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Vendor independent cloud tools

  • 22 Jun 2021 12:50
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‘Cloud computing’  allows individual computers and other devices to gain access to infrastructure, platforms and software applications on demand, via a ‘utility’ service similar to accessing the electricity grid.

Not so dissimilar from what was originally termed 'real time' computing and offered by computer service bureaux, cloud computing accessed via the internet, allows information to be stored in a ‘cloud’ of remote and large scale date centres, with individuals and organisations then able to access services to suit their own particular business requirements.

Aston University researchers will be creating the maths based models to exploring the dependability, resilience and performance levels of these new large-scale IT ‘clouds’. They will be developing theory and methods which will allow both researchers to assess reliability and service quality and simple ‘toolkits’ for business users to easily assess future needs.
Pricing, resources, service speed and social, environmental and technical implications of developing cloud technologies will also be examined. 

Dr Calinescu (left) said; “One vision is to see ‘cloud computing’ as the next major utility service such as gas and electricity, with perhaps a number of very large companies providing on-line services. Through the creation of maths based models we will be assess many areas including cost versus reliability and performance to satisfy user demands."

Work at Bristol and Aston is primarily concerned with the provision of 'clouds' in data centres. The St Andrews component is user facing. "We are interested in developing methods and techniques to support companies who are interesting in moving their existing application systems to the cloud," says (right) Professor Sommerville.

"The work will involve developing tools that will allow companies to (a) understand the relationships between the application systems in their system portfolio and (b) estimate the costs and risks of moving some or all of these systems to the cloud. It will build on and extend some of our current work in developing a 'migration toolkit' which is currently focused on estimating the costs of moving computing infrastructure (servers, storage, etc.) to the cloud."

"The cloud does represent a tremendous opportunity for companies to cut their IT costs but the savings are rarely as much as cloud vendors suggest" he concludes. "Our research will give companies the vendor independent tools and the means to model their application portfolios and make realistic estimates of the savings they can make by moving to the cloud.

Professor Sommerville will be talking at the Cloud Computing for the Public Sector in September in Edinburgh.

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