1.     Introduction

Cloud computing is the evolution in the enterprise I.T outsourcing in which network based services or software based services are being provided outside the organizational network. Organizations having tons of data in their data centers are rightly concerned about adopting and implementing this technology. Organizations which decided to move to this technology are concerned with the changes they have to make in their existing I.T infrastructure and management involved in the network side. As while implementing this technology organizations only concerned about the applications, storage and security issues while not a worthy attention is being given to network management.

In cloud computing it is essential that organizations have to place complex infrastructure components inside or outside the organization’s boundary and that infrastructure have to be connected with internal infrastructure as well. So it makes complex enterprise scenarios for the organization as they have to communicate in a private IP network and public IP networks as well.

The notion of cloud refers to the fact that the location at which the data is stored is irrelevant as long as the data is retrievable at all times. Since enterprises no longer need to have their own dedicated servers and data banks, cloud computing is a cost effective way of handling large volumes of data. Not only cost, the IT professionals save themselves from the hassle of installing and managing hardware, and instead focus on services that matter more. (Zhang et al., 2010b)

Organizations sometimes use any external infrastructure which is being managed by some other organization. By this different organization’s relatively minimizes their efforts on managing the external network consists of complex network infrastructure and needs complete management and I.T attention. Except all this there is a strong need to attach that network with the existing network so that different services can be enabled and managed for different I.T operations. To maintain the security and reliability network managers implement and use different management techniques and protocols so that both of the networks remain in sync and can be accessed at any time.

2.     Issues related to research

There are a number of issues related to this emerging technology and management involved in keeping the infrastructure and services up to the mark and always connected. There is no doubt that by providing the cloud services organizations are enabling users to store their data on the cloud which is irrespective of the location and provide different computing services to different users as well. By this users do not have any need to set up their own infrastructure to enable them to get all these services. That’s the reason cloud computing comes in and it’s a great solution for problems like these but with every solution there comes vulnerabilities and issues and problems of different kinds. These issues are

  • Complex infrastructure management.
  • Infrastructure reliability.
  • Network management.
  • Network security and reliability.
  • Data Security.

Cloud computing requires all new and complex network instruments which collectively make a complex infrastructure. Organizations which are having their own infrastructure to the cloud, have to keep an eagle eye on the network and problems that can make network problems. For this reason every single problem of every nature needs to be addressed and resolved on high priority basis.

The reason of implementing the entire infrastructure in their supervision is reliability. As different organizations take decision to implement or host their services and software’s at the infrastructure owned by some other company. By this they can avoid maintaining the complex infrastructure, on the same time comes the reliability factor as if anything happens to the infrastructure or any problem came up then the services can be unavailable for any time. In that situation organization couldn’t do anything except waiting for the problem to be resolved. So if a company or organization has its own infrastructure then they can address the problems well and reliability factor increases.

By deploying the infrastructure for cloud, comes the problem of network management. In cloud computing users would be getting the information or data over the cloud and it is possible that same infrastructure is being used by the company to provide the same service inside the organizational network. So by that means organizations have linked up the cloud infrastructure and local network so that they can monitor and provide different data service to the users.  So it makes network management complex and difficult as managing service and data sensitive network requires complete and extra attention while planning and building the network using different protocols. Selection of different techniques and selection of communication protocols is a key element of network management.

While making or designing the network plan there comes another key element security and reliability. It is a planning level decision that how the organization can keep its network secure from the external and internal threats. That makes network management more complex as mangers have to plan the security of the network as well while selecting different techniques and protocols.

With all these building blocks the network is being eventually used to process data and information. Data and services are the key element for making all these infrastructures and networks. So its security is important and for improving the security the organizations implement different hardware components which ensure the validity of request sender and then provide access to information.

3.     Specific Research Questions

The research paper will look into to find answers to different questions that arise while looking into network management of cloud computing services.

