Tuesday, May 8, 2012

GIS Cloud

Cloud computing is rapidly emerging as a technology almost every industry that provides or consumes software, hardware, and infrastructure can leverage. The technology and architecture that cloud service and deployment models offer are a key area of research and development for GIS technology.

What Is Cloud Computing? 

Although there are several variations on the definition of cloud computing, some basic tenets characterize this coming revolution. Cloud computing furnishes technological capabilities—commonly maintained off premises—that are delivered on demand as services via the Internet. Cloud GIS offerings can range from data storage to end-user Web applications to other focused computing services. Esri considers cloud computing and technology important in the development and vision of the ArcGIS platform.

Public versus Private Cloud

There are several types of cloud computing deployment scenarios.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is emerging as the preferred provider of the de facto definition of cloud computing and the distribution models, seen here with some Esri examples.

Public Cloud

The public cloud is the most commonly referenced regarding the topic of cloud computing, where the infrastructure and applications are owned by the organization selling cloud services.

Private Cloud

Since many traditional vendors and users are not quite ready to jump into public cloud computing or are restricted from doing so, the cloud service tiers are replicated within a private cloud environment, behind the firewall, and maintained within the parameters of the host organization.

Hybrid Cloud

Many believe that the sweet spot for cost optimization in an organization will rely on a delicate balance of public, or community, and private clouds. However, since this hybrid cloud solution is commonly bound together by proprietary technology, it will only be embraced by enterprise computing in the future as standards are developed.

Cloud Service Models

Three core options compose the service model within the cloud computing environment.

Each service category can be leveraged independently or consumed in combination with other service tiers.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS comprises end-user applications delivered as a service rather than as traditional, on-premises software. The most commonly referenced example of SaaS is Salesforce.com, which provides a customer relationship management (CRM) system accessible via the Internet.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS provides an application platform, or middleware, as a service on which developers can build and deploy custom applications. Common solutions provided in this tier range from APIs and tools to database and business process management systems to security integration, allowing developers to build applications and run them on the infrastructure that the cloud vendor owns and maintains. Microsoft's Windows Azure platform services are often referenced as PaaS solutions at this middleware tier.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS primarily encompasses the hardware and technology for computing power, storage, operating systems, or other infrastructure, delivered as off-premise, on-demand services rather than as dedicated, on-site resources such as the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

Source:- ESRI Technology Topics

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