A recent entry on the Real-Time Cloud blog from Cogent Real-Time Systems identifies nine core requirements for cloud computing to handle real-time data. Engineers, managers, and other key decision makers who need remote access to trading stations, field devices, or SCADA systems can now quickly evaluate and compare cloud computing solutions for accessing their real-time data.

Paul Maritz, President and CEO of VMware, mentioned the growing importance of real-time data for cloud computing in his keynote address last year at VMWorld. He said, “People are going to have to be able to react to information coming in, in real time. If you’re going to service the Facebook generation they way that they want to see information, you’re going to have to give them customized information in the context that they want to see it, in real time.”

“The cloud offers substantial flexibility and cost savings,” said Andrew Thomas, President of Cogent Real-Time Systems, “but working with real-time data is fundamentally different from what typically comes to mind for cloud computing. Mission-critical systems need extremely high-speed data throughput, air-tight security, and the ability to run completely independently of the cloud component when necessary. People who ignore these requirements risk losing the benefits of cloud computing, and may compromise the integrity and security of their data as well.”

The nine core requirements for real-time cloud systems focus on the essentials: high data throughput rates and low latency, keeping all firewalls closed, providing a data-centric infrastructure, implementing redundancy, and the ability to maintain synchronized copies of the data set on the source system and user system. Using these guidelines, engineers and managers responsible for evaluating real-time cloud solutions can approach their task better informed.

Nine Core Requirements of a Real Time Cloud:

1. High-speed “push” data sources.

2. Publish/subscribe data delivery.

3. Low-latency data transmission.

Reversing Client/Server Relationship to Keep Firewalls Closed
4. Reverse the client/server relationship.

Data-Centric Infrastructure
5. Data-centric, not web-centric, design.

6. Raw data access at the cloud.

7. Multiple user types.

Redundancy
8. Independent, hot-standby, redundant cloud systems.

LAN-to-LAN via the Cloud
9. LAN-to-LAN bridging and synchronization.

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