  1. Is it safe to use the infrastructure of any other company for the cloud?
  2. How the organization would checks and ensures the reliability of the infrastructure?
  3. What kind of management is required if organization builds its own infrastructure for cloud?
  4. Specific considerations when setting up the external cloud and organizational internal network?
  5. What are the risks involved in connecting the cloud and organizational internal network?
  6. How would organization respond in case of any failure or problem in cloud infrastructure?
  7. What are the techniques organizations would use to make the data secure and unreachable in case of outside attacks?
  8. Are the network management protocols and techniques used to secure data mature enough to handle external and internal threats?
4.     Methodology

Different methodologies can be used to carry out this research. But in this case I will use the archival methodology. In this methodology we first have to consult the literature and research. Network management and infrastructure management for cloud computing are the main parts in which different issues are being resolved like security and reliability.

As there are different network management techniques and infrastructure management techniques used by different companies in different scenarios. To get the information about different situations, data centers and infrastructure management we have to study some real time implementation of the cloud infrastructure deployed at some company. We have to meet network managers as well to get an idea about the problems regarding the configuration of networks of cloud and the protocols and techniques they have employed to maintain their networks.

5.     Expected Outcomes of the project

As cloud computing is going to be widely used for providing data services and computing services to different users. The purpose of this research is to highlight the areas in the implementation of such networks that seem to be important and are the main source of problems in the cloud network implementation and maintenance. The research will provide a study of the weak areas in the implementation of networks for cloud computing services.

This would help the organizations and network managers to understand the different situations and loopholes which can make their networks down. It would help the organizations and network manager implementation or adopting a cloud network to better judge the cloud infrastructure reliability and its recovery time in case of any problem. As everything that is being discussed is about to provide data services and to store the data, so data security as well increases in case of better management decisions and planning. The research will provide the details of the loopholes in the implementation and management of these networks.

6.     Literature Review

As Zhang says that almost every user on the internet uses the cloud computing services with or without knowing that. So cloud computing is going to become the key element in the near future and as it grows the problems with the network and cloud management increases as well. By that security issue arises and different networks and network protocols would be developed and used to cope with these threats. It directly increases the responsibility of network managers and network designers as they have to keep tons of situations and data security issues in mind. Organizations also have to move to the cloud so that they can better serve the users and provide with the best services with keeping the security in mind.

The literature available for the research is mostly in the form of research papers and journal publications for the cloud computing, the network issues are discussed in protocol specific researches done. There is considerable material available in both fields.

7.     References

Alex Henthorn-Iwane (2009), Managing the “Cloud” in Cloud Computing, [Online]  Available from http://www.lovemytool.com/blog/2009/07/packet_design.html

Bovberg, J. (2012) Cloud Storage: Tame Your Fears. [Online]  Available from http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/cloud-computing2/cloud-storage-future-144097 [Accessed: August 25, 2012]

Crump, G. (2009) What is Cloud Storage? [Online] Available from http://www.storage-switzerland.com/Articles/Entries/2009/11/18_What_is_Cloud_Storage.html [Accessed: August 28, 2012]

Jack Hughes (2008),  “How will cloud computing change the network management”, [Online]  Available from http://www.openxtra.co.uk/blog/how-will-cloud-computing-change-network-management/

Jensen, M., J. Schwenk, N. Gruschka and L. L. Lacono, (2009) “On Technical Security Issues in Cloud Computing”, IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing, 109-116.

Schwartzberg, D. (2012) Cloud storage data risks and encryption. [Online] Available from http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/03/08/cloud-storage-data-risks-and-encryption/ [Accessed: August 27, 2012]

Vouk, M. A., (2002) “Cloud Computing – Issues, Research and Implementation”, International Conference on Information Technology Interfaces, 31-40.

Wang, C. (2009) Ensuring data storage security in Cloud Computing. [Online] Available from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5201385&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D5201385 [Accessed: August 27, 2012]

Yang, J. and Chen, Z. (2010). Cloud Computing Research and Security Issues. Sichuan University Chengdu, China

Zhang, S., Sh. Zhang, X Chen, and X. Huo, (2010) “Cloud Computing Research Development Trend”, 2nd International Conference on Future Networks, 93-97.

Zhnag, X. (2011). Ensure Data Security in Cloud Storage. [Online]  Available from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5948734&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D5948734. [Accessed: August 26, 2012]

Zhou, M. (2010) Security and Privacy in Cloud Computing: A Survey. [Online] Available from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5663489&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D5663489 [Accessed: August 26, 2012]