Mobile Cloud Computing (MCC) is a technology that has been formulated through the integration of computing technology with of cloud and networking technologies. The resultant has highly unrestricted functionality, storage, and mobility. The beauty of this technology is its availability anywhere and anytime without regard to heterogeneous environment and platforms. It refers to an infrastructure in which the data storage as well as data processing is carried outside the mobile device. The resultant application caters to a wide range of mobile subscribers.
Mobile Cloud Computing- Challenges & Solution!
Hand-held and mobile devices have already become an integral part of our lives. We use them primarily for effective and convenient tools for communication which are not bounded by time or place. Responding to this companies like Apple, and Google have started offering various services which can be activated by downloading related applications.
These applications run on the mobile devices via wireless networks. However, there are many challenges that the users are facing with their devices such as battery life, storage, bandwidth etc. These challenges are significantly hampering the required Quality of Service (QoS).
One solution to address these challenges is the integration of cloud computing infrastructure with that of mobile computing infrastructure. The advantages offered by the cloud computing infrastructure come in the form of servers, networks, operating systems, middleware services and applications offered to the users at a low cost. The cloud computing infrastructure offer these services in an on-demand fashion, providing elasticity to the users.
Networks play an important part in the above mentioned integration. In fact, this integration would not have been possible without the services of networks. Several mobile network providers such as Vodafone, Verizon and Orange are now offering cloud computing services. Users can now have access to the applications residing on remote cloud servers through mobile browsers. This also provides the developers much more space as they can by-pass the mobile operating system restrictions.
Mobile Cloud Computing- The Architecture
In its simplest form the Mobile Cloud Computing architecture consists of mobile devices which are connected to the mobile networks via base stations. These base stations can be Base Transceiver Stations, Access Points, or Satellites. These base stations establish, and manage, the connections and functional interfaces between the networks and mobile devices.
Upon request of the user, information is transmitted to the central processors which are connected to the servers which provide mobile network services. After authentication and authorization confirmation by the mobile network operator, the request is delivered to a cloud via the Internet. There the request is processed by the cloud controllers by providing the requested cloud services. These services include web, application, and database servers.
The Advantages of Mobile Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is poised for providing an efficient and economical platform for mobile computing due to the following reasons:
- Extended battery life
- Improved data storage
- Improved processing power
- Improved reliability
Already the mobile applications are having a significant financial impact in the computing market. In 2009, it generated US$ 3.9 billion when 7 billion paid and free downloads were made from native and third party application stores. It is expected that this market will grow around US$24.4 billion by 2015.
Mobile Cloud Computing- The Applications
1- Mobile Commerce
Mobile cloud computing can make e-commerce more convenient by providing ease in transaction, expanded market and lower over heads. This will result in the growth of on-line sales.
2- Mobile Learning
The popularity of mobile learning is on the rise. More and more people are using their mobile devices as learning tool. Mobile learning has got a definitive edge over electronic learning due to the mobility factor. Mobile users can now learn whenever they desire and wherever they are. However, due to limited availability of the educational resources, this service is yet to be utilized up to its potential.
3- Mobile Healthcare
Mobile cloud computing is helping the medical field by aiding in quick diagnosis and treatment. This can result in better health monitoring of the patients. It can also result in increased accessibility to healthcare providers and better healthcare services.
4- Mobile Computing
Mobile computing is now having a profound effect on our daily lives. The impact is huge. Mobile computing has totally changed the application paradigm in terms of its development and usage. Checking e-mails, utilizing banking services, and paying bills etc. are now just a fingertip away.