In today’s scenario, we are not restricted to save all of our critical information on one place (like a physical device like a floppy disk, CD or USB flash drive). Cloud Computing has changed the way in which companies store and access their data.
The Cloud is safe and secure, it helps to increase productivity. It is a cost-effective way. Companies from numerous industries switch to the Cloud for storing their data.
Now the questions arise about file access? Whether in the office or on the road, employees need the ability to securely access technology resources and company data. Then the solution comes as Mobile Cloud Computing, which is simply the use of Cloud Computing technology on a mobile device.
In this blog, we are going to discuss mobile cloud computing its features, architecture and it’s real-time applications which helps industries/ corporate or we can say business era in a summarized way.
Let’s move forward…
What is cloud computing (CC)?
Firstly we need to understand what is cloud computing (CC). Cloud computing defined as providing resources to a local client on an on-demand basis, usually by means of the internet.
The main advantage of cloud computing is reducing downtime and wasted expenditure for servers and other computer equipment. A company required to purchase the minimum amount of hardware necessary to handle the maximum points of stress on their system.
What is Mobile Cloud Computing?
Mobile cloud computing (MCC) have an additional advantage, many mobile devices have significant constraints like the desirability of smaller sizes, lower weights, longer battery life and other features.
Cloud computing for mobile devices is very appealing and potentially lucrative technology that allows devices to avoid all these constraints. It provides more resource intensive tasks to be performed on systems and the results sent to the device.
It is an infrastructure which allows, both the data storage and processing outside the mobile device. Mobile Cloud Applications puts computing power and data storage away from the mobile devices. It provides a centralized and powerful computing platforms located in clouds then provide access over the wireless connection based on a thin native client.
The mobile devices are not in need of a powerful configuration (for e.g., memory capacity and CPU speed). Since all the computing modules can be processed in the clouds.
Everything has a purpose so now the question is…
What is the purpose of mobile cloud computing?
Here is the answer. There are several purposes that emerge this technology…
General-Purpose MCC Solutions (GPMCC)
The aim of this solution is to construct general systems for utilizing the cloud and boost phone performance. A method used for this purpose:
- Augmented Execution (improve the performance of the mobile device by making virtual clone of the smartphones)
Application-Specific MCC Solutions (ASMCC)
There are different applications that are used in mobile devices (smartphones). Cloud can be leveraged through multiple proposed methods. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages and they are not mutually exclusive.
There are three methods are used to develop ASMCC, named:
- Mobile Service Clouds
- RESTful Services
- Elastic Weblets
Mobile Server Cloud Computing
Here, some mobile devices serve as a client and collection of some devices act as a server, provider of the resources. It is possible to invert that the devices act as a resource rather than a consumer. It is known as mobile server cloud computing. We consider Map-Reduce approach to this.
Architecture of Mobile Cloud Computing
Mobile devices connected to the mobile networks via base stations (like access point or satellite, base transceiver station (BTS)). This stations established and control the connections and functional interfaces between the networks and mobile devices.
Mobile user requests for the transmission of the information. The information transmitted to the central processors. These central processors connected to servers which provide mobile network services.
Mobile network operators provide services to mobile users as AAA. Here, AAA stands for Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting based on the home agent (HA) and subscriber data stored in a database and the request of a subscriber sent to the cloud through the Internet. Then the request processed by cloud controllers to provide mobile users with the corresponding cloud services from the cloud.
These services are developed with the concepts of utility virtualization, computing, and service-oriented architecture (like – web, application, and database servers).
Mobile Cloud Computing Concerns
Standard cloud computing has many issues which can cause fear in the user base. Some of these issues include concerns about privacy, data ownership, and security. Some of these concerns are especially related to mobile devices.
- Data Ownership
- Data Access and Security
It is a major concern in cloud computing because all data or we can all the information of the user stored remotely. In this scenario, companies can sell the information of the user and can share the information with the government without the user’s permission.
In mobile cloud computing, it is also a general concern. Location-specific applications and services required user’s current location access to perform the task. If a user wants to know about the nearby hospital’s information then he/she need to share his/her location. Location cloaking method works here.
Data ownership is another concern arises in mobile cloud computing. Cloud computing allows storing of purchased digital media like – audio, video, e-books remotely rather than locally. This lead a concern of true ownership of the data. There is a risk of losing access to the purchased media because of remotely storing of data.
Data Access and Security
It is also a significant concern in mobile cloud computing. If a user store all mobile data remotely (Memo, calendar, reminders etc) and want to access but particular service may have downtime. If it occurs, it locks the data into a particular service and user will not be able to access that data.
