Discuss several cloud applications for mobile devices; explain which one of the three cloud computing delivery models, SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS, would be used by each one of the applications and why.

 Mobile devices could benefit from cloud computing; explain the reasons you think that this statement is true or provide arguments supporting the contrary. Discuss several cloud applications for mobile devices; explain which one of the three cloud computing delivery models, SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS, would be used by each one of the applications and why.

Mobile devices, with their limited power, cannot carry out intensive computations or store excessive amounts of data. Such devices can take advantage of high-speed WiFi connection to access data stored on a cloud and steer computations running on a cloud.

Data sharing is another major reason for mobile cloud applications; images, videos, music, or any other type of data stored on a cloud can be accessed by any device connected to the Internet and shared with others. Videos and music can be streamed from a cloud supporting the SaaS delivery model. Massive Multi-player Online Games (MMOG) which require significant computing resources could be hosted by a cloud and accessed from tablets, smartphones, or any other type of mobile devices. Scientific data processed and stored on a cloud can be shared by a community of researchers. Massive amounts of data can be processed on platforms supporting PaaS or IaaS cloud delivery models.

An organization debating whether to install a private cloud or to use a public cloud, e.g., the AWS, for its computational and storage needs, asks your advice. What information will you require to base your recommendation on, and how will you use each one of the following items: (a) the description of the algorithms and the type of the applications the organization will run; (b) the system software used by these applications; (c) the resources needed by each application; (d) the size of the user population; € the relative experience of the user population; (d) the costs involved.

Public clouds have distinct cost advantages over private clouds:

•        There is no initial investment in the infrastructure, no recurring costs for administration, maintenance, energy consumption, and for the user support personnel. The main concern is security and privacy. An organization with very strict security and privacy concerns is very unlikely to use a public cloud.

•        The type of applications plays a critical role, scientific and engineering computations which require a low latency interconnection network and enjoy only fine-grain parallelism are unlikely to fare well on either a public or a private cloud.

•        A large user population is more likely to use identical or similar software and to cooperate by sharing the raw data and the results; thus, a private cloud seems more advantageous in this case.

•        Some of the services offered by private clouds target experiences users, e.g., AWS services such as Elastic Beanstalk, while others are accessible to lay persons.

A university is debating the question in Question 2: What will be your advice and why? Should software licensing be an important element of the decision?

Both education and research are university activities that could benefit from cloud computing.

•        A public cloud is probably an ideal environment for education; indeed, security is not a significant concern for computing related to education.

•        The student computational activity increases during projects and assignment deadlines, and it is relatively low during the remaining of a semester and hence investment into a large infrastructure needed for brief periods of time do not seem to be justified.

•        Moreover, once a student learns how to use a cloud service, e.g., AWS, this skill could help in finding a job and then during his/her employment. The students share the software for their assignments and a public cloud could provide an ideal environment for group projects.

•        Software licensing can be a problem as some projects may require the use of licensed software. The benefits of a private cloud for supporting university research is increasingly more questionable as the cost of the hardware decreases and the computational needs of many research groups can be met with a medium or a high end server which cost only a few thousand dollars. Of course, some research groups may need access to supercomputers but acquiring a supercomputer is only justified for a very few well-funded research universities.

An IT company decides to provide free access to a public cloud dedicated to higher education. Which one of the three cloud computing delivery models, SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS should it embrace and why? What applications would be most beneficial for the students? Will this solution have an impact on distance learning? Why?

A public cloud dedicated to higher education would be extremely beneficial; it would allow concentration of educational resources and sharing of software for different educational activities. It would increase the student participation and interest in the different topics. At the same time, it would significantly reduce the cost of educational computing. Each one of the three cloud delivery models would have its own applications. For example, SaaS could be uses for testing and for systems like Piazza (see https://piazza.com/) which allow groups of students and faculty to interact.

Collaborative environments which allow an instructor to interact with a large class where the students are connected via mobile devices would most certainly increase the level of student participation. Projects given to engineering and science students would have useful results as the students would be able to run concurrently multiple models of the systems and use different parameters of the models. Such projects would require either a PaaS or IaaS cloud model.

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