Feature Topic: Cloud Networking and Communications

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Natasha Simonovski

Feature Topic: Cloud Networking and Communications

Thu, 10/31/2013 - 08:47 — Natasha Simonovski

IEEE Communication Magazine published a feature topic on Cloud Computing in September of 2012. This issue is the continuation of the success of the earlier issue. Over the past few years, cloud computing has rapidly emerged as a widely accepted computing paradigm built around core concepts such as on-demand computing resources, elastic scaling, elimination of up-front capital and operational expenses, and establishing pay-as-you-go business model for computing and information technology services. With the widespread adoption of virtualization, service-oriented architectures, and utility computing there has been a significant development in the creation of cloud support structures to deliver the IT services within QoS, service level agreements, and security and privacy requirements.

While cloud data centers are dominated by the server and infrastructure costs, followed by the networking and power costs, it turns out that the networking and systems innovations are the key to the success of the cloud. The capital cost of networking gear for data centers is a significant portion of the cost of networking and is concentrated primarily in switches, routers, and load balancers. The remaining networking costs are concentrated in wide area networking such as: Peering; data center links; and Regional back haul facilities needed to reach wide area network inter-connection sites. The value of the wide area network is shared across the data centers, and costs vary with industry dynamics (e.g., with tariffs), and are sensitive to site selection. Clever design of peering and transit strategies combined with optimal placement of micro and mega data centers therefore have a role to play in reducing network costs which can be further reduced by optimizing the usage of network through better design of the services themselves, and better partitioning of their functionality. For example, with micro centers built out close to users, the latency of response can be reduced, but under the threat of substantial increases in wide area network costs. Networking has a role in data partitioning and replication, which requires better methods for design and management of traffic across the network of data centers, as well as better algorithms to map users to data centers.

This feature topic of IEEE Communication Magazine on "Cloud Computing and Networking" will address topics related to networking and communication aspects of the infrastructure which include computing centers and data centers, the cloud network, and its end-user services. The networking challenges which impact the architecture, performance, reliability, security, maintainability and the virtualization of the cloud are all important topics to be discussed within this issue and therefore the issue will seek contributions in these areas.

 

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