Cloud Computing

Apr 19

The term cloud computing has been a buzz term for a few years. One complaint about cloud computing is that everyone seems to mean something different. Much of the academic research compartmentalizes cloud computing into three categories, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). The first two, IaaS and PaaS are of interest to software developers. SaaS is of more interest to end consumers. Infrastructure is the most flexible and requires a developer to make decisions about how an application will scale and recover from failures. Often Platform offerings manage details like scaling and reliability but provide less flexibility to the end developer. SaaS provides the consumer with a managed offering that is often available from anywhere and includes backups and security.

From a management perspective, there are some alluring characteristics to embracing cloud computing. These must be weighed against security and privacy, especially for companies whose operations fall within the view of government regulators. You can read my review of the current research below.

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