Why Mobile Cloud?
Desktop computers and traditional computing may have started a revolution in communication that was possible only in the pages of fiction but the introduction of tablets and smartphones has only accelerated the process. Welcome to the second decade of 21st century, where mobile devices are all set to reshape lives and redefine the future of enterprise mobility. As the time continues to change, we are observing the increasing demand for a real-time data-sharing medium that not only is cost-effective but also doesn’t draw any ‘don’t cross’ limit over data storage. The mobile cloud platform, which is based on a simple idea, but a far more complex system than traditional computing, is the best answer to the demand.
Excellent Benefits but Can You Count on Them?
There is no doubt that smartphones and wearable devices are the best promoters of mobile cloud. The authentic market research sources are predicting that mobile cloud technology will help generating billions for the IT market by the end of 2020. It is also the future. Yet arrival of this ‘future’ is not happening really, no matter how hard we are trying to look forward and stay optimistic. A few factors are there that should be blamed for this delay. If the leaders of cloud market really wish to achieve the projected goals, then they must find answers to these challenges and that also as early as possible.
What are the Major Challenges for Mobile Cloud Computing?
- Security: Data leakage or data breaching is one of the prime aspects that needs to be resolved at the first place. One of the best ways to solve this problem is to design and manage a cloud serve database with extreme caution. This is especially true for those serves that are used by many clients. A single flaw in the application on client may lead to data breaching or leakage of all.
- Longer Data Processing Time both at Data Center and on Device: Functions like simple web search or finding the places of nearby attractions is quite simple. However, when it comes to downloading content or application that is content rich, the process becomes quite time consuming. Apart from slow network speed, there are several other aspects that are in action here such as, signal problem, processing capacity, geographical factors etc.
- Network Speed: Network speed is a definitely a major headache for vendors, promoting mobile cloud computing. While most of the mobile devices are still reliant to HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access), the introduction of fiber technology is actually showing why most of the applications are taking longer execution time in a cloud platform.
- Problems with Battery Life in Mobile Devices: The new age mobile devices are excellent, except the battery life. In fact, moderate usage of these devices makes them attached with chargers regularly. Operations that put more pressure on the processors drains out the battery quicker. This problem can put users into tight situations, especially in a scenario where real-time data sharing is happening.
- Problems due to lower bandwidth, processing, memory and storage issues: If compared with the traditional computing devices, the mobile counterparts lack 3 times processing power, 8 time less memory space, 10 times low network bandwidth and 5 times less storage space. Clearly, such infrastructure not only extends the time for real-time data downloading and sharing but also may lead to storage crisis.
What Can Be Done to address These Issues?
In order to address these challenges comprehensively, initiatives from mobile cloud vendors and mobile device manufacturers should take a holistic form.
Here’s what vendors can do:
- Approach the security issue in three layers, namely backbone layer (physical security surveillance), infrastructure layer (constantly monitoring VMs or vendor management system in cloud) and finally application and platform layer (stressing and compacting user and key management, data encryption and integration, key management, authorization, authentication)
- Improve network latency
- Improving network bandwidth for quicker data exchange between the cloud system and mobile device
- Monitoring network conditions to keep it optimized
On the other hand, a few steps are there that mobile device makers should fulfill to complement the improvements done by cloud vendors:
- Work on better bandwidth by finding a way that will allow device broadband and regional data center complement each other
- Finding a way for bandwidth optimization (certain applications can be developed and included in the devices)
- Implementing strategic measures that will take care of energy intensive functions of the device and stop the battery from draining away every now and then
- Optimizing the process of mobile cloud application delivery and execution in a way that it connects the device and internet network well
How Realistic It Is to Expect These Issues Will Be Resolved?
It will be extremely unrealistic to expect that all these issues will be solved immediately. Yet, there is nothing wrong with keeping your expectations high. Both vendors and device manufacturers realize that cloud is the future and mobile will take the leading role in shaping the change. More importantly, they also understand how cloud can bring down the R&D cost and in turn, encourage technological and operational improvement. It is quite natural to expect that they are already aware about shortcomings of the existing system. However, it is ultimately a trial and error method till you receive the satisfactory result and there cannot be any definite answer or timeline determination.
Yet, a decade back none of us expected smartphones would not only become viral but also give us the comfort of pocketing a PC. It is very much of a reality now! You never know what may turn out before end of the next decade!
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