Cloud computing refers to a service-oriented computing methodology in which computational, networking, and storage capabilities, and software services are virtualized and contracted for via Service-Level Agreements (SLAs), through well-defined interfaces that are exercised via a network connection.
Cloud computing has its origins in two separate but related technological developments that emerged in the commercial sector during the 1990s. The first is very-large-scale e-commerce as evinced by “Internet-scale” companies such as Google, eBay, and Yahoo! These companies fielded proprietary web-facing infrastructure designed to support millions of simultaneous, anonymized users via the common carrier Internet.
The second development, pioneered by the company Salesforce.com, was “Software-as-a-Service” (SaaS) – the credentialed, and for-fee access to proprietary software via programmatic web-facing Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Until that time,...