Essay: Integration of Cloud and Internet of Things

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  • Integration of Cloud and Internet of Things
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Cloud Computing and Internet of Things (IOT) both of the technologies has become an integral part of our lives already. Their adoption and use are expected to grow exponentially making them an important components of future lifestyle and Internet.
In this presentation we will focus our attention on integration of the two which is also known as CloudIoT paradigm. We will be looking at a detailed analysis of the new CloudIoT paradigm which includes completely new applications, challenges and research issues starting by analyzing the basics of both cloud and Internet of Things (IOT). These challenges will then be analyzed in details to see where the main body of research in these two huge technologies are heading. We will also see some already existing platforms- both proprietary and open source.
1. Introduction
The concept of Internet of Things (IOT) is based on the concept intelligent and self-configuring nodes that are interconnected in the ways of a dynamic and global network infrastructure. It represents one of the most disruptive technologies, enabling universal and pervasive computing scenarios. On the other hand Cloud Computing has virtually infinite capabilities of storage and processing power and has partially solved most of the issues that IOT has put in front of us.Thus the integration of both of these two technologies is expected to change both current and future internet. We call it the CloudIoT paradigm.
Looking at the recent trends we have found and enormous gained popularity in the last few years on this topic and the number of papers since 2008.
This report includes a short background on both Cloud and IoT to provide with the necessary basics and the ways to tackle the integration of Cloud and IoT that will include a detailed discussion on the CloudIoT paradigm highlighting the components and the main driver of its integration. We will look the new application scenarios that will come with the adoption of the CloudIoT paradigm We will focus on research challenges that is arising from the adoption of CloudIoT.
2.Background and basic concepts
2.1 Internet of Things
The next wave in the league of computing and networks is predicted to be outside of the realm of thraditional desktop. In line with this observation Internet of Things (IOT) has rapidly gained ground in the last few years. It refers to world wide network of different kinds of objects that are uniquely addressable and is based on standard communication protocols whose point on convergence is the internet. The major reason of emergence of IoT is the pervasive presence around people of things,able to measure,infer,understand and even able to modify the environment. It is fueled by research and development in devices and communication technology and not just mobile phones but it comprises of everyday objects like food, clothing, furniture, works of art. These objects acting as sensors or actuators are able to interact with each other to reach a common goal.
The main function of IoT is its impact on everyday life of potential users. IoT has remarkable effects at both work and home where it can play a leading role in the next future. Also according to US Intelligence Council IoT is one of the six technologies with potential impact on US interests in the future. In fact, in 2011 the number of interconnected devices took over the number of people. And in 2020 the number is expected to reach 24 billion and thus IoT will be the main source for big data.
In the scenario of IoT, a major role is played by Radio Frequency Id (RFID) systems that consists os one or more readers and several tags. This helps in automatic and quick identification of the things they are attached to by giving each of them a unique digital ID. Here a reader trigger the transmission by generating an appropriate signal, quering for possible presence of objects uniquely identified by tags. RFID are generally passive and doesn’t require an onboard battery or power supply.
Wireless Sensor Networks:
It is composed of more number of sensing nodes, communicating in a wireless multi-hop fashion. Special nodes are required to gather results generated by these nodes. These may provide some very important data that are being utilized in several sectors like heathcare, disaster, environmental services, seismic sensing etc. However there are a lot of issues created while using these sensors like their range of communication, security, storage capacity etc.
While the evolution of the Internet has led to an extraordinary interconnection of people and the current trend is leading toward the interconnection of objects leading to a smart environment and thus uniquely identifying things is getting more and more difficult. Scalability, persistence and Uniqueness are the critical features to the creation of a reliable unique addressing schemas and this IPV6, with its Internet mobility features can migrate some device Identification problems and will play a huge role in the field.
2.2 Cloud
The aspects of cloud computing have been defined by the National Institute of Standard and Technologies as: ‘‘Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction’’. The emergence of Cloud had a huge impact on the IT industry. The availability of low cost unlimited resources like storage and processing where they can be leased on-demand. Many huge companies like google and amazon are giving their services over the internet and gaining both technical and economic benefits.
Types of Cloud Services :
There are different types of clouds that has been fulfilling the needs of their customers. Some of them are following:
i) Public Cloud: Its for open use by the general public.
ii) Private Cloud: It is exclusive for a single organization, typically owned, operated and managed by the owning organization itself
iii) Community Cloud: It is used by a specific group of people with shared interest and concern.
iv) Hybrid Cloud: It is composed of two or more distinct infrastructures.
Economic Advantages:
Cloud Computing is very advantageous to the business organizations and start-ups as it allows them to free themselves from investing into infrastructure (CAPEX), renting resources according to needs and only pay for what they use. It also allows to decrease operating costs (OPEX), as the service providers do not have to provision capacities according to loads at peak hours.
Technical Advantages:
With the Economic advantages Cloud Computing also guarantees technical benefits including energy efficiency, optimization of hardware and software resource flexibility, elasticity, performance, utilization etc.
3.Cloud and IoT: drivers for integration
The two technologies have seen a rapid and independent evolution. After studying each one individually we can say that IoT can benefit from virtually unlimited resources and capabilities of cloud to overcome its technological constraints. IoT can use cloud for effective solution to management and composition and exploit the data produced by them.
