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The definition of Cloud computing provided by the National Institute of Standard and Technologies says: ‘‘Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing re-sources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction’’ [1]).
IoT generates big amounts of data due the large amount of devices that are interconnected, but each one of these devices has resources limitations over power, memory, battery and network so there is a necessity of processing, storage, access and analyse IoT data.
These two paradigms have rapidly evolved, but even though they are completely different from one another, they complement themselves. Cloud Computing enables on demand access to a pool of expandable computing resources. Cloud computing has virtually unlimited storage and processing power, which are the main problems of IoT [2]. Through the cloud is possible to make available and manage a set of services and applications that use the “things” or the data generated by them. IoT, on other hand, extends the cloud allowing it to deal with the real world [7]. This way the cloud becomes the layer between the devices and applications, abstracting the complexity and functionalities needed to application implementation. The cloud makes possible the IoT data collection and data processing flow, eases the setup and integration of new devices, lowers the cost of complex analyses, data-driven decision making and prediction algorithms, which in turn can increase revenues and reduce risks [3].

Figure 1. Cloud Computing

IoT can benefit from all the advantages delivered by the cloud but also arises some issues like:

  • Network, although the cloud can improve and simplify IoT communications, as the evolution of the broadband technology did not follow the storage and computation evolution, it can still represent a bottleneck in some scenarios [3].
  • Security and privacy, due the “things” computation limitations and the lack of security standards for the IoT, it’s not possible to apply security measures at all the layers used, making it vulnerable to attacks or data leakage. Another point preoccupation is once all the data is in the cloud, concerns arise about the lack of trust in the service provider, the service level agreements (SLAs) and the physical location of data [3].
  • Heterogeneity, the cloud should be able to manage the different devices, operating systems, platforms and services. But as many cloud services have proprietary interfaces, integration problems can arise when users want to use multi-cloud approaches, i.e. when services depend on more than one provider in order to improve application performance and resilience. And the opposite to, became locked to a vendor [3].

Unfortunately,  even though the Cloud computing approach is a great way of processing the data generated by the “things”, it doesn’t meet all IoT’s needs.
 
References
1. P. Mell, T. Grance, The NIST definition of Cloud computing, Natl. Inst. Stand. Technol. (2009).
2. Díaz, M., Martín, C., Rubio, B.: State-of-the-art, challenges, and open issues in the integration of Internet of things and cloud computing, Journal of Network and Computer Applications 67 (2016) 99–117.
3. Botta, A., Donato, W., D., Persico, V., Pescapé, A.: Integration of Cloud computing and Internet of Things: A survey, / Future Generation Computer Systems 56 (2016) 684–700.