Ease of accessibility is one thing that cloud has been boasting about, ever since it came to the fore and these claims would be unfair until it launches itself on the portable handheld devices. These devices are the ones that the businessmen use while on the move. Sometimes, working on a laptop is not feasible and in such cases, smartphones come in handy. Cloud on mobile is a necessity more than a luxury as most of the people today own a mobile phone. And working on the move is essential to them and their businesses. Along with its obvious advantages it faces some challenges. These are some of them:
On a broadband the speed of the internet connection is quite constant but such is not the case on the mobile internet. The latency is a big challenge faced when we consider mobile cloud. The fluctuation in speed is due to the signal strength difference in different places and gaps in coverage. Weather also causes bandwidth fluctuation, hence affecting latency. This latency makes working on the cloud very problematic.
Battery has always been a major concern for mobile phone users. Every smartphone is charged daily. The operating system and display are the main culprits of using up the battery. Along with the use of internet, messaging, gaming and phone calls the battery usage increases. Execution in cloud can actually help this cause, as application execution burden is reduced. For this reason non-display applications should be put up on the cloud for mobile.
Mobile cloud will be accessed using different technologies. Some will use GPRS, someWCDMA and others will have some different technologies at their disposal. These differences in technology make it difficult to make the working environment homogenous. Some technologies are coming up to overcome this hurdle but it still remains a challenge big enough to trouble. To overcome this problem, an architecture has been suggested will make the network access for the user easy.
The amount of freedom provided by a network provider to a mobile user is not much. Users are not able to run applications if they are not digitally signed. Apple, RIM and every major device are locked, not giving much freedom to the user. A developer needs to obey the rules of the provider as well as has to provide some freedom to the user. This has become a major challenge.
The hardware configuration in a mobile device is much less than a full blown machine. A mobile device has 3 times less processing power than a normal desktop, battery limitation and a huge memory storage difference. This limits its capability of receiving and processing data. These limitations gave rise to WAP, as normal mobile handset could not work with HTTP. Now again the lack of resources have become a hindrance in mobile cloud computing.
So, we have seen the major challenges faced by the mobile cloud. These are not some simple security related challenges that one faces in normal cloud but are varied types of challenges that are related to the inherent working of mobile phones. These challenges will surely put pressure on mobile manufacturers to develop some new technologies that will help overcome the above mentioned problems.
It remains to be seen what changes mobile cloud will bring about in the way we work and manage our data. An important thing that one should be kept in mind is to divide the application processing between cloud and device efficiently. If this is not done correctly, the purpose of mobile cloud is defeated. So, can companies overcome the challenges and make cloud necessity for a user or would these problems continue to linger upon the developers? Only time will tell.
About the Author: Renuka Rana, Editor at Hosted QuickBooks DotNet spends considerable part of her time in writing about technology including cloud hosting, Hosted PBX and QuickBooks hosting. When not writing, she loves to dig deeper into knowing the best and the latest technology in industry.
License: Author Owned