Platform a Service of Cloud Computing Ngunduhcung

Platform as a Service
versus Infrastructure as a Service of Cloud Computing

Ngunduhcung Thainhlun

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The term “Cloud Computing” is becoming more popular now a day due
to it necessity in information technology industry. For most people today, the
availability of everything online is becoming critical part of their lives
which is exactly what the Cloud Computing is moving toward. It is important to
understand the development of cloud computer in order for society to appreciate
how the cloud environment get introduced in the universe.

The evolution of computer hardware can be split into four
generations. The first generation of modern computer can be dated back in 1943
“…where Mark I and Colossus computers…” were invented (Rittinghouse and
Ransome, 3). In the second generation computers which began in 1946, Electronic
Numerical integrator and Computer (ENIAC) was developed. ENIAC is “…digital
computer capable of being reprogrammed to solve a full range of computing
problems…”(Rittinghouse and Ransome, 4).  The third generation was when
Kilby’s invention began. Lastly, the fourth generation computers in when inventors
used microprocessor that can process everything with just a single circuit chip
(Rittinghouse and Ransome, 6).

During the fourth generation was when the idea of cloud computing
emerged which could be date back to the 1950s when large scale mainframes were
made available to school and cooperation. Mainframe is a style of computing
where the mainframes is installed on the server room. It is also known as a
central computer and it can be access through the dumb terminal. Succeeding the
mainframes computer, Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider, the man who won Posthumous
Champion Division of Worldwide Computer Network in 2013, established the
predecessor to the internet called Advanced Research Project Agency Networks
(ARPANET) in 1960s. J.C.R. Licklider hoped of ARPANET was to anticipated a
technology world that being connected and easily accessibility to data and
programs. A decade later in the 1970s, IBM invented the concept of virtual
machines. Virtual machine is a technique in computing where multiples operating
system run in one computing machine at the same time. Cloud computing is the
delivery of computing resources, beginning from applications to data centers
through the internet.

The term cloud in the field of computer science derived from the
fact that it carries data from one carrier to another side of the cloud carrier
as resemble by cloud. “The concept of cloud computing could be dates back as
early as 1961, when Professor John McCarthy suggested that computer
time-sharing technology might lead to a future where computing power and even
specific applications might be sold through a utility-type business model”
(Rittinghouse and Ransome, XXVI). Cloud computing could be divided into three
different categories which are Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a
Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).  Another way of
defining Cloud Computing would be a way of trying to separate application from
operating system and hardware that run everything. Software-as-a-Service(SaaS)
is the top layer of cloud computing service models where everything from
application to infrastructure is managed by the vendor. The middle layer of the
cloud computing service models is Platform-as-a-Service(PaaS) which apart from
application and data, everything else is manage by the vendor.  The third
layer which is also the lowest layer of cloud computing models is
Infrastructure-as-a-Service(IaaS). In IaaS user manages applications, datas,
runtimes, and middlewares but virtualization, server, storage, and networking
are provided by the cloud provider. It is important for society to truly
understand how cloud computing works in order to appreciate and reap it
benefits that allow people to access datas, applications, and programs from
anywhere as long as there are internet device

Software as a Service(SaaS)

     The creation of software as
a service was led by the use of traditional model of software distribution in
which software is bought to install on personal computers. Unlike traditional
model, Software as a Service (SaaS) is a subset of cloud that run application
on the internet base which means application can be accessed from any device as
long as there is Internet connection and web browser. K.V. K Mahesh Kumar from
International Journal of Research in Engineering and  Technology described
SaaS as “one of the service delivery models where of software as a service will
changed the way people build, sell, buy and use software” (178).  In other
word, SaaS is a software distribution model where the cloud provider provide
applications over the internet.

SaaS is beneficial for many organizations and designed for end
users. It eliminates the need for many companies to run and install
applications of their own which in the long run reduces the expense of hardware
maintenance and acquisition. It also eliminates the need for installation and
support. The authors in Cloud Computing and Software Services: theory and
techniques stated, “Moreover, SaaS simplifies the software
maintenance process, as it enables the software developers to apply subsequent
frequent upgrades and fixes to their applications as they retain access to
their software service deployed at the provider’s data center” (Ahson and
Ilyas, 3). For instance, Google is one of the company that provide this kind of
service: one of the applications that they have is google doc which is a text
editor software over the internet and Google Play Store where applications can
be purchased from the tip of the hand which can be run from the web browser
(Kumar, 179). Other benefits of SaaS include flexible payment, scalable usage,
automatic updates, accessibility and persistence. A flexible payment is very
self-explanatory. It is when customers subscribe to a SaaS offering either
daily, monthly, yearly or pay per usage. Thus, they do not have to worry about
when they need to pay. Consequently, it is very convenient for many people not
only because they no longer concern about when to pay, but they can also have a
big picture of what their budget would look like. In flexible payment, users
have the right to unsubscribe their recurring cost at anytime. Scalability
usage allows users to have the options to access more or less services as it
serves as the capability of a system to accommodate large amount of work. The
automatic updates and patch management services permit customers to rely on a
SaaS for automatic updates rather than purchasing new software. Lastly, SaaS
allows global accessibility as long as there is internet. SaaS is one of the
most common and successful model of cloud computing today. However, other
functions such as platforms and infrastructure also play significant role in
cloud computing.

