"A type of computing, comparable to grid computing that relies
on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or
personal devices to handle applications. The goal of cloud
computing is to apply traditional supercomputing, or
high-performance computing power, normally used by military and
research facilities, to perform tens of trillions of computations
per second, in consumer-oriented applications such as financial
portfolios or even to deliver personalized information, or power
immersive computer games.
"To do this, cloud computing networks large groups of servers,
usually those with low-cost consumer PC technology, with
specialized connections to spread data-processing chores across
them. This shared IT infrastructure contains large pools of systems
that are linked together. Often, virtualization techniques are used
to maximize the power of cloud computing.
"The standards for connecting the computer systems and the
software needed to make cloud computing work are not fully defined
at present time, leaving many companies to define their own cloud
computing technologies. Systems offered by companies, like IBM's
'Blue Cloud' technologies for example, are based on open standards
and open source software which link together computers that are
used to to deliver Web 2.0 capabilities like mash-ups or mobile
"Cloud computing has started to obtain mass appeal in corporate
data centers as it enables the data center to operate like the
Internet works -- through the process of enabling computing
resources to be accessed and shared as virtual resources in a
secure and scalable manner."
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