Cloud Computing is a term that applies to applications and data storage that are delivered over the Internet, via wireless connection.
Cloud Computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool.
Mobile Cloud Computing (MCC) can be integrated with the existing cloud system without requiring any additional costly infrastructure.
What is Mobile Cloud Computing?
Mobile cloud computing (MCC) in simple terms, refers to an infrastructure where both the data storage and processing happen outside the mobile device.
Why Mobile Cloud Computing?
Mobile devices face many resource challenges like battery life, bandwidth and storage. Here comes the role of Mobile Cloud Computing technology. It provides mobile users with data storage and processing services in clouds, thereby eliminating the need to have a powerful device configuration. Such a combination of cloud computing and mobile networks bring benefits for mobile users, network operators, as well as cloud providers. All the resource-intensive computing can be performed in the cloud.
- Mobile devices are connected to the mobile networks through base stations that establish and control the connections and functional interfaces between the networks and mobile devices.
2. The requests from the mobile users and information are transmitted to the central processors that are connected to servers providing mobile network services.
3. The requests from the subscribers are delivered to a cloud through the Internet.
4. In the cloud, the requests are processed by the cloud controllers and deliver the mobile users with the corresponding cloud services.
Applications of MCC
- Mobile Commerce
M-commerce allows business models for commerce using mobile devices.
Eg: Mobile financial, mobile advertising, mobile shopping.
- Mobile Learning
M-learning combines e-learning and mobility.
Improved communication quality between teachers and students.
Enables learners to access remote learning resources.
- Mobile Healthcare
M-healthcare provides mobile users with convenient access to resources (eg. medical records).
Another application is the access to health-aware mobile devices to detect pulse-rate, blood pressure, level of alcohol etc.
Eg: Cloud Doctor
- Mobile Gaming
Can completely offload game engine requiring large computing resource to the servers in the cloud.
Offloading aids in saving energy and increases game playing time.
- Other applications
Sharing photos/videos, Smart home systems, keyword, voice and tag-based search capabilities.
- Limited Resources: The limited resources in mobile devices produces difficulties in implementing this technology. The basic limitations related to limited resources are limited computing power, limited battery and low quality display.
- Network related issues: Network related problems like Bandwidth, latency, availability and heterogeneity since all the processing in MCC is performed on the network.
- Security: The most common security issues are device security, privacy of mobile user and securing data on cloud, security threats like viruses, hacking, Trojan horses etc. The use of global positioning system (GPS) in mobile devices gives birth to the privacy issues.
- Low Bandwidth: As compared with the traditional wired networks, the radio resource for wireless networks is much scarce. A work-around would be to share the limited bandwidth among mobile users who are located in the same area (e.g., a workplace, a station, and a stadium) and involved in the same content.
- Service availability: Due to various factors like network failures, traffic congestion etc mobile users may not be able to connect to the cloud to obtain service.
Advantages of MCC
>> Extended battery lifetime
>> Remote application execution
>> Improved data storage capacity and processing power
>> Improved reliability and availability
>> MCC for Security: Protecting user privacy and data/application secrecy. The two main categories are Security for mobile users & Securing data on clouds.
Mobile cloud computing has a huge potential to become one of the mobile technology trends in the future due to the fact that it combines the advantages of both cloud computing and mobile computing. That traction will push the revenue of MCC to $5.2 billion. The applications supported by MCC including m-commerce, m-learning, and mobile healthcare have been discussed which clearly show the applicability of the MCC to a wide range of mobile services.
In the present scenario, companies must innovate and get the most from its resources to succeed in the global competitive market. Cloud computing infrastructures are next-generation platforms that can provide tremendous value to companies of any size. They can help companies achieve more efficient use of their IT hardware and software investments and pave way for an accelerated growth.