Digital Ecosystems and Community Clouds

Digital Ecosystems … A versatile metaphor!
IT industry, Business, Software Engineering, Networks and Information Systems
For us: Distributed Collaborative Systems.

“… will be able to use and design complex self-managed Web-based public and industrial systems, digital ecosystems, platforms, services and applications …”

Social, technological and business systems emerge to large scale, decentralised, open, heterogeneous, adaptive, loosely coupled and complex digital ecosystems that experience major computing interventions. However, the term ‘ecosystem’ cannot be justified by simply using it as a metaphor to raise ungrounded and naive analogies between the complexity of computing and biological environments. Transforming the notion of a digital ecosystem to a mature scientific paradigm requires the introduction, integration and diversity of those emergent computing properties that do match with properties found in sustainable biological ecosystems and even go beyond them.

Digital ecosystem is a distributed adaptive open socio-technical system with properties of self-organisation, scalability and sustainability inspired from natural ecosystems. For example, digital ecosystems are extending Service-Oriented Architectures with distributed evolutionary computing, allowing services to recombine and evolve over time, constantly seeking to improve their effectiveness for the users. The digital ecosystem is a pervasive ICT infrastructure with a particular architecture and framework, which exhibits some characteristics of the natural ecosystems.

It is considered a step forward of internet, which instead of dealing with packets, carry knowledge and services. For example a knowledge ecosystem is considered as a kind of digital ecosystem and it is an alternative to the traditional knowledge management approach (directive management) towards enabling self organisation and dynamic evolution of knowledge interaction between entities (interlinked knowledge resources, databases, human experts, and artificial knowledge agents) in response to changing environments.

Digital Ecosystems aim to support network-based economies reliant on next-generation ICT that will extend the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) concept with the automatic combining of available and applicable services in a scalable architecture, to meet business user requests for applications that facilitate business processes.

Digital Ecosystems aim to help local economic actors become active players in globalisation, valorising their local culture and vocations, and enabling them to interact and create value networks at the global level. Increasingly this approach, dubbed globalisation, is being considered a successful strategy of globalisation that preserves regional growth and identity, and has been embraced by the mayors and decision-makers of thousands of municipalities.

Digital Ecosystems and Community Clouds: The Cloud Ecosystems

The public cloud ecosystem has evolved around providers, users, and technologies

Cloud computing provides transformative advantages: standardised self-service offerings, rapidly provisioned services, flexible pricing and more. These advantages support a variety of business needs, such as analytics and collaborative capabilities, and the rapid development of new products and services.

As a result, moving to a cloud environment is no longer just an information technology (IT) strategy—it’s a business decision as well. Cloud is motivating business and IT to emerge from their respective silos and forge partnerships that apply new technologies in innovative ways. But converting cloud’s considerable benefits into business opportunities requires an astute understanding of your cloud ecosystem.

Just as your organisation’s business and IT functions are no longer strictly autonomous, the components of a cloud ecosystem are by definition interdependent on one another. You’ll want both business and IT stakeholders.

The social paradigms and technologies of Digital Ecosystems, including the community ownership of digital infrastructure, can remedy these concerns. So, Cloud Computing combined with the principles of Digital Ecosystems provides a compelling socio-technical conceptualisation
for sustainable distributed computing, utilising the spare resources of networked personal computers to provide the facilities of a virtual data centre to form collectively a Community Cloud.

Cloud Computing is the use of Internet-based technologies for the provision of services, originating from the cloud as a metaphor for the Internet, based on how it is depicted in computer network diagrams to abstract the complex infrastructure it conceals. It can be seen as a commercial evolution of the academia-oriented Grid Computing, succeeding where Utility Computing struggled. It is being promoted as the cutting edge of scalable web application development.

Cloud Computing can be said to represent a move from service-oriented to service driven architectures, making services explicitly dependent on other providers

We have presented a socio-technical conceptualisation for sustainable distributed computing, the Community Cloud. The Community Cloud is an alternative to Cloud Computing, created from blending its usage scenarios with the principles of Digital Ecosystems. Community Cloud Computing utilises the spare resources of networked personal computers to provide the facilities of data centres, such that the community provides the computing power for the Cloud platform they wish to use. Furthermore, we hope that the Community Cloud will encourage innovation in vendor Clouds, forming a relationship analogous to the creative tension between open source and proprietary software.

Digital ecosystems explained
Building trust in the cloud
From Metaphor towards Paradigm A Computing-Roadmap-of-Digital-Ecosystems
Slide Show for Cloud Computing in a Nutshell

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