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ITC561 Cloud Computing for SoftArc Engineering

Questions 

Task

SoftArc Engineering Ltd is a civil engineering company which works across Australia as well as in Indonesia, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea. The company is considering moving some of its computer infrastructure into the Cloud. The SoftArc Engineering Board is contemplating this move as a way to increase the company’s flexibility and responsiveness, as well as to achieve some savings on the cost of maintaining their ICT infrastructure.

SoftArc Engineering has engaged you as a consultant to advise them on the use of Cloud Computing in their daily operations. They have some 200 engineering and support staff that work on different civil engineering projects in different parts of the Australia and neighbouring countries. They have been advised that a move to using a Cloud based infrastructure would be an advantage to them.

Your task is to:

1. One of SoftArc Engineering’s first undertakings is to provide all their civil engineering staff with the ability to access office automation, such as email, word processing and spreadsheet capabilities, as well as online storage for their files, whether they are in the office, at home, or deployed on site in the field. The SoftArc Engineering board is very concerned to learn about the critical issues, other than cost, that may affect the supply of Cloud based office automation to their staff. You will need to prepare a report on the best way to provide office automation for SoftArc Engineering. Your report should:

a. Provide SoftArc Engineering with TWO different approaches to providing office automation to their civil engineering staff;
b. Outline the major benefits and issues for each approach;
c. Provide a summary of your advice to this company along with your recommendation about which option to choose.
 
2. SoftArc Engineering has a number of data centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. These data centres are linked by a fibre based WAN and data is replicated between the data centres daily. The 3 data centres each run x86 based servers attached to a HPE 3PAR SAN with 1PB of storage. They also have a series of RHEL 6 servers (Red Hat Enterprise Linux v6.0) that are used to host Web pages and various Web services. These are located only in the Sydney data centre. SoftArc Engineering is considering initially moving its Web infrastructure to an IaaS instance in a public Cloud, but they are unsure of the issues that are involved with this migration. You are to write a report for the SoftArc Engineering board that:
 
a. Describes the difference between locally hosted infrastructure (ie. in an enterprise data centre) and infrastructure provided using an IaaS provider in a public Cloud.
 
b. You will need to discuss the critical issues and factors, other than cost, that SoftArc Engineering will have to consider in choosing to migrate their Web infrastructure to an IaaS service provider. 
 
3. SoftArc Engineering is also considering whether to use PaaS or SaaS to provide services to its employees. SoftArc Engineering has deployed Microsoft SharePoint 2013 from its data centre as a collaboration and document management tool for its 250 employees. The SharePoint 2013 instance has been extensively customised to suit SoftArc Engineering’s needs and also runs Project Central, their Project Management tool as a separate application from within SharePoint. All employees have the Microsoft Office 2013 suite of office automation products installed on their respective desktops or laptops. SoftArc Engineering would like to move its SharePoint 2013 instance to the cloud to make it more accessible, particularly to its users in remote or overseas locations. SoftArc Engineering want you to report on:
 
a. What are the major differences between the models IaaS, PaaS and SaaS?
 
b. Recommend the model that you consider most appropriate for this service and discuss why this model is the most appropriate for the SharePoint service.
 
c. What are the most likely problems that SoftArc Engineering will encounter with the model that you recommend?
 
i. How would you advise SoftArc Engineering to deal with these issues?

Answers

1. a) Different approaches for offering the facility of office automation to the staff of  civil engineers

The approaches that can be utilized by SoftArc Engineering to access office automation effectively include Big Data as well as cloud computing.

b. Major benefits as well as issues related with the approach

Benefits as well as issues for using cloud computing

The advantages of  using cloud computing include:

Easy Implementation: The implementation is very much effective as well as easy  as the cloud computing helps in providing the facility of retaining business procedures effectively (Dinh et al., 2013).

Accessibility: The cloud computing provides facility of accessing data as well as information at any time and at anywhere without facing problem.

Efficient Recovery:  The SoftArc Engineering Company can retrieve proper data as well as information by utilizing cloud-computin


g approach (Li et al., 2013). Thus, cloud computing helps in recovering data effectively.

There are numbers of challenges that SoftArc Engineering will face due to the utilization of cloud computing and the challenges are as follows:

Privacy: One of the significant challenges that SoftArc engineering organization will face is due to inaccurate privacy as well as security. Improper security leads to loss of important data as well as information.

Bandwidth control:  The organization must plan before storing large amount if servers as well as storage in very much small data centers (Sanaei et al., 2014).

Control: The in house staffs of the organization are not capable enough to handle various services of cloud effectively.

Benefits as well as issues of using Big Data

Benefits: SoftArc Engineering will achieve number of advantages by using the approach of big Data. The approach helps in providing the facility of accessing office automation to the staff of the organization (Provost  & Fawcett, 2013). It can also be utilized for detecting different types of fraud as well as errors very quickly. It also assists in accessing various types of data and information from anywhere at any time.

Issues: SoftArc Engineering faces number of problems due to the utilization of Big Data. The problems include data silos, inaccuracy of data as well as finding signal in the noise (Marz & Warren, 2015).  The organization faces issues in decision making due to data inaccuracy. The approach is not capable of meeting the different operations of the company.

c. Proper advice to SoftArc Engineering along with proper recommendation

The organization must utilize the approach of cloud computing as it very much beneficial for providing appropriate facility of accessing home automation to the civil engineers of the organization. It also helps in giving proper back up as well as recovery of data to the users, which further assists in maintaining the overall manageability of the organization.

2. a) Difference between locally hosted infrastructure and infrastructure provided using an IaaS provider in a public cloud

The various differences between both the locally hosted infrastructures as well as infrastructure provided by using an IaaS provider are as follows:

Security: It is identified that locally hosted infrastructure is very much secure as it helps in providing proper data as well as information security (Wei et al., 2014).

