GEOG 865
Cloud and Server GIS

Cloud Computing Discussion: Practical Considerations and Cloud Vendors


This week's assignment is a little different, involving a bit less reading and a bit more research. I would like each of you to identify a cloud computing product and produce a short report. Please tell us:

1. Who is offering it

2. What essential cloud characteristics it exemplifies (remember NO-REM: Network availability, On-demand access, Resource pooling, Elasticity, Metered service), and

3. Which cloud service models (or mix of models) the product uses. Recall that these include Saas (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).

4. Please comment on the services' suitability for GIS use. A GIS consists of a spatial data store, spatial data analysis, and spatial visualization (or mapping).

5. Finally, see if you can apply the concepts of SLAs and measuring operations to these providers. If you can, please explain how they apply, if not, then explain why not.

You must choose a cloud computing product that no one else is doing. So, if you are concerned that someone else might be interested in the same product, please post a short note when you have picked a product that identifies it as yours ("I'm reviewing" or something similar).

If you want to comment on other people's reviews, that would be good, and would help you if you had any deficiencies in your review. However, commenting on other people's reviews is not needed for full credit (unlike in other weeks).

If you have purchased the optional textbook, the chapter "Practical considerations" from The Cloud at Your Service may help you think of some discussion points.

Here's a list of cloud products to choose from if you don't have one in mind: ArcGIS Online, Mapbox, GIS Cloud, CARTO, Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Fusion Tables, Yahoo Pipes, Heroku, CloudBees, Google AppEngine, GMail / Hotmail / Yahoo! mail (all one thing, please!), Dropbox, OpenStreetMap, GitHub, SourceForge.

Deliverables for this week's cloud discussion:

  1. Pick a cloud service and review it based on the required points above
  2. You must pick a service that no one else is reviewing.