Most of the drivers for integration falls under three categories and they are:
i) Communication: Application and data are the two important CloudIoT drivers falling in this category. Thanks to the CloudIoT paradigm, automation can be applied to both data collection and distribution at low cost. It offers cheap and effective solution to track, connect and manage anything at anytime from anywhere around the globe by using built in apps and customized portals. The availability of high speed network connections and infrastructure we can effectively get control of things and monitor them.
ii) Storage: As IoT involves a large amount of information sources that produces a huge amount of structured and non-structured data which has three typical characteristics of big data i.e. volume, variety and velocity. But thanks to cloud now we have virtually unlimited, low-cost and on-demand storage capacity and this it is an important driver.
iii) Computation: As the IoT devices have limited energy and processing capabilities that doesn’t allow complex and onsite data processing. Cloud here offers IoT devices with virtually unlimited processing capabilities with an on-demand usage model. Thus this makes another important CloudIoT driver.
iv) Scope: With the advancing in both IoT and Cloud technologies more people and new types of information are connected ,users spread across the world and quickly enter the Internet of Everything.With the extension of Cloud and adoption of CloudIoT we can deal with a number of new, real-life scenarios, giving birth to Things as a Service paradigm.
CloudIoT has given birth to a various set of smart services and applications that can strongly affect everyday life. We will now discus various applications that has been significantly improved or is now made possible because of CloudIoT.
4.1 Healthcare
The experts believe that the adoption of CloudIoT services in the healthcare field will bring several opputunaties to medical IT and significantly improve healthcare services. Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) will help people with certain disabilities and chronic medical conditions to make their lives better.
The innovative services of cloud such as: collecting patients vital data via a network of sensors connected to devices and delivering it to the medical centres cloud for and processing, properly managing information provided by the sensors, and garunteed uninterrupted access of sharing medical data as Elecronic Healthcare Records (EHR).
4.2 Smart cities and communities
By integrating IoT to Cloud it introduces new resource management requirement that is required to optimize storage, processing and I/O resources but also sensor reading cycles, shared access to expensive location dependent IoT resources and multi-sensor query. Thus when cities share common concerns- such as the need to effectively share information between and within cities and the desire for enhanced cross border protocols the cloud allows all such problems to be solved.
4.3 Smart homes and smart metering
Cloud enables direct interaction between user and the sensors and satisfy the requirements such as internal network interconnect, intelligent remote control appliances and services that should be intellengently manageable from any device an anywhere.
4.4 Video Surveillance
Intellegent video surveillance leads to efficiently and easily manage store and process the video content generated from the video sensors, to automatically extract knowledge from the scene and notify the user. Thus it has become one of the greatest tool for several security related jobs. It can also deliver those video-streams to multiple user devices through the internet anywhere in the world.
4.5 Automotive and Smart mobility
The integration of cloud and IoT represents a promising opputunities. A new generation of vehicular data mining cloud service can be deployed to bring increased road safety, reducing road congestion, managing traffic and parking, monitoring the performance of the vehicle for recommendations to the user.
4.6 Smart Logistics
The adoption of cloud services in the logistics promotes a new service that will exponentially increase the ease of business. It allows automated management and easy flow of goods (e.g. cargos) from the point of origin to the point of consumption. Also geo tagging also allows to track goods while in transit
4.7 Environmental monitoring
The integration of Cloud and IoT can contribute to the deployment of high speed information system between the sensors and the entity incharge of monitoring wide area environments. The application are related to long term montoring of various situations like gas concentration, water level, soil humidity etc. Other important applications include intelligent detection, cultivation control, food safety, precise irrigation tree tracking etc.
With all the benefits of cloud and IoT it also imposes several challenges for each application that is currently receving attention by the researchers. The important recurring challenges posed by the CloudIoT are:
5.1 Security and privacy
When critical information move towards the cloud, concerns arise due to lack of trust in provider, knowledge about the Service Level Agreements and the knowledge about the physical location of the data because such a distributed system is exposed to a large number of possible attacks and security concerns and is a very big challenge to tackle.
5.2 Performance
All the applications that are deployed on the CloudIoT require certain performance and QoS requirements at several levels that may not be easily available. Obtaining stable acceptable network performance to reach cloud is one of the major issues that arises. Thus the real time applications are heavily impacted by the unpredictability and is susceptible to performance changes. User experience and usability also can be affected by poor QoS.
5.3 Reliability
When the applications are operated in a resource-constrained environment number of challenges such as not always reachable devices or device failure exists and thus on one hand CloudIoT helps to overcome certain challenges and on the other hand it introduces uncertainity and poses lack of reliability.
5.4 Big Data
According to estimates 50 billion devices will be networked by 2020 and a specific attention is to be given for storage, access, transportation and processing of such huge data as cloud enables to store that data for a long time and perform complex analysis on them. According to reports 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created everyday and handling such huge amount of data is a critical challenge as the overall performance of application is dependent on the management of the data.
5.5 Sensor Networks
Sensor Networks are defined as a major part of CloudIoT, offering the ability to measure, infer and understand environmental indicators from natural resources to urban environments to delicate ecologies.Even smartphones that are limited by power consumption comes with variety of sensors. Cloud provides facilities in aggregating sensor data but at the same time affects privacy and security.
6. Platforms
The design of platform is very important in the optimum use of Cloud service as it leads to develop intelligent infrastructure, enabling smart applications to benefit from cloud based frameworks.
7. Conclusion
From the above we can hereby conclude that the integration of IoT and cloud to make CloudIoT is the next big leap ahead in the internet and the applications arising from this integration open up new exciting directions for business and research.
Above we have seen the different aspects of Cloud and IoT and the keys that hold them together.
Thanks to CloudIoT in our everyday lives as now we have smart cities, better healthcare, various ways to promote business . We also see various issues like privacy, security, performance, reliability, legal aspects etc

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