Telegraph-A-Definition-of-Cloud-Computing by xiagong0815

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   THURSDAY 28 JULY 2011                                                                                                                              Perspective                                          5

                                                                                                                                       OPINION
                                                                                                                                       SIMON PONSFORD

                                                                                                                                       A de nition of
                                                                                                                                       cloud computing
                                                                                                                                       THE IDEA OF cloud computing
                                                                                                                                       has attracted a lot of attention
                                                                                                                                                                               “Cloud
                                                                                                                                       from academia, industry,                computing
                                                                                                                                       governments and individual              allows users in
                                                                                                                                       users, but many nd it hard to           many internet-
                                                                                                                                       de ne. Essentially, it is access
                                                                                                                                       to almost unlimited shared              connected
                                                                                                                                       computing resources that                locations to
                                                                                                                                       are available via the internet.         share computing
                                                                                                                                       Users only pay for what they
                                                                                                                                       use, similar to electricity and
                                                                                                                                                                               resources
                                                                                                                                       water utilities.                        simultaneously”
                                                                                                                                         As a senior scientist with
                                                                                                                                       Qatar Computing Research                Shared computing
                                                                                                                                       Institute with more than 20             resources: Cloud computing
                                                                                                                                       years’ experience in the IT             allows users in many internet-
                                                                                                                                       industry, I have developed the          connected locations to
Research Facility to tackle unique healthcare challenges                                                                               following breakdown to de ne            share computing resources
                                                                                                                                       exactly what this all means.            simultaneously. If only one
                                                                                                                                                                               person or business has access

Biobank Qatar unveils                                                                                                                  Cloud: The most common
                                                                                                                                       form of ‘cloud’ is the ‘public
                                                                                                                                       cloud’. This cloud is available
                                                                                                                                                                               to a bank of servers, then it is
                                                                                                                                                                               not a cloud.
                                                                                                                                                                                  One of the de ning features


research strategy plans
                                                                                                                                       to any paying customer over             of cloud computing is the
                                                                                                                                       the internet. The term, private         business model. As with a
                                                                                                                                       cloud, is used to refer to a            utility, users pay only for what
                                                                                                                                       cloud that is not publicly              they use. This means that a
AROUND 100 EXPERTS in the eld of           plify existing resources and open the              During the symposium, Biobank            accessible but has a closed             user with limited computing
medical science and some who were          way to the development of new ones.”            Qatar’s leadership urged delegates          customer base.                          needs in the present, but
simply curious about Qatar’s rst              Some of Biobank Qatar’s key re-              to spread the message that the bank           For example, the UK                   greater needs in the future,
biobank headed to the Ritz Carlton,        search areas include common diseas-             will be useful to the wider commu-          government plans to build 12            can obtain the right level of
Doha, last month to discover more          es in Qatari and GCC populations,               nity before taking questions from the       data centers and con gure               resources without spending a
about the research facility.               in particular diabetes, cardiovascular          audience.                                   them as a cloud available on            great deal of money upfront,
   The symposium, entitled ‘Intro-         diseases and cancer. Participants who              The symposium coincided with the         demand to any government                making it attractive to
ducing Biobank Qatar’, raised the          donate will be observed for several               rst meeting of the board of trustees      department. Charges to                  entrepreneurs.
pro le of the proposed biobank,            years to allow for further insights that        of Biobank Qatar, which will oversee        the respective government                  Cloud computing has
which will assist medical research by      can enhance research, diagnosis and             its scienti c strategy as well as admin-    departments utilizing the               special implications for Qatar.
storing medical data speci c to the        targeted treatments.                            istration and governance.                   computing resources are based           Its scalability and the pay-
region.                                                                                                                                upon usage. This is a private           as-you-go business model
   “This is not an archive, this is                                                                                                    cloud.                                  mean that start-up companies
something useful for this country, for                                                                                                                                         can launch their businesses
the health and welfare for the people       QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION HIGHLIGHTS                                                     Unlimited: Computing                    secure in the knowledge that
of this country,” said Dr Brian Clark,                                                                                                 requires a certain degree of            cost risks are minimal and
Managing Director of Biobank Qa-              If I donate my blood over a period of years, will I get the results of the analysis?     hardware to run applications            the computing resources are
tar. “The worst thing would be if we                                                                                                   and store data. A handheld              potentially unlimited. Qatar
have a biobank with no users.”                Yes, we intend to give you them. When you donate blood, we are also giving you           device like a mobile phone              Computing Research Institute
   Set to be based at Hamad Medical           a health check of sorts, so you will get a report on your health status. If we see       needs very little hardware              is currently working on ways
City, Biobank Qatar is being estab-           something that is a concern, we will refer you to the appropriate physician. You         to run applications for one             to make the cloud more
lished by QF and the Supreme Coun-            are giving something back to the society of Qatar.                                       person. However, if 10 people           available, secure, and energy
cil of Health, with assistance from ex-                                                                                                tried to use the same handheld          ef cient.
perts at Imperial College London.                                                                                                      device at the same time, it
                                                                                               Are my rights protected, and how?       would not work very well.
THE PROJECT, which initially aims to                                                                                                      Every device, from a mobile
create a bank of 100,000 volunteers’          We will have a very strong Research Access Committee that will determine                 phone to a rack of servers,
medical data from blood, tissue and           which research we will allow to access your samples. We have to protect your             has limited scalability. Cloud
urine samples, was announced in               rights and the rights of Qatar to ensure they are used correctly.                        computing does not have this
London last year at the Royal Society.                                                                                                 limitation because it consists
                                                                                                                                                                               COLUMNIST
It will be partially operational within                                                                                                of thousands of servers that
a year.                                                                       If I donate my tissue and decide after a year I don’t    can be available and functional         Simon Ponsford
   “Biobank Qatar is truly a natural re-                                                    want it being used, can I withdraw it?     to a customer’s needs almost            is a senior scientist at Qatar
source,” said Dr Javaid Sheikh, Dean                                                                                                   immediately.                            Computing Research Institute.
of Weill Cornell Medical College in           It is essential that we give you the opportunity to withdraw. We will have a very good
Qatar, who was a keynote speaker at           process in place to make sure we can withdraw samples and we will witness their
the event. “As a research platform, it        destruction. We will then write to you with a promise that it has been done. We can’t      WHAT DO YOU THINK?
will facilitate project-driven research.      undo any use that has taken place, if you withdraw after it has been used.               Send us your opinion at qft@qf.org.qa
As a technology platform, it will am-

								
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