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The Cloud - Inevitable, But Not Utopian

The Cloud - Inevitable, But Not Ambiguous
Saransh Bansal, 
Amity School of Engineering and Technology Delhi, 
Contact: +919871397245

Technology never seizes to amaze us and the latest example of such technological innovation is the implementation of cloud computing to take a massive load away from household computers to very high end servers located thousands of miles away from us and yet allow us to access or store our personal data without the hassle of dealing with them with our own low grade machines. Cloud computing consists of collection of very fast servers working concurrently on 2.5 quintillion (2.5 x 1018) bytes of data per day arranged in numerous data sets. It provides practically unlimited data storage, fast processing of data and access to a whole new world of cloud based applications freely available to you whenever you want, wherever you want without installing a single application in your hard drive. Like every new technology, it is also suffering from lot of problems before it could achieve worldwide acceptance and allow full blown cloud based services to come into existence. The low internet speed may slow down the business productivity and cripple cloud services. In common (i) availability of the data when required, (ii) time required for computing the data and upload/download them across the networks on the planet and (iii)Data privacy and security concerns are three main factors which needs to be addressed and resolved.

In this post i proposed solutions to the problems stated in above paragraph. To look into better performance, productivity and low cost alternatives, a revolutionary research is creating waves which could slump all three requirements in a go. Graphene based transistors are proposed to replace existing semiconductor transistors offering far better transfer speeds at a much lower cost. A solution or rather suggestion for the use of cloud computing in areas of substandard internet connectivity and low speed is also discussed in the article. World is moving forward frantically where minimum broadband speed will be 100Mbps and with much larger bandwidth to accommodate all kinds of services without exceeding its limits. Big private firms have to intervene with current government laws and policies to broaden their mindsets about how cloud computing can be the penultimate way for business headway and hence economic growth of the country. Corporate companies must join hands with government to introduce effective policies for data privacy and other security measures which are of main concern for any company in the world.

I. Cloud and its advantage

Cloud computing can be best described as a large facility consisting of numerous computers for distributed computing over a network with ability to run a program on connected systems concurrently. It is a scalable and flexible computing technology providing virtual resources over the internet and also to store information from standalone systems into its own servers. An internet connection and a web browser are the only tools required to access cloud services. These services includes software, platform, infrastructure, storage, database and so on. However the area which is booming the most with the advent of cloud computing is IT field and small business startups. It is estimated that the cloud computing market will reach nearly $250 billion by 2016, an astounding $170 billion increase from 2011. In addition, more than half of companies are expected to store data in the public cloud in the next four years as quoted by Heartford business journal. "Companies are able to save money on hardware, staffing, power and cooling, and have a greater organizational efficiency." Said Christopher Luise, executive vice president at ADNET Technologies in Farmington. The benefits of cloud can be many for businesses such as increased productivity, improved communication and cost savings. ‘The economy is in bad shape’, this is the most common headline which you can find lingering around in any newspaper or any news channel. However things are about to change drastically with the new buzzword ‘startups’ and technological shift working in perfect harmony to create innovations unheard of in order to counter economic crisis of the world. Startups are basically a small group of highly motivated entrepreneurs working together to provide solutions and drive the world towards right path. These entrepreneurs are generally young and just out of college looking for opportunities to work with veterans in the field who can train them with the immense experience they had in respective fields. Unemployment is also a reason behind massive support these startups are garnering as many professionals see startup as more sustainable route than full-time job. Earlier it was impossible to start one as it includes quite a chunk of capital investment. Cost and effective communication between individuals is also something to worry about. With cloud computing, there is rapid growth of such startups. Reason being – abundance of resources on demand, no need to invest for physical space. Jeff Weiner, CEO. of LinkedIn quotes, “Cloud makes it easier and cheaper than ever for anyone anywhere to be an entrepreneur and to have access to all the best infrastructure of innovation. And despite all of our challenges, it is happening”.

II. Challenges and limitations of Cloud Computing

With so much to offer, Cloud computing seems like the be all and end all solution to our problems. However there is always some catch. Cloud faces stiff challenges and deal breaking limitations which needs to be worked upon before the full potential of this technology can be utilized. The most obvious issue with cloud is requirement of an internet connection and not just any connection, a high speed 100Mbps connection, a luxury which most of the world still can’t afford. The ineffective government policies and monkey business of internet providers, charging 20 times the actual cost of services we are receiving, makes cloud computing a distant dream atleast for India. The narrow-mindedness of Indian government to not invest on such technology and general lack of awareness of benefits we can receive from it needs to be addressed.

