Future of Cloud Computing with Fiber Optics Technology
Cloud computing is a popular term that has gained momentum since the 2000s. This concept is utilized in almost every sector of business and daily activities. Digital arts, educational data storage, IoT data storage and backup, information management, and many more activities utilize cloud computing. From personal device-based data to business-centric operational data management, most of these activities are driven by cloud computing. Cloud computing basically offers a virtual data center where all the operational data is stored and secured while allowing access to the user via web or mobile applications when needed. The concept that was first introduced in the 1960s has become a part of our daily digital data sharing and certainly, it will be a part of our future enhancement in communication and information transport technologies. Therefore, cloud computing certainly holds huge importance in today’s Internet-driven world.
However, cloud computing is also a demanding technical concept in terms of data storage space, transmission speed, and flexibility, due to its integration with the ever-growing clout of digital devices. Nowadays, this is being achieved using fiber optic devices. This paper analyzes the growing importance of fiber optics technologies in cloud computing.
An Introduction to Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is a computer system resource technology. It offers on-demand computing resources such as data storage/cloud storage, data portability, etc. It involves the delivery of computing resources like servers, database, storage, software, analytics, and many more without an infrastructure. This technology surpasses the need for an on-campus data center. The terms sum up to the storage and access of data into/from the data centers over the Internet, which are generally known as the cloud.
Initially, cloud computing was implemented in terms of time-sharing or remote-job-entry. This was initially only associated with large internet-based service vendors like IBM and DEC. Further by the 1970s the concept of fill-time-remote-data sharing popularized and further cloud computing was adopted by several IT-based organizations. From the 1970s, cloud computing paved its way to several core IT applications. In the 2000s, companies like Amazon, Google, and even NASA embraced this technology over physical on-field infrastructure to maximize their performance and reduce their dependency on legacy infrastructure.
In today's modern, digitalized world, the concept of cloud computing has been adopted in several applications like high-capacity networks, service-oriented digital architectures, remote utility control, and the list goes on. It is the technology that allows remote access to data from all over the globe, therefore, every person makes use of cloud computing in the form of G-mail, Netflix, social media, downloads from Google Play and App Store.
Owing to the globally-spread popularity of cloud computing, it is essential to know how exactly this technology works.
Fundamentals of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is a layer-based infrastructure, or it can be considered as a business model. It consists of multiple layers, which are designed according to service models offered. The following are a few popular ones.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Mobile “Backend” as a Service (MBaaS)
- Server-less Computing
- Function as a Service (FaaS)
Of these the following layers are the most important:
- Infrastructure: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a primary layer of the cloud. This layer indicates the collaboration of hardware and the network for higher scalability and virtualization. This layer enables the data storage and processing via a web-based system called a data center or cloud.
- Platform: Platform as a Service (PaaS) is the intermediate layer of the cloud that offers a tool or medium to the developer. The developer can develop or host the services on the data center or cloud using this platform layer.
- Software: Software as a Service (SaaS) is the delivering end or layer of the cloud. Via this layer, the consumer or the service beneficiary can access the services offered by the developers. This is a purely web-based layer so that it is preferably accessible to everyone. By using the software tool, the services are accessed by the user.
These three layers are implemented in a cloud computing web-based layout to offer Business Profile Outsourcing (BPO). The BPO services are offered in various forms known as service models. The following service models are utilized by the service providers and service beneficiaries under the functionality of cloud computing.
Working Principle of Cloud Computing
The working of cloud computing is quite straight. The steps followed in one complete cycle of cloud computing are as follows.
- By using an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) layer, a developer sets a web-based infrastructure or service layout. This can refer to accessing a website domain, API, etc.
- Further, the Platform as a Service (PaaS) layer is accessed when a developer utilizes a tool to host the services into the software on the consumer’s end. This step refers to encoding the digital data into the cloud so that the user can access it. It is also known as backend development.
- In the third step, by using a software tool, the user can access the data hosted by a developer in the cloud. This can refer to scrolling websites, logging in to Instagram, reading Wikipedia, etc. It is known as front-end user access.
These three steps remain consistent in the function of cloud computing, however, if MBaaS, FaaS, or server-less computing is used as a service model, the end-users’ tool to access data changes accordingly. For example: In MBaaS, mobile backend development is done, therefore, the access tool becomes a mobile application.
Since cloud computing is a purely web-based concept, these clouds or web-based data centers are often exposed to challenges such as cyber-theft, insufficient bandwidth, and transmission speed, data loss, etc. The clouds are capable of storing and processing data up to 1 Exabyte. Due to the massive amount of data storage and processing, the cloud data centers demand high bandwidth. This is why cloud computing requires compatible networking technology. Acknowledging the capabilities of optical fiber transmission, fiber optic is the most prominent networking system available currently. Therefore, fiber optic network solutions are integrated to perform cloud computing activities.
The fiber optics technology and how it merges with cloud computing is discussed ahead.