Even though SaaS is beneficial for many, it also had it
disadvantages as well. One of it most recurring downside is security issue.
Sometimes, the organization who used SaaS does not usually know who can access
the data which put them at risks for security purposes. Another concern that
the SaaS consumer have in mind is that they might lost their datas to the
vendor upon the end of the service agreement. As the organization fully rely on
the vendor, if the cloud service provider experience service disruption, this
could give denial accessibility of SaaS application on the organization side as

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

    The middle layer of the cloud
computing model is Platform as a Service. According to Ilyas, “in PaaS, the
provider supplies a platform of software environments and application
programming interfaces(APIs) that can be utilized in developing cloud applications”
(3). The main target of this model is the developer. They use this specific
APIs to build, test, deploy and run their application over the internet without
downloading a single software on their device storage. With PaaS, organization
can create the custom software application that run on the internet easily. A
good example of PaaS would be Google’s App Engine. Google’s App Engine
provides “Python and Java runtime environments and APIs for application to
interact with Google’s runtime environment” (Ahson and Ilyas, 3). The focus of
PaaS for consumers is to build software on top of the platform so that they
would not have to worry about installing, or managing operating system. As for
the developer, PaaS allows them to focus more on business applications rather
than the underlying IT works.

The traditional way of building software application have many
requirements of setup before even coding. For example, to build a web
application, the developer must setup the application server, setup database
and set up the runtime platform. If there is an error in this setup process
than the developer must diagnoses or reconfigure. Upon successful setup of this
three steps, the initiator must add the dependencies. Then install file
transfer protocol(FTP) to move the code and setup security and firewall.
Sometime web based application are not working properly as they are transfer
from the localhost. This can be due to the fact that the web hosting company
using different version of languages than what the developer used in the
localhost while building their application. Thus, the developer has to go back
and make necessary changes which take a lot of time. Also, on-premise software
required organization to install the software on every computer. Thus, it  is
expensive as the software and hardware increase.

    Despite the traditional way
of building software application, PaaS provides a lot more features, such as
HTTP Caching server, redundancy, backups, scale, easy deployment and no setup
or configuration are required. These are all manage by the cloud provider, so
the developer are set to get their hand on the actual code.  

    Although PaaS offers many
conveniences to the consumer for building application, there are few weaknesses
that it has. In the event that a supplier encounters a service disruption, the
customer may experience service  interruption and not being able to use
the service which may result in the lost of profitability on the end-user.
Also, some of the cloud provider use different methods and features which would
result in the compatibility issue with other vendor as a way to lock-in their
customers. Therefore, it is important to wisely choose the provider by
analyzing the service they offer fulfill the need of the organization because
some provider make it hard to migrate from theirs to other cloud service
providers. Internal change is another weakness of PaaS model. Internal change
is when provider made changes on the language, library or feature, etc. Thus,
it result in error for the end-user application since they used those as they
were available to them when they developed their software.

Infrastructure as a

The lowest layer of cloud computing service model is the
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) also known as Hard-as-a-Service (HaaS). The
reason why the term HaaS is used interchangeably is because it equipped
hardware, storage, servers, and data space. This model provides virtualized
computing resources over the internet.  In the text The State of Public
Infrastructure-as-a-Service Cloud Security the author stated, “IaaS
provide generic computing infrastructure resources such as virtual machines and
key-value object storage”(Huang et al, 1 and 2). Virtualization techniques is
it unique feature which refers to the creation of a virtual resources with
different layers such as a file, storage, server, desktop, and operating
system, etc. PaaS and SaaS are built on top of the supporting IaaS
infrastructure in this technique.  

It is important to understand the architecture of the IaaS model
in order for ones to appreciate it benefits and discern how it works.  In
IaaS model, the provider organizes the infrastructure components and give
supplies a range of services to help those components. Some of the
infrastructure components that Cloud Service Provider(CSP) hosts  includes
Virtualization, Server, Storage, and Networking. There are many ways to access
resources and services in IaaS for customers including internet. For example,
users can create virtual machines (VMs) by logging into IaaS platforms and
install operating systems and deploy databases. Also on the other hand,
customers can use services that provider had it available for them to track
costs and monitor performance.

Many providers including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google
Cloud Platform (GCP) chose participate in IaaS because it is more cost
efficient to run a workload without having to buy additional underlying
infrastructure. They can simply rent or least from other business. Rittinghouse
and Ransome stated, “Rather than purchasing data center space, servers,
software, network equipment, etc., IaaS customers essentially rent those
resources a fully outsourced service”  (35). This highly capabilities
model reduced time and cost for many users as it customers pay on a per use
basis. In spite of all IaaS benefits and flexibility, there are some challenges
that customer encounter as well. One of the most common issue is billing due to
the huge amount of bill. It is the responsibility of the customers to pay close
attention and monitor the service usages in order to avoid unauthorized
services. Another issue that users usually encounter is the service resilience.
If there is any issue or downtime in provider areas, the customer are affected
since the workload in control by the provider. It is difficult for the users to
figure out what went wrong due to lack of transparency while they have no
control over it.

