When do we call a city
‘smart’? Investments made in human capital & technology enabling high quality
life, economic development and management of natural resources through human
engagement together comprises of a smart city. The definition of a smart city
differs from state to state and city to city depending on willingness to change
and level of development needed. Indian Government’s definition of a smart city
is “Smart City offers sustainability
in terms of economic activities and employment opportunities to a wide section
of its residents, regardless of their level of education, skills or income
level”. Under any Smart City there are certain services which needs to
be assured like water and electricity supply, solid waste management and
sanitation, public transport, safety and security, IT connectivity, smart
parking and many other basic needs which the smart city addresses.

In a smart city there
are various softwares and applications which connect, fetches and manages data
from a set of devices such as sensors and softwares that generate real time
information, intelligence and analytics which aims to transform the overall
city. It is understood that there is enormous amount of heterogeneous data generated
by the applications, but to handle such high capacity of data we need larger
silos and high compute power, thus the latest developments in smart cities is
the adoption of cloud computing.

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Smart cities needs to
make use of various Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solutions
to monitor functions in the city and also needs the capacity to manage and
process this large scale data in real time in a specific manner. The cloud
eases big data storage, integration, processing and analysis of data in certain
time frame. There are various services on cloud which smart cities can use for
their benefits in delivering the best in diverse business and technological
domains by offering internet based service delivery that encourages creation of
services which are based on domain independent service delivery platform. Cloud
computing enhances sharpness, speed and cost savings by providing on demand
access, through a network to a pool of shared computing resources which can be
quickly provisioned and scaled as needed.

We can study the
extent of cloud computing through the means of highly innovative and scalable
service platforms through which smart city services can be enabled. Smart City
deployment requires the incorporation of a distributed open source network and
decentralized cloud based platform. The tailored IoT functionalities which will
be provided by the cloud platform will permit several multi-sensor applications
to perform complex big data processing through distributed sensor networks. In
India the smart city mission consists of various plans which the government
wants to execute which differs from city to city based on the level of
improvements needed.  Rural and urban areas
in India are targeted to transform into Smart Cities with a vision to provide
ease in all day to day activities and to enhance quality of life and increase
contact between citizens and government. Promoting the use of land for various
purposes, expanding housing opportunities for all, promoting a variety of
transport options, making governance citizen friendly and cost effective and
giving an identity to a city, all these features are important for the
development of a Smart City.

Cloud computing offers
a big platform for Smart Cities and offer services which domain specific
applications require and drive all system component design and determine most
of the technical choices, ranging from smart devices to sensors to middleware
components and computing infrastructure.