Accessibility: In context to accessibility, infrastructure that is offered by using the IaaS provider is found to be superior.

Cost: It is analyzed that infrastructure that is offered by utilizing an IaaS provider is very much costly when compared with locally hosted infrastructure (Tao et al., 2014).

b. Discuss the critical issues and factors that occurs due to migrating the Web Infrastructure to an IaaS provider

The critical factors as well as issues, which generally arise due to migration from web infrastructure to an IaaS provider, include:

Privacy: It is analyzed that SoftArc Engineering will experience problems due to improper privacy as well as authentication of both information as well as data (Hashizume et al., 2013).

Technical problems: The problems, which are experienced by the organization due to the utilization of IaaS infrastructure, include downtime as well as outrage (Dinh et al., 2013). The system is generally connected with the help of internet and therefore any problem in the connectivity creates problem.

Limited control as well as flexibility: The organization must have proper control over the execution of both hardware as well as software as the application generally run due to the help of a third party.

Increased Vulnerability: The migration from the infrastructure of Web to the infrastructure of IaaS helps in increasing the risks of exploitation that generally occurs due to malicious users or hackers (Sanaei et al., 2014). It can lead loss of important data as well as information of the organization.

3. a) Differences between IaaS, PaaS and SaaS

IaaS

PaaS

SaaS

 This category of cloud services helps in giving virtualized resources of computing by utilizing internet.

 One of the divisions of cloud computing services is known as PaaS that provides a platform so that they can run, manage as well as develop different applications effectively without facing much problem (Hashizume et al., 2013).

 Software as a service is defined as a type of licensing software in which licensed software is incorporated for hosting it centrally on the basis of subscription.

 The Infrastructure as a Service is considered cost effective as the organization that utilizes this model does not have spent additional amount on the hardware maintenance or on various network related equipments (Sanaei et al., 2014).

 PaaS helps in allowing various teams to try different types of configuration for achieving proper performance in the local environment (Monroe et al., 2015).

 SaaS generally resides in the cloud environment, which are scalable and are mainly incorporated with various other offering of SaaS (Tao et al., 2014).

b. Model that is appropriate for the service and the reason behind its appropriateness

It is analyzed that SaaS is the most suitable model for the organization “SoftArc Engineering”. It is due to the fact, SaaS helps in providing different types of applications over the internet for providing various service. In spite of maintaining the software, an individual can easily get the access by using internet (Dinh et al., 2013). It assists in freeing the users or customers from complex hardware as well as software manageability. In addition to this, the organization “SoftArc Engineering” wants to provide proper capability to the staff of the organization so that they can handle office automation effectively from anywhere and at any time (Chen, Mao & Liu, 2014).  It is analyzed that Software as a Service is considered as one of the suitable model as it assists in giving all the applications by utilizing the Software.

c. Most likely problems that SoftArc Engineering will encounter

The problems, which are encountered by the organization, are as follows:

Ongoing business concerns: Outsourcing various tasks like IT assists in losing proper control over some of the activities of service providers and as a result, it creates number of problem for the organization.

Data Security: SoftArc Engineering will experience problems, which are associated with the authentication as well as data security (Wei et al., 2014). By using the SaaS model, the organization will experience number of problems due to data breaches.

i. Advice to SoftArc Engineering in order to deal with different issues

The SoftArc Engineering will face number of issues, which can be resolved appropriately by following some of the steps that include:

Authentication: Proper authentication must be provided for reducing data loss as well as for securing important information as well as data (Hashizume et al., 2013).This is quite important for identifying the person who is associated with data access.

End to end logging as well as reporting: The data as well as information that are stored by utilizing the model of SaaS should be monitored properly.

References

Chen, M., Mao, S., & Liu, Y. (2014). Big data: A survey. Mobile Networks and Applications, 19(2), 171-209.

Dinh, H.T., Lee, C., Niyato, D. and Wang, P., 2013. A survey of mobile cloud computing: architecture, applications, and approaches. Wireless communications and mobile computing, 13(18), pp.1587-1611.

Hashizume, K., Rosado, D. G., Fernández-Medina, E., & Fernandez, E. B. (2013). An analysis of security issues for cloud computing. Journal of Internet Services and Applications, 4(1), 5.

Li, M., Yu, S., Zheng, Y., Ren, K., & Lou, W. (2013). Scalable and secure sharing of personal health records in cloud computing using attribute-based encryption. IEEE transactions on parallel and distributed systems, 24(1), 131-143.

Marz, N., & Warren, J. (2015). Big Data: Principles and best practices of scalable realtime data systems. Manning Publications Co..

Monroe, B. L., Pan, J., Roberts, M. E., Sen, M., & Sinclair, B. (2015). No! Formal theory, causal inference, and big data are not contradictory trends in political science. PS: Political Science & Politics, 48(01), 71-74.

Provost, F., & Fawcett, T. (2013). Data science and its relationship to big data and data-driven decision making. Big Data, 1(1), 51-59.

Sanaei, Z., Abolfazli, S., Gani, A., & Buyya, R. (2014). Heterogeneity in mobile cloud computing: taxonomy and open challenges. IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials, 16(1), 369-392.

Tao, F., Cheng, Y., Da Xu, L., Zhang, L., & Li, B. H. (2014). CCIoT-CMfg: cloud computing and internet of things-based cloud manufacturing service system. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, 10(2), 1435-1442.

Wei, L., Zhu, H., Cao, Z., Dong, X., Jia, W., Chen, Y., & Vasilakos, A. V. (2014). Security and privacy for storage and computation in cloud computing. Information Sciences, 258, 371-386.

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