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Cloud computing and web services

Cloud computing is a style of computing in which virtualised and standard resources, software and data are provided as a service over the Internet.

Consumers and businesses can use the cloud to store data and applications and can interact with the Cloud using mobiles, desktop computers, laptops etc. via the Internet from anywhere and at any time.

The technology of Cloud computing entails the convergence of Grid and cluster computing, virtualisation, Web services and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) - it offers the potential to set IT free from the costs and complexity of its typical physical infrastructure, allowing concepts such as Utility Computing to become meaningful.

Key players include: IBM, HP, Google, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services,, NetSuite, VMware.

Benefits of Cloud Computing:

  • predictable any time, anywhere access to IT resources
  • flexible scaling of resources (resource optimisation)
  • rapid, request-driven provisioning
  • lower total cost of operations

Risks and Challenges of Cloud computing include:

  • security of data and data protection
  • data privacy
  • legal issues
  • disaster recovery
  • failure management and fault tolerance
  • IT integration management issues
  • business regulatory requirements
  • SLA (service level agreement) management

Web services refers to software that provides a standardized way of integrating Web-based applications using the XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI open standards over the Internet.

Thesaurus terms:

Cloud computing [new for 2011]; virtualisation [new for 2011]; service-oriented architecture [new for 2011]; Internet; mobile computing; Grid computing; Web services; workstation clusters; file servers; network servers; business data processing; security of data; disasters; fault tolerant computing

Classification codes:

C7210N Information networks
C6130S Data security
C0310D Computer installation management

Business and administration

Inspec have introduced a new c6190 section for distributed software:

C6190 Distributed systems software
C6190G Grid computing
C6190J Internet software (inc. Web services)
C6190P Parallel software
C6190V Ubiquitous and pervasive computing (inc. mobile computing)
C6190Z Other distributed systems software