Information is the most valuable resource in the 21st century. Whether for a
consumer looking for a restaurant in San Francisco, a small business woman checking
textile prices in Bangalore, or a financial services executive in London studying
stock market trends, information at the moment of decision is key in providing the
insights that afford the best outcome.
We now are sitting at a critical juncture of two of the most significant trends in
the information technology industry – the convergence of cloud computing and
mobile personal information devices into the Mobility/Cloud Ecosystem that delivers
next-generation personalized experiences using a scalable and secure information
infrastructure. This ecosystem will be able to store, process, and analyze massive
amounts of information around structured, unstructured and semi-structured data. All
this data will be accessed and analyzed at the speed of business.
In the past few years, the information technology industry began describing a
future where everything is delivered as a service via the cloud, from computing
resources to personal interactions. The future mobile internet will be 10 times the
size of the desktop internet, connecting more than 10 billion “devices” from
smartphones to wireless home appliances. Information access will then be as
ubiquitous as electricity. Research advancements that the IT industry is making
today will allow us to drive economies of scale into this next phase of computing
to create a world where increasing numbers of people will be able to participate
in and benefit from the information economy.
This book provides an excellent overview of all the transformations that are
taking place in the IT industry around Cloud computing, and that, in turn, are
transforming society. The book provides an overview of the key concepts of
cloud computing, analyzes how cloud computing is different from traditional computing
and how it enables new applications while providing highly scalable versions
of traditional applications. It also describes the forces driving cloud
computing, describes a well-known taxonomy of cloud architectures, and discusses
at a high level the technological challenges inherent in cloud computing.
The book covers key areas of the different models of cloud computing: infrastructure
as a service, platform as a service and software as a service. It then talks
about paradigms for developing cloud applications. It finally talks about cloudrelated
technologies such as security, cloud management and virtualization.
HP Labs as the central research organization for Hewlett Packard has carried
out research in many aspects of cloud computing in the past decade. The authors
of the book are researchers in HP Labs India, and have contributed to many years
of research on these topics. They have been able to provide their own personal
research insight into the contents of the book and their vision of where this
technology is headed.