An Exciting New Frontier: Cloud Engineering

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Cloud Computing

Cloud computing delivers a set of hardware and software computing resources over the Internet or any other network. These configurable resources include networks, servers, applications, services and storage, and are presented to users as a single on-demand service. The systematic application of multiple engineering disciplines to develop, operate and maintain cloud computing systems is called cloud engineering. This originated as a concept in 2007 but it was formally introduced in 2009. The main cloud engineering disciplines are discussed below; each of them takes commercialization, governance and standardization into consideration while designing the cloud system to provide the final business solution.

Software: Software engineering is the most fundamental discipline for cloud services; it gives users remote access to application software and databases while the application platform and complex infrastructure is managed by the cloud provider. The established design, development, integration and deployment processes of software engineering now need be applied to distributed computing.

Information: Data that was stored onsite in traditional business models is now stored on remote cloud servers and potentially distributed across data centers. The cloud system provider has to properly analyze how to take the existing data of an organization and build it into the cloud. This data needs proper integration while interfacing with other systems. The user also needs charting tools and dashboards to monitor and analyze their data.

Performance: Software engineering will take care of functional business requirements, but performance engineering is needed to meet the non-functional requirements. The network, tools and resources of the cloud service must demonstrate an optimized system performance, conform to service level agreements and ensure availability and scalability.

Security: Since cloud-based services, applications and tools are delivered over the Internet, they need to be monitored and tested to meet high security standards with robust password, network and storage policies put in place. The cloud system developed through software engineering principles is thoroughly analyzed and designed for reliability. Security aspects include preventing unauthorized access, and stability and sustainability in case of natural disasters. It also involves the secure process of migration from traditional platforms to the new cloud, in particular, interoperability and portability.

Risk: Many sectors like finance and health have strict regulatory requirements. With externally controlled infrastructure in cloud computing, the user shares accountability with the service provider. The governance, risk and compliance policies need to be updated accordingly. The organization should include the right to regularly audit the cloud provider in the contract and demand a disaster recovery plan from the cloud provider. When developing the cloud solution, they need to analyze the new shared operating business model and identify the new risks that virtualization, widespread storage or data and resource sharing bring, such as service load balancing and data latency. Identity management is necessary to control user access to applications on the cloud. Proper architectural design, thorough testing and automation are some of the risk mitigation strategies.

Web: Cloud computing uses the web or the Internet as its platform. Like any web-based system, Service-oriented architecture (SOA) and other web engineering processes needs to be kept in mind while designing and implementing the cloud-based solution.


Cloud engineering is bringing about a huge technology shift in the IT world as mode businesses are moving toward cloud computing. It offers the advantages of automatic software updates through central hosting, operational cost savings and transferred infrastructural risks to the cloud provider. Proper application of the various disciplines in cloud engineering ensures a secure, reliable cloud solution to meet any business need.

Jessie Brannen is a tech researcher that focuses on the latest developments in cloud computing. Her articles mainly appear on tech websites. Visit the link to find out more about ProfitBricks'cloud computing software company and the services they offer.

1 comment :

  1. i have studied about cloud a lot of times, but this one was better than most of the articles.


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