Effect of Cloud Computing (Iaas) on E-Libraries

Cloud computing technologies have presented opportunities to facilitate information sharing and resource management. They allow users to access information and applications that reside in data centers maintained as a cloud with massive scalability potential, using connected devices (Armbrust, et al., 2010). Cloud computing features include infrastructure as a service (Iaas) where the hardware and storage components are provided as a service that can be used on a pay-per-need basis (Manvi & Shyam, in press). The other feature, platform as a service (PaaS), avails the computing platform and associated software as a service, while software as a service (SaaS) models allow users to use application software hosted by the service provider over the network (Manvi & Shyam, in press). Cloud computing presents various value-adding opportunities for E-libraries, which increasingly manage enormous amounts of data and need to offer fast and easy access to such data.

At the IaaS level, cloud computing can help libraries enhance their capacity for data storage. In this respect, the libraries can pay for more resources as their demand increases (Sosa-Sosa & Hernandez-Ramirez, 2012). This helps the libraries to avoid investing in underutilized hardware or be unable to meet the cost following rapid increases in the demand for file storage. IaaS could also facilitate e-libraries to share data with other libraries thus enhancing the value they provide to their clients. In this respect, libraries sharing a common cloud can enter into agreements that allow their clients to access files that would otherwise not be accessible in locally hosted resources, for example due to system incompatibility (Gosavi & Shinde, 2012). Finally, use of cloud computing offers the libraries a way to avoid provisioning challenges that arise with overloading (Ambrust, et al., 2010). This is enabled by the extensive scalability capacity offered under cloud computing. Irrespective of these benefits, adoption of cloud computing by e-libraries requires consideration of privacy of data, pricing and level of support offered by the IaaS provider, provider’s backup and disaster-recovery guarantees, and potential outages due to off-site applications (Carson, Botter, & Krujelskis, 2013).

References

Armbrust, M., Fox, A., Griffith, R., Joseph, A. D., Katz, R., Konwinski, A., Lee, G., …Zaharia, M. (2010). A view of cloud computing. Communications of the ACM, 53(4), 50-58. doi:10.1145/1721654.1721672

Carson, P., Bottler, K., & Krujelskis, S. (2013). Going to the cloud vs. doing it in-house. Computers in Libraries, July/August, 4-10.

Gosavi, N., & Shinde, S. S. (2012). Use of cloud computing in library and information science field. International Journal of Digital Library Services, 2(3), 51-60.

Manvi, S., & Shyam, G. K. (in press). Resource management for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) in cloud computing: A survey. Journal of Network and Computer Applications. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnca.2013.10.004

Sosa-Sosa, V. J., & Hernandez-Ramirez, E. M. (2012). A file storage service on a cloud computing environment for digital libraries. Information Technology and Libraries, 31(4), 34-45. doi: 10.6017/ital.v31i4.1844

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