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Cloud computing has been defined in multiple ways in both academia and industry, but it can be defined most simply as a model of service delivery and access where dynamically scalable and virtualized resources (i.e., virtual versions of servers, storage, databases, networks, applications, and services) are provided as a service over the Internet. This entry further elaborates cloud computing, then discusses its advantages, evolution, and deployment models and services.

Cloud computing (also referred to simply as “the cloud”) allows access to the Internet’s infrastructure (e.g., Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud [EC2]), platforms (e.g., Google App Engine), and software (e.g., Salesforce), which are provided by cloud providers (e.g., Amazon, Google, Microsoft), third-party service providers, and service and application providers at low cost in an on-demand fashion at any ...

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