An Overview of Fiber Optics
Fiber optics technology is one of the most efficient networking and data transmission networking technology that involves data transfer via glass fibers, in the form of light waves. Unlike other networking technologies, fiber optic networks are immune to external interferences and data losses. Also, unlike copper cables, fiber optic cables do not transmit data in the form of electrical signals, therefore, issues like heat generation, electrocution, etc are eliminated in fiber optics.
The fiber optic cables are capable of long-distance transmission while offering sufficient bandwidth. The fiber optics technology merges with cloud computing in several beneficial ways. The use of fiber optics networks and their benefits are discussed further.
Role of Fiber Optic Networks in Cloud Computing
The following pointers will help you understand the role played by fiber optics in cloud computing operations.
- Nowadays, fiber optic cables are used to connect cloud servers and cloud data centers. This means the fiber optic cables act as data transmission media in the cloud computing architecture. Commonly, optical carrier 3-OC3 cables are used in cloud computing operations to transmit data with a transmission rate of 155Mbits/sec.
- Various fiber optic solutions offer effective connectivity, modularity, and scalability in cloud computing architecture. The network management is simplified in fiber optic networks due to easy data distribution, authenticated access to a cloud system, and the convenience of adding extra fibers if needed. This way, fiber optics networks can be customized according to the needs of connectivity management.
- Fiber optics networks also assure high-speed internet access. When it comes to accessing a massive amount of information from a cloud, fiber optics-based high-speed internet helps, as it assures buffer-free, and secured data transmission. The companies relying on cloud computing look for high-potential internet service providers, therefore, fiber optics LAN, WAN, or Wi-Fi is used to access data from cloud data centers.
The following are a few common fiber optic solutions employed in cloud computing architecture.
- Media Converters: Many cloud data centers still use copper cables and replacing them completely with fiber optic cables is not possible for businesses operating on a constrained budget. This is where media converters step in. They are the devices that help enhance the potential of fiber optics without ignoring legacy copper cables. These devices convert electronics signals from copper cables to optical signals of fiber optic cables for data transmission in data centers.
- Network Switches: Network switches are used for connectivity management in cloud computing over a fiber-optic network. There are managed and unmanaged network switches to choose from. Managed network switches offer authorized access to cloud computing servers or data centers. They are equipped with advanced security features, which also helps ensure the security of data.
- Fiber Optic Connectors: These are the devices that connect two or more fiber optic cables. These connectors act as fiber optic extenders and offer long-distance transmission without much attenuation or insertion losses.
- Fiber Optics Modems/ Routers: Fiber optics modems or routers act as optical transmitters and receivers. In the fiber-based Wi-Fi network, the routers are utilized.
Benefits of Fiber Optics in Cloud Computing
The following are some significant benefits of using fiber-optic networks in cloud computing. Owing to these benefits, fiber optics technology has become the backbone of cloud computing.
- Quicker Access to the Cloud: Cloud can hold a massive amount of data but it is of no use if it cannot be accessed quickly. To access the data from the cloud in fractions of a second, it is very important to have high-speed internet. By using fiber-optic networks the high-speed internet can be achieved. Therefore, a fiber-optic network helps in getting faster and uninterrupted data access from the cloud. Also, fiber optic cables support high bandwidth, which enables the transmission of bulky data like video files, and bulk-documentation.
- High Connectivity Endurance: Clouds are sensitive to natural disasters like typhoons, thunderstorms, heavy rain, etc. However, fiber optics is immune to the unpredictability of nature which helps in enabling access to the cloud during harsh weather too. Therefore, end-users gain higher connectivity endurance. According to the Pittsburg Post-gazette report, the data centers of companies like IBM, Morgan Stanley, AT&T, etc could sustain due to protective cladding of fiber optics during Hurricane Irma in Miami and Hurricane Harvey in Houston.
- Security against Cyber Intrusion: Several business owners store their sensitive business information in the cloud. Cloud computing is a web-based system, cyber intrusion remains a consistent threat. Although cloud servers and data centers are safeguarded by using techniques like firewall protection, access authentication, etc, the data is always under threat of theft during transmission. Fiber optics eliminates the issues of cyber intrusion as light waves are secured by fiber optic cables. Also, hacking fiber optic cables or devices is not easy as they require expensive equipment to cut them or alter them.
- High Level of Scalability and Customization: The fiber optics networks can be easily scaled and customized according to the changing requirements of a business. Fibers can easily be integrated or subtracted from the network, media converters, switches, and fiber extenders can be utilized for desired results from the network.
Owing to the listed benefits and compatibility of fiber optics with cloud computing, fiber optics can be considered as a potential future of cloud computing.
Cloud computing is one of the most utilized web-based concept these days. Owing to its different benefits, it can be rightly said that this technology will continue to shape our lives in the future, too. By now you may be familiar with cloud computing, its layers, and service models that are briefly discussed in this white paper. Also, you may have understood the role and benefits of using fiber optic solutions in cloud computing. However, it doesn’t end here, it is important to use the right fiber optic solutions in the data center. VERSITRON provides fiber optics solutions that have been successfully used to build robust, scalable, and performance-driven cloud architecture. To know more about VERSITRON’s fiber-optic network solutions and related products, please contact us.