According to the U.S. National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) "Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models".
The five essential characteristics are: On-demand self service; Broad network access; Resource pooling; Rapid elasticity and Measured Service.
The three service models are: Software as a Service (SaaS); Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Deployment models are: the Private cloud, the Community cloud, the Public cloud and the Hybrid cloud.
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In a 2013 University of Illinois Journal of Law, Technology & Policy article, author Carol M. Celestine noted "There are unresolved questions of law surrounding cloud policing, governance, and data sovereignty that must be addressed".
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If you don't have a library card yet, here's an interesting on-line article to peak your interest - published on May 23rd, 2011 by Morgan Stanley entitled "Cloud Computing Takes Off."
What about other websites? EPIC's and Wikipedia are good places to start.
And what would Joni Mitchell say? One should look at "Both sides now" and admit that maybe "I really don't know clouds at all".
Remember when it was just these clouds we had to learn about?