Mobile cloud computing have different advantages, are as follows:
Advantages of Mobile cloud computing:
- Provide Ease of Integration
- Dynamic Provisioning
- Improving data storage capacity and processing power
- Extending battery lifetime
- Improving reliability
This technology has many advantages so where is the use of this technology?
Let’s move forward and talk about some applications of the Mobile Cloud Computing.
Mobile Cloud Computing (MCC) Applications
A mobile cloud application is nothing but a software program. It designed to be accessible over the Internet through different types of portable computing devices.
Mobile and mobile Web apps are similar. They run on servers externally to the mobile devices and store cloud applications externally. Both accessed over the Internet with a browser. However, we can say that all cloud apps are Web apps but not all Web apps are cloud apps.
All mobile Web applications can be run in a virtual environment without being re-engineered. A cloud application will always be written to live on virtual servers in a distributed, multi-tenant architecture and store data in the cloud.
So, Let’s come to some Real-world examples of mobile Cloud solutions:
Mobile email is one of the common example of mobile Cloud Computing that most the people can connect with.
How many of you already use mobile email?
If yes, then you are utilizing a Cloud technology. Mobile email allows users to view, manage, and respond to email without accessing an office network. It provides anytime, anywhere and anyhow access.
This application utilizes the sensor equipped smartphones to collect data from many MCC applications including healthcare, social networking, and environment/ health monitoring.
The purpose of mobile cloud computing in medical applications is to minimize the limitations of traditional medical treatment. This application provides convenient access to the resources (like – patient health records) easily and efficiently.
In other words, It allows a huge amount of patient data to be stored in the cloud instantaneously. It makes easy to access data accordingly on any mobile device for remote diagnosis that helps a doctor to follow up the patient’s condition.
It enables services…
- Intelligent emergency management system
- Pervasive lifestyle incentive management
- Pervasive access to healthcare information
- Health-aware mobile devices
- Comprehensive health monitoring services
- Image viewing support
- Patient health record management system
This application of MCC achieves scalability through scalable computation and instantaneous data update on the cloud side and the screen refresh on the mobile device side.
Mobile game applications of mobile cloud computing have the potential to generate market revenues for service providers. Game engine requiring large computing resource (ex – graphics rendering) to the server in the cloud. The gamers only interact with the screen interface on their devices, there is no need to think about any resources.
Mobile Social Networking
This application allows a group of mobile users to upload audio/ video or we can say that multimedia data for real-time sharing. It provides not only storage for data, but also security to protect secrecy and integrity of data.
Location-Based Mobile Service
This location-based mobile service provides a way that helps to access the information according to the location. Here, a location trusted server take care of the same. It also, allows a user to capture a short video clip of the surrounding buildings.
Mobile cloud computing used in mobile commerce for e-banking, e-advertising, and e-shopping. It uses scalable processing power. It measures security to accommodate a high volume of traffic due to simultaneous access by the users. Mobile commerce is a business model that allows commerce using mobile devices.
The m-commerce applications perform the tasks that require mobility ( like payments and mobile transactions, mobile messaging, and mobile ticketing).
It provides sharing of multimedia information and secure view of stored information on user’ smartphone. It also provides administrative controls to manage user access rights which are necessary to ensure security that is a major concern of mobile cloud computing.
With this applications, mobile users can share photos and video clips efficiently and tag their friends in popular social networks as Twitter and Facebook etc
Cloud-based m-learning applications are introduced to solve limitations like low network transmission rate, limited educational resources and the high cost of devices. Utilizing a cloud with the large storage capacity and powerful processing ability, The applications provide learners rich amount of data (information) size, faster processing speed, and longer battery life.
Mobile learning allows a terminal to access learning materials on the cloud anytime and any place. This application introduced to solve the limitation of learning by providing e-mobile learning or we can say e-cloud learning.
Example of MCC applications in learning is ‘Cornucopia’.
Mobile Cloud Computing is a developing technology that has the potential to change the computing scenario. General-Purpose MCC Solutions (GPMCC) has the potential to make mobile devices more powerful computing devices without changing their hardware. Application-Specific MCC Solutions (ASMCC) has the potential to provide entirely new kinds of applications.
If any technology has their advantages it also has some limitations as well. Mobile cloud computing also has some limitations or issues like – Mobile communication issues, Computing issues etc. It is a widely used technology which makes work easier by allowing access anytime, anywhere and anyhow.
I hope this blog quenches your thirst for mobile cloud computing along with the usage of its applications. It is sure to change the future of business scenario.