spectrum of new cloud support services to augment, complement, or assist the foundational SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS offerings. Examples of such services are security as a service, identity management as a service, and data as a service. Investors, corporations, and startups are eagerly investing in promising cloud computing technologies and services in developed and developing countries. Many startups and established companies continue to enter into the cloud arena offering a variety of cloud products and services, and individuals and businesses around the world are increasingly adopting cloud‐based applications. Governments are promoting cloud adoption, particularly among micro, small, and medium enterprises. Thus, a new larger cloud ecosystem is emerging.

Addressing the Challenges and Concerns

While hailing the features of existing and emerging new cloud services that help users adopt and tailor the services they use according to their needs, it is important to recognize that the cloud ecosystem still presents a few challenges and concerns. Such concerns are those relating to performance interoperability, the quality of service of the entire cloud chain, compliance with regulatory requirements and standards, security and privacy of data, access control and management, trust, and service failures and their impact. All these issues need to be addressed innovatively, and this calls for collaboration among various players in the cloud ecosystem.

Good news is that investors, established corporations, and startups are eagerly investing in promising cloud computing technologies and services, and are willing to collaborate (to an extent) to raise the clouds to newer heights. We can hope for a brighter, bigger, more collaborative cloud ecosystem that benefits all of its stakeholders and society at large. Cloud service providers, the IT industry, professional and industry associations, governments, and IT professionals all have a role to play in shaping, fostering, and harnessing the full potential of the emerging cloud ecosystem.

Gaining Cloud Computing Knowledge

To better understand and exploit the potential of the cloud – and to advance the cloud further – practitioners, IT professionals, educators, researchers, and students need an authoritative knowledge source that comprehensively and holistically covers all aspects of cloud computing.

Several books on cloud computing are now available  but none of them cover all key aspects of cloud computing comprehensively and meet the information needs of IT professionals, academics, researchers, and undergraduate and postgraduate students. To gain a holistic view of the cloud, one has to refer to a few different books, which is neither convenient nor practicable.

The new Encyclopedia of Cloud Computing, edited by us and published by IEEE Computer Society and Wiley this month, serves this need. It contains a wealth of information for those interested in understanding, using, or providing cloud computing services;  for developers and researchers who are interested in advancing cloud computing and businesses, and for individuals interested in embracing and capitalizing on the cloud. In this encyclopedia, we offer a holistic and comprehensive view of the cloud from different perspectives.


About the Book

The Encyclopedia of Cloud Computing provides IT professionals, educators, researchers and students with a compendium of cloud computing knowledge. Authored by a spectrum of subject matter experts in industry and academia, this unique publication, in a single volume, covers a wide

range of cloud computing topics - concepts, principles, architecture, technology, security and privacy, regulatory compliance, applications, and social and legal aspects of cloud computing. It also outlines and discusses technological trends and developments, research opportunities, best practices, standards, and cloud adoption. Providing multiple perspectives,it also addresses questions that stakeholders might have in the context of development, operation, management, and use of clouds. Furthermore, it examines cloud computing’s impact now and in the future.

The book presents 56 chapters on a wide array of topics organized in ten parts. After gaining an overview of cloud computing in Chapter 1, readers can study the rest of the chapters in sequence or hop to a chapter that interests them. The book has received high praise from reviewers and experts from academia and industry.

For further details about the book, reviews, and a sample chapter, visit http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118821971.html.  The encyclopedia can be purchased also at Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Cloud-Computing-Wiley-IEEE-ebook/dp/B01FGJYCJE/ and other online bookstores.


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