Yingwei Wang, UPEI: Dew
helps ground cloud computing
September 18, 2015
most obvious disadvantage of putting your data in the cloud is losing
access when you have no internet connection. According to research
publishes in the International Journal of Cloud Computing, this is where
"dew" could help. Yingwei Wang of the Department of Computer Science, at
the University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Canada, describes
what he refers to as a "cloud-dew" architecture that offers an efficient
and elegant way to counteract cloud downtime and communication
In the world of cloud computing, users and organizations keep their data
in the cloud, users access the data from their computer, which means
their data is mobile and can be accessed from any computer...but only as
long as an internet connection is available. The problem with this
arrangement is that the user relies heavily on an internet connection
and the cloud servers, Wang explains. "If any problem happens with the
servers or an internet connection is not available, the user cannot
access their data," he says.
When a user has lots of complex data, the task of keeping it in sync
manually between the cloud and local computers is anything but trivial.
Wang's architecture follows the conventions of cloud architecture but in
addition to the cloud servers, there are dew servers held on the local
system that act as a buffer between the local user and the cloud servers
and avoid the problem of data becoming out of sync, which happens if one
simply reverts to the old-school approach in which data is held only on
the local server whether or not it is networked. "The dew server and its
related databases have two functions: first, it provides the client with
the same services as the cloud server provides; second, it synchronizes
dew server databases with cloud server databases," explains Wang.
dew server is a lightweight local server that retains a copy only of the
given user's data making it available with or without an internet
connecting and syncing once more with the cloud server as soon as a
connection is available once more. The same cloud-dew architecture might
also be used to make websites available offline. Such a system could
reduce the internet data overheads for an organization that has
intermittent or throttled internet connectivity. Obviously form filling
or email exchange is not possible without the internet connection but
many functions such as displaying files and images, playing audio or
video would be possible provided the data had been synced to the "dewsite"
from the web during the last connection period.