Date Added: Nov 2011
Cloud services such as Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud and IBM's SmartCloud are quickly changing the way organizations are dealing with IT infrastructures and are providing online services. Today, if an organization needs computing power, it can simply buy it online by instantiating a virtual server image on the cloud. Servers can be quickly launched and shut down via application programming interfaces, offering the user a greater flexibility compared to traditional server rooms. A popular approach in cloud-based services is to allow users to create and share virtual images with other users. In addition to these user-shared images, the cloud providers also often provide virtual images that have been pre-configured with popular software such as open source databases and web servers.