Three type of clouds:
Public, Private and Hybrid

There are three different type of clouds that has been study which
are public, private, and hybrid. Public clouds is basically the internet. It
allows providers to make resources such as application, infrastructure, and
storage for consumers and organizations over the internet (Balasubramanian and
Aramudhan, 35). Some examples of public cloud include Amazon Elastic Cloud or
EC2, Google App Engine, and Sun Cloud. The Public cloud services are sometime
free for public use while others are offers on pay per usage. Enterprises do
not have to maintain as many infrastructure components since it is based on
pay-per-usage and led to fewer wasted of resources. However, since public cloud
services are self-services, it can be difficult to track it service usage.
Thus, companies ended up paying more than expected. Also, customers and
businesses can only be accessed through internet mode, thus it is not as secure
as other clouds. Although some public cloud services offer security
technologies such as encryption, security is always the ongoing concern. Few
examples of Public clouds include Amazon Web Services, Cloud Platform, and
Microsoft Azure. Most of the time, customers had limited power on what cloud
infrastructure is hosted. Despite security concern and limitations, public
cloud can be cost effective for many people. It is one of the most inexpensive
type of cloud out of the three because the provider pay for hardware,
application, and other installations.

The second type of cloud is called private clouds because they are
owned by a single company. Balasubramanian and Aramudhan defined private clouds
as “platform built on one own hardware and software. It is usually known as
internal cloud or corporate cloud” (36). It can be difficult to define what
exactly is a private cloud in a sentence or two. The best way to explain what it
is by featuring it different category of characters.  Private Clouds is
highly secure which is accomplished with different pools of resources while it
accessibility. Therefore, there is more privacy for the company and have more
control over it. Accessibility is limited from one organization to the other,
another reason private cloud is more reliable for the owner and have more
control. Even though private clouds is more secure, it have it downsides as
well. Due to all the features that it provided, it can be costly at the same
time. The corporate that decided to use private clouds needs to buy, build, and
manage them. The highly cost is for a better good for the company, but not
every businesses, company, or organization can afford it.

The third type of cloud is known as hybrid clouds. Hybrid cloud is
useful when organization or business wants to hold different business
applications with various levels of security (Balasubramanian and Aramudhan,
36). In hybrid cloud, companies can managed using private cloud and still use
the public cloud as needed. In other word, it is a combination of both the
private and public clouds. Thus, businesses have more data deployment option
and flexibility. This type of cloud is recommended during in emergency
situations such as hurricane warnings and rolling blackouts. Also, due to
inflexibility, hybrid cloud is valuable for highly changeable workloads such as
a time when demand spikes dramatically in a company. Even though there are
nameless benefit of hybrid cloud, it also have it change as well. The
disadvantage of hybrid cloud is whoever uses it have to keep track of all the
providers for different security and make sure that each of those providers
have solid network connectivity. Since hybrid clouds use both private and public
clouds, all the workloads that private clouds hold must interact with public
clouds and be accessible. The potential connectivity is the only issue that
most organizations and businesses ran into while using hybrid clouds, but this
issue is preventable with a careful cautious.

 Cloud Security

    The most noted concern that
many people have is security when it come to cloud computing. The cloud
security is the use of security technique to protect data, application, and
infrastructure related to cloud computing against hackers, attackers, or
thieves. There are many way that cloud security had been done. To name a few,
blockchain, password based encryption, and honey encryption, etc. According to
the article Blockchain Security in Cloud Computing: Use Cases, Challenges,
and Solution blockchain “provides security through the authentication of
peers that share virtual cash, encryption, and the generation of hash
value”(Park and Park, 1). R Masood and M. Aslam mentioned that password based
is a weak because it is easy to decrypt using brute forces attack but honey pot
encryption is considered a better encryption for Cloud Computing security in

This research will mainly focus on Monitoring-as-a-Service(MaaS),
gaining visibility, and managing service, which is a service implementation
that commonly used by the CSP. Amazon Web Service(AWS) is a provider that use
this technology. In MaaS, the first step is to use machine learning algorithm
to flag an event. Once there is a detection against the data, the MaaS will
then notify to an email that has been setup. Once the email is received the
monitor will check who is using the service as monitor gain visibility. After
knowing the person who try to attack, the monitor then either block, remove or
take action against them through managing access service.


     The fact that most people
in today use Cloud Computing on a daily basis is undeniable with or without their
realization. The concept of Cloud Computing can be date back as early as the
1950s as the fourth generation modern computer emerged. From that point on,
scientists began to add on a more advanced technology day after day and year
after year. Today, Cloud Computing which include SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS become
the most common and successful example of a safe and quick resources as data
storage and network service various companies and organizations. It benefits
both the providers and end users. The three different types of cloud, public,
private, and hybrid give numerous options for users to choose from the services
that best suit their needs. While there are many challenges that both the
providers and users faced, the overall benefits that Cloud Computing delivered
are a better good of society and making it more convenient to do any jobs in
this high tech world.


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