No assignee for patent application serial number 406036 has been made.
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Cloud computing environments have turned around the manner in which business organizations examine the requirements and capacity to implement their data processing needs. A cloud computing environment may include capabilities where a cloud provider hosts hardware (and related items) and provides systems and computational power as a service to a customer (e.g., business organization). When implementing data processing needs via a cloud vendor, a customer does not need to bear the cost of space, energy, and maintenance in order to acquire the required computational resources at a reasonable cost.
"The cloud provider provides images and/or image bundles to the customer. These images are essentially virtual machines that provide various applications or services to the customer. For example, a customer may require use of an application provided by a cloud vendor. However, the customer may not require a complete version of the application with all features, and may only need to use some features of the application. In such a scenario, the cloud vendor may customize the application for the customer and form an image that hosts the customized application for use by the customer, as required by the customer. Similarly, a snapshot of a database that has data for testing may be loaded onto an image and provided to a customer for use. Generally, any resource, application, or service that is supported by a cloud vendor and is provided, for example, for a limited period of time to a customer can be supported by and provided to the customer on an image. Once provided to the customer for a period of time, the image is deemed as 'leased' for that period of time.
"When the image provided to a customer is not being actively used by the customer, it is prudent to secure the image to prevent unauthorized use and to accurately bill the customer for active usage of the image. Failure to do so can result in unauthorized usage (e.g., by malware agents) and inaccurate billing of usage by the user. Conventionally, the end user in a cloud computing environment is responsible to shutdown or suspend the use of an image leased from a cloud vendor when not needed and secure its data. However, such reliance on the customer/user of the image to lock the image is a security issue, for example, when the user forgets to lock the image after active use making the unattended unlocked image prone to unauthorized use. Further, conventional systems are unable to accurately monitor and bill the user for only the time the leased image was actively used. For example, a dormant image that is not in use and has not been securely locked may be subject to inadvertent startup by a hosting server of a cloud vendor causing erroneous billing. Images may become dormant when not in use before a customer goes on a vacation or turns on another image and does not need the earlier leased image for a while. However, time between an image becoming dormant and a user's cessation of use may be significant.
"These and other drawbacks exist."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In some implementations, these and other drawbacks of existing systems are addressed, where provided is a system, method, and computer-readable storage medium having one or more computer-readable instructions thereon for providing leased images (guest virtual machines) in cloud computing environments. The method includes monitoring a usage of a leased image provided by a cloud vendor, by a client computing device. A threshold period of time associated with the usage is determined. Whether an access to the leased image should be terminated based upon an expiry of the threshold period of time or based upon a request received from the client computing device is determined. The image is locked based upon whether the access to the leased image should be terminated. An access request received for the locked image is monitored; and access to the locked image is enabled when it is determined that the access request is valid.
"Various other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will be apparent through the detailed description and the drawings attached hereto. It is also to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and not restrictive of the scope of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1 is an illustration of an example system for providing leased images in cloud computing environments, according to various implementations of the invention.
"FIG. 2 is an illustration of an image leasing system, configured to provide leased images according to various implementations of the invention.
"FIG. 3 is a flowchart depicting example operations performed by one or more components of the system, according to various implementations of the invention."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Barak, Nir; Hadar, Eitan. System and Method for Securing Leased Images in a Cloud Environment. U.S. Patent Application Serial Number 406036, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Information Technology, Information and Data Processing.
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