Welcome to Cloud Computing For Dummies. You can't read a technology journal or blog — or even your local newspaper — without coming upon a reference to cloud computing. While there's been a lot of debate about what cloud computing is and where it's headed, no one has doubts that it is real.

In fact, we think that cloud computing, in all of its forms, is transforming the computing landscape. It will change the way we deploy technology and how we think about the economics of computing. We hope this book provides a perspective on cloud computing and starts your journey of exploration.

Cloud computing is more than a service sitting in some remote data center. It's a set of approaches that can help organizations quickly, effectively add and subtract resources in almost real time. Unlike other approaches, the cloud is as much about the business model as it is about technology. Companies clearly understand that technology is at the heart of how they operate their businesses. Business executives have long been frustrated with the complexities of getting their computing needs met quickly and cost effectively. In a sense, cloud computing has started to become mainstream because these business executives have forced the issue into the forefront.

Cloud computing isn't a quick fix. It requires a lot of thought: Which approach is most appropriate for your company? For example, companies have to decide if they want to use public (external) cloud services or if they want to have private ...

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