Newsletter No. 387

2 No. 387, 19.11.2011 「透 过云计算技术服务使用电脑,就如用电一 般,只要接上插头,按需要『用多少、付多 少』,不用理会背后的发电原理,又不用费心技术问题。」资 讯科技服务处云计算部主管 苏伯祥 这样比喻近年兴起的 云计算服务模式。 随着网络传输日 趋快捷稳定,云 计算技术愈来愈 普及,已成为全 球科技界关注的 新焦点,亦逐渐 渗入生活层面, 家居网络服务 的广告就常出现 「云端储存」这 一名词。全球最 大网络供应商之 一的思科系统公 司,于去年12月 的一项调查指 出,受访的十三个国家逾二千名技术专业人员当中,百分之 五十二正使用或计划使用云计算服务,而在巴西、印度及中 国等正崛起国家,比率就更高。 与传统电脑系统比较,新模式有何好处?苏伯祥解释:「前 者的程式或档案往往储存于单台式电脑的硬碟或伺服器 中,各部门需要自行添置软硬件、购置储存空间、并管理各 种程式,这就有如每部门各自购置及管理发电机,供电自 用。」当估计与实际用量有偏差,便会造成浪费;若各部门 自行开发相类似的程式,又会令资源重叠。 他续称:「云计算服务却以崭新的概念,将档案、程式甚至 储存空间等,存放于用者身处空间之外的『云端』,即是以 互联网为基础的空间,让用者按需要灵活的增减取用。」 用者无须增聘专人管理其软硬件及程式;此外,可以取用 最新的科技,而价钱又比自购更低廉,也是云计算服务优 胜之处。 中文大学资讯科技服务处于两年前成立云计算部,专门提 供云计算服务予校内单位。服务分三个层面:软体服务,如 电子文件管理系统、活动登记系统等;于2010年初开始提 供的平台服务,如网站建设及寄存,应用程式寄存等;于 一年前开始的基础设施服务,包括虚拟机架设和伺服器支 援。部门可按需要与该处讨论需要什么程度的支援。 苏伯祥举例说,部门若拟成立网页,可自行建立,然后置 于资讯科技服务处的伺服器,又或采用该处的网页应用程 式,而部门只需充当管理内容的角色,将内容及图片上载, 毋须自行建立伺服器,更可减省技术管理工作,方便快捷。 不过,新技术的资讯保安问题,是业界普遍关注的课题。 不少政府机构或处理敏感资讯的部门,仍拒绝走上云端, 认为非得由自己触手可及的系统处理储存不可。专研云计 算技术的计算机科学与工程学系助理教授 李柏晴 博士表 示,云计算模式是将数据储存在不同的『云端』,一些重 要资料若储于公司以外的地方,定要确保安全,这是一大 挑战。 他现时的其中一项研究,便是尝试从理论层面建立一个系 统,让用者在删除储于云上的数据时,可以完全删除散落 于不同云端的复本。除了研究,他亦即将任教云计算概论 这于2011学年下学期新增设的科目,让学生掌握这种新模 式的特点。「这科目供主修计算机科学与工程学的高年级 学生选修,届时学系会设有云端平台,让学生实习。」 ‘C loud computing is a model that delivers IT infrastructure as simply as electricity from the socket. You don’t have to bother with the principle of electricity generation or the maintenance process. You pay only for what you use,’ Mr. So Pak-cheung Roger , head of the Cloud Computing Division of Information Technology Services Office (ITSC), drew an analogy between electricity and cloud computing. Cloud computing is the buzzword of the moment in the technology field as internet connectivity becomes increasingly speedy and stable. Terms like ‘cloud storage’ are common in advertisements of household network services, showing that the new technology has already penetrated daily life. A study by Cisco System Incorporation, a world-leading networking supplier, which involved a survey of more than 2,000 IT professionals in 13 countries, found that 52 per cent are using—or plan to use—cloud computing services in the near future. The percentages are even higher in the emerging markets of Brazil, India, and China. Talking about the advantage of cloud computing over traditional computing, Roger said, ‘In the traditional computing system, all computer applications and data files are stored in the hard disk of individual computers or servers. When new software, hardware, and extra space are needed, an office has to acquire and install them as well as to administer the applications. This is somewhat like having each office buy and manage an electric generator on its own’. If the difference between the estimated and actual usage is huge, there will be wastage. If different offices develop similar programs simultaneously, there’s an overlap of effort. He continued, ‘Cloud computing is a brand new concept in the computing operation model. It proposes to keep all data files, applications and storage somewhere outside the computer in the internet space named “cloud”. Users can use them on-demand and with much flexibility.’ According to the new model, offices will no longer need to invest in technical maintenance staff and can share new IT services at lower prices. The Cloud Computing Division of the ITSC was established two years ago, providing solutions to assist departments in automating and enhancing their administrative and office work. Three levels of services are offered: Cloud Software Service (SaaS) such as the Electronic Document Management System and the Online Event Registration System; the Cloud Platform Service (PaaS), available from early 2010, including the building and hosting of websites and applications; the Cloud Infrastructure Service (IaaS), begun a year ago, including virtual machine server hosting and server management support. University offices can contact the ITSC directly to discuss the support they need. 飞上云端的科技 A Walk in the Clouds 苏伯祥先生 Mr. So Pak-cheung Roger

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