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What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is one of the latest computer industry buzz words. It joins the ranks of virtual computing, grid computing, and clustering, among others. The term cloud computing is sometimes ill-defined, which has led many IT professionals and management to make assumptions as to what cloud computing does and how their companies can best utilize it.

Cloud computing is an Internet-based computing, which uses shared resources, software and information.  Cloud computing is the separation of the hardware and the software using virtualization software such as VMware’s vSphere. In general, cloud computing means customers do not own the physical infrastructure and avoids capital expenditure by renting usage from a third-party provider. They consume resources as a service and pay only for resources that they use, usually on per minute or per hour basis. Several of the major providers with cloud offerings include Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), IBM Blue Cloud, Sun Cloud, Google App Engine, Amazon Web Services, and Force.com.

Key features of Cloud Computing