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Cloud Computing Ė Storm Clouds or is it Smooth Flying? by Cary Whitaker on 20/04/10

The World Wide Web has often been characterized as a cloud. Considering its nature, the ability to access information from the world over, and how ill understood the process by most Internet users is of releasing information to the internet and receiving information in return, the cloud perfectly describes the World Wide Web; a cloudy, nebulous object with hazy, permeable, and undefined borders. However, within the last few years, the cloud concept has taken on a somewhat more defined context; itís called cloud computing, and according to whom one listens to, itís the next big thing, the next technological revolution, or a vastly overrated business model.

There are many definitions of cloud computing, it pretty much all depends on how expansive or how narrow the person wants to make it. Infoworld offers 3 definitions: on the narrow side, cloud computing could be said to be virtual servers available over the internet. To the other extreme, it can be said to be anything used that is beyond the perimeter firewall of your network (Knorr and Gruman). Probably the best definition for the current concepts of cloud computing lies in-between: Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-peruse service that, in real time over the Internet, extends IT's existing capabilities. Note that while certain free services, such as document conversion, technically meet the definition, they lack the revenue stream that is driving the industry.

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