Another major issue is with the technology itself. The computation which is done on data sets so large and complex, eats up all the resources and computation time limits the productivity especially when time critical tasks are done. Real time processing is a challenging task when working on complex information like weather analysis, news broadcasting, telemetry etc. Data transfer rate and hence the performance must be increased by many folds to account for such requirements. There is definitely a need for an electronic evolution which can solve these problems of speed and performance in cloud computing.

III. Corporate particiption for helping government in regulating, adopting and promoting the cloud

Government is pushing for 100Mbps connections by 2020 but we need that right now. There are issues of broadband data capping and high charges. Security and data privacy are main concerns for government as of now. Recent developments in data processing and telecommunications have provided the world with a powerful informational network. This progress, however, also generated a global debate for handling of data resulting in some countries to re-evaluate their policies regarding monitoring of such data. Corporate bigshots have to come forward in direct talks to government for helping government in regulating, adopting and promoting the cloud. Data needs to be protected from any unauthorized access which is especially important in any corporate or non-corporate company. Data privacy and security are two areas in which the government can most directly affect the nature of the cloud. Creation of an industry-wide security framework is an option. Localisation of cloud to specific firm by devising authentication for accessing the cloud can be done. Increased data portability by easy implementation of cloud services in hand held devices can be achieved. Modernization of our broadband infrastructure to better support cloud services is required. All these issues must be addressed with government so that they can come up with much more effective laws that ensure proper utilization of cloud computing technology.

IV. Graphene for faster Cloud Computing

The performance issues in cloud computing industry can be summarized as shown below:

1. In cloud there are huge set of data and applications working in many different platforms. The amount of time for computation and analysis of data stored in the cloud must be minimized.

2. The data centres are located across many different locations, which need data and applications to coordinate and work together. What if the application is faster enough to process the data at high speeds, but data transfer is slow from provider to the client.

3. The power consumption is the other big problem and the amount of heat and infrastructure needed to control them is the other big issue.

4. The cost of the services has to be optimized, for much cheaper rate.

CMOS technology is currently being used which is known for dramatically reducing size of transistors in electronic equipment. Reduction in size and low power requirements resulted in small size integrated circuits in LSI. However the limit for scaling is now saturated in turn limiting data transfer speed. Graphene is a new alternative which is under research and offers much higher electron mobility as compared to Si without any change in ergonomics. This resulted in production of faster transistors which can be used in producing fast operating processors. Studies indicate that graphene has the ability to absorb more than 60% visible light which supported its usage as optical devices and LEDs.
Graphene exhibits the highest thermal conductivity and also the highest Young’s modulus among the materials known so far (as shown Table ). This is very useful in designing optical devices for data modulation. electron-mobility of graphene is 1,000 times higher than that of silicon, and an electron mobility as high as 2×106 cm^2/V sec has been experimentally achieved, which is 100 times higher than that of silicon. Because higher electron mobility leads to shorter switching time for a transistor, graphene has been expected as a material that could realize high-speed electronic devices which could break the speed records made by conventional semiconductors. Reaction time in graphene is 2.1 picoseconds. Graphene based sensors allow a frequency of 262 GHz, and a data transfer rate over 30 GB/Sec range of wavelengths when compared with the current commercial networks with a rate of 1.2 GB/Sec. All this is made possible due to the behavior of electrons and photons in graphene that can be altered flexibly by applying varied voltage levels. A researcher once quoted that the graphite in one pencil is sufficient to provide graphene to fabricate 1 billion optical modulators”. This shows the single point solution for the very big problem of cloud technology which is performance. Graphene in future helps in developing efficient and powerful electronic devices, which in turn improves the cloud computing services in area of performance, size, speed and cost.

V. Conclusion

Cloud technology powers millions of startups and businesses across the world providing every individual, an access to unprecedented amount of data and services without ever stressing his own personal computer. Cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance, empowering IT industry to adjust to unpredictable and dynamic business. Giants like Google and Microsoft already offers services like Google drive, Google cloud print,

office 365 etc. However this massive amount of data needs to be handled and monitored for illegal access concerning security, sharing of proprietary data resources and loss of property rights. Such concerns needs to be dealt with corporate and enterprises working actively with government and develop new rules and policies to adopt to changing technology and trend of the way information is available and accessed. Improvements in Cloud computing itself can be done by introducing high transfer rates and cost effective Graphene based transistors instead of commonly used Si semiconductors. This will ensure improved performance and productivity. Government is keen on providing high speed internet in every home by 2020 but monopoly of ISPs charging ridiculously high prices are a let down for the country. Data transfer caps further adds to the misery. All this needs to be ironed out for utilizing full potential of cloud.
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