I Dream of IoT/Chapter 4 : IoT and Cloud Computing

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Introduction to cloud computing

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The Internet of Things (IoT) involves the internet-connected devices we use to perform the processes and services that support our way of life. Another component set to help IoT succeed is cloud computing, which acts as a sort of front end. Cloud computing is an increasingly popular service that offers several advantages to IoT, and is based on the concept of allowing users to perform normal computing tasks using services delivered entirely over the internet.[1][2][3] A worker may need to finish a major project that must be submitted to a manager, but perhaps they encounter problems with memory or space constraints on their computing device. Memory and space constraints can be minimized if an application is instead hosted on the internet. The worker can use a cloud computing service to finish their work because the data is managed remotely by a server. Another example: you have a problem with your mobile device and you need to reformat it or reinstall the operating system. You can use Google Photos to upload your photos to internet-based storage. After the reformat or reinstall, you can then either move the photos back to your device or you can view the photos on your device from the internet when you want.

Cloud Computing


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In truth, cloud computing and IoT are tightly coupled.[4][5] The growth of IoT and the rapid development of associated technologies create a widespread connection of “things.” This has lead to the production of large amounts of data, which needs to be stored, processed and accessed. Cloud computing as a paradigm for big data storage and analytics. While IoT is exciting on its own, the real innovation will come from combining it with cloud computing.[6] The combination of cloud computing and IoT will enable new monitoring services and powerful processing of sensory data streams. For example, sensory data can be uploaded and stored with cloud computing, later to be used intelligently for smart monitoring and actuation with other smart devices. Ultimately, the goal is to be able to transform data to insight and drive productive, cost-effective action from those insights. The cloud effectively serves as the brain to improved decision-making and optimized internet-based interactions.[6] However, when IoT meets cloud, new challenges arise. There is an urgent need for novel network architectures that seamlessly integrate them. The critical concerns during integration are quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE), as well as data security, privacy and reliability.[7] The virtual infrastructure for practical mobile computing and interfacing includes integrating applications, storage devices, monitoring devices, visualization platforms, analytics tools and client delivery. Cloud computing offers a practical utility-based model that will enable businesses and users to access applications on demand anytime and from anywhere.[6]


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First, the cloud computing of IoT is an on-demand self service, meaning it’s there when you need it. Cloud computing is a web-based service that can be accessed without any special assistance or permission from other people; however, you need at minimum some sort of internet access.[3][8][9]

Second, the cloud computing of IoT involves broad network access, meaning it offers several connectivity options. Cloud computing resources can be accessed through a wide variety of internet-connected devices such as tablets, mobile devices and laptops. This level of convenience means users can access those resources in a wide variety of manners, even from older devices. Again, though, this emphasizes the need for network access points.[8][9]

Third, cloud computing allows for resource pooling, meaning information can be shared with those who know where and how (have permission) to access the resource, anytime and anywhere. This lends to broader collaboration or closer connections with other users. From an IoT perspective, just as we can easily assign an IP address to every "thing" on the planet, we can share the "address" of the cloud-based protected and stored information with others and pool resources.[8][9]

Fourth, cloud computing features rapid elasticity, meaning users can readily scale the service to their needs. You can easily and quickly edit your software setup, add or remove users, increase storage space, etc. This characteristic will further empower IoT by providing elastic computing power, storage and networking.[3][8][9][5]

Finally, the cloud computing of IoT is a measured service, meaning you get what you pay for. Providers can easily measure usage statistics such as storage, processing, bandwidth and active user accounts inside your cloud instance. This pay per use (PPU) model means your costs scale with your usage. In IoT terms, it's comparable to the ever-growing network of physical objects that feature an IP address for internet connectivity, and the communication that occurs between these objects and other internet-enabled devices and systems; just like your cloud service, the service rates for that IoT infrastructure may also scale with use.[3][8][9]

Service and deployment

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Service models

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Service delivery in cloud computing comprises three different service models: software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).[8]

