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February 2009, Vol. 7

Cloud computing defined: Strategies for your enterprise

Cloud computing got a big boost in credibility recently when major vendors jumped on board. But lost in the swarm of announcements are questions about what cloud computing is and what it can really do. Many data center managers envision cloud computing as the ability to pool resources, charge customers based on actual usage and tap into extra external capacity when needed. This view of cloud computing is becoming possible through a blend of technologies like virtualization, Software as a Service, and Web-based applications. But to achieve this computing nirvana, there are several questions about how clouds will work—and how companies’ technology architectures will work with cloud architectures. How can data center managers tap into cloud computing? And should they? How will cloud computing affect data centers with more than 1,000 servers? Which architectural and technological decisions affect a company’s ability to use and exploit cloud computing? These critical questions will likely arise repeatedly as data center managers ...

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