Mobile Cloud and Big Data – Cloud Power to the Next Level
Cloud is like traveling to the Moon, Mobile Cloud with Big Data is like traveling to Mars - Ajay Budhraja
By: Ajay Budhraja
Dec. 14, 2012 02:00 PM
I worked extensively in the telecommunications area to lead large, innovative nationwide mobile application and portal rollouts that included mobile platforms, applications, databases, services and integration mechanisms. With the explosion of the Cloud and Mobile Cloud, the entire digital landscape is changing. With 4G, bandwidth and latency issues are on the path of being progressively addressed. Not just traditional computers, but mobile devices are accessing Cloud and Big Data services like never before. Smartphones and tablets are the high growth areas in mobile computing. Some tablets have been quite popular as devices and are transforming the rendering and processing of information. Mobile applications need to run efficiently on various devices such as Androids, iPhones. Mobile applications have forced the push of processing and storage from the devices to the Cloud. The key is to ensure that native application development is minimized and the Cloud handles the back end, heavy lifting functions that can be then rendered on the mobile devices as thin native clients or browsers on the devices. Cloud can handle all the key aspects of managing the data and security in a standard manner for many applications and can provide the on demand and scalability capabilities to support such applications. Cloud computing services can also provide powerful capabilities to process the data and render useful information and hence processing and the deployment time may be significantly reduced.
By leveraging HTML5 and Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms, applications can be available for phones, tablets and other devices without re-development for specific devices. Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms manage devices and networks throughout the development lifecycle. Vendors such as IBM (IBM Worklight), HP (HP Enterprise Mobility Platform), Sybase (Sybase Unwired Platform) and others offer platforms that can facilitate mobile development. Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms provide application development environments and back end services to integrate with other applications and interfaces. They also offer centralized management for administration related to information access. Many platforms and vendors now offer drag and drop capabilities to cloud services and the ability to build the mobile interfaces so that the front end, back end and connections can all be established from an integrated environment. Cloud services such as notifications, social networks, photos etc are also being integrated into the mobile development platforms.
Google, Microsoft and other vendors have been moving toward having their platforms not just to provide or connect to various Cloud services, but also as backends for mobile applications. During integration on the back end, issues related Big Data need to be addressed since Big Data requires adequate storage and distributed processing. Big Data also injects heterogeneous data types that need proper integration into the existing infrastructure. Social networks have been generating tremendous amounts of such data and the mobile cloud has to effectively handle and process such data. From an architectural perspective, there needs to be a layering of services and the mobile devices should access services that also access or aggregate other backend services such as databases and distributed systems.
There are many challenges for the Mobile Cloud with Big Data. Availability of service is a key consideration for the Mobile Cloud since the device may not be able to connect to the Cloud services due to network issues or Cloud outages. The ability to handle failures appropriately and have the proper design is important since downtimes, lost connections and latency can significantly impact customer satisfaction. It is important to have adequate monitoring for applications and cloud services to be informed when the services are down and to take necessary actions. Both availability and performance monitoring should be conducted to identify any problems. Availability monitoring tracks if the applications and services are up and running, performance monitoring looks into performance metrics such as response time for applications and services.
In addition, mobile devices are subject to security attacks that need to be addressed. Mobile attacks exploit weaknesses related to devices due to communication mechanisms and software vulnerabilities. Malicious code such as viruses and worms also need to be addressed. Cloud standards should be adopted to prevent vendor lock-in. Load balancing and recovery from failures are important considerations that need to be addressed as part of building and deploying mobile applications with the Cloud.
(This has been extracted from and is reference to Ajay Budhraja's blog)
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