Software as a service (SaaS) provides applications to the cloud’s end user that are mainly accessed via a web portal or service-oriented architecture-based web service technology.[10] These services can be seen as ASP (application service provider) on the application layer. Usually, a specific company that uses the service would run, maintain and give support so that it can be reliably used over a long period of time.[10][8]

Platform as a service (PaaS) consists of the actual environment for developing and provisioning cloud applications. The main users of this layer are developers that want to develop and run a cloud application for a particular purpose. A proprietary language was supported and provided by the platform (a set of important basic services) to ease communication, monitoring, billing and other aspects such as startup as well as to ensure an application’s scalability and flexibility. Limitations regarding the programming languages supported, the programming model, the ability to access resources, and the long-term persistence are possible disadvantages.[10][8]

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provides the necessary hardware and software upon which a customer can build a customized computing environment.[11] Computing resources, data storage resources and the communications channel are linked together with these essential IT resources to ensure the stability of applications being used on the cloud.[10] Those stack models can be referred to as the medium for IoT, being used and conveyed by the users in different methods for the greatest chance of interoperability. This includes connecting cars, wearables, TVs, smartphones, fitness equipment, robots, ATMs, and vending machines as well as the vertical applications, security and professional services, and analytics platforms that come with them.[8][12]

Deployment models

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Deployment in cloud computing comprises four deployment models: private cloud, public cloud, community cloud and hybrid cloud.[2][13]

A private cloud has infrastructure that’s provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization comprising multiple consumers such as business units. It may be owned, managed and operated by the organization, a third party or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.

A public cloud is created for open use by the general public. Public cloud sells services to anyone on the internet. (Amazon Web Services is an example of a large public cloud provider.) This model is suitable for business requirements that require management of load spikes and the applications used by the business, activities that would otherwise require greater investment in infrastructure for the business. As such, public cloud also helps reduce capital expenditure and bring down operational IT costs.

A community cloud is managed and used by a particular group or organizations that have shared interests, such as specific security requirements or a common mission.

Finally, a hybrid cloud combines two or more distinct private, community or public cloud infrastructures such that they remain unique entities but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability. Normally, information that’s not critical is outsourced to the public cloud, while business-critical services and data are kept within the control of the organization.


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In conclusion, with the help of cloud computing, IoT will dramatically change the way we live our daily lives as well as what and how information is managed. Thanks to its on-demand nature, cloud computing is available for use anytime and anywhere so long as the device is connected to the internet based on the software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), or infrastructure as a service (IaaS) service model.[2] The cloud is the only technology suitable for filtering, analyzing, storing and accessing IoT and other information in useful ways, depending on the deployment model used.


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  3. a b c d Rouse, M. (September 2015). "cloud computing". SearchCloudComputing. TechTarget. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  4. Linthicum, D. (27 June 2014). "The cloud is the secret weapon in the Internet of things". InfoWorld. InfoWorld, Inc. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  5. a b Hossain, S. (1 May 2013). "The "Internet of Things" and cloud computing". Thoughts on Cloud - Archive. IBM. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  6. a b c Canellos, D. (5 June 2013). "How the "Internet of Things" Will Feed Cloud Computing's Next Evolution". CSA Industry Blog. Cloud Security Alliance. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  7. "Call for Papers: IEEE Internet of Things Journal, Special Issue on Cloud Computing for IoT" (PDF). IEEE Internet of Things Journal. 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  8. a b c d e f g h i Schouten, E. (31 January 2014). "Cloud computing defined: Characteristics & service levels". Thoughts on Cloud. IBM. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  9. a b c d e "Cloud Computing Characteristics". SOCCI Framework Technical Standard. The Open Group. December 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  10. a b c d "What are service models in cloud computing?". C4S. Fraunhofer AISEC. Archived from the original on 20 February 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  11. "Cloud Computing Service Models". cloud.cio.gov. Chief Information Officers Council. Archived from the original on 17 March 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  12. Brown, M. (29 September 2014). "How the Internet of Things Will Change Cloud Computing". MSPmentor. Penton. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  13. Victories, V. (19 August 2015). "4 Types of Cloud Computing Deployment Model You Need to Know". IBMdeveloperWorks. IBM. Retrieved 20 May 2016.