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Cloud Computing is a term coined for a recent trend toward service-oriented cluster computing. From a user's perspective, it is an attractive utility-computing paradigm based on Service-Level Agreements (SLAs), which is experiencing rapid uptake in the commercial sector. Following the lead of Amazon Web Services, a number of information technology vendors have since developed "Utility," "Cloud," or "Elastic" product and/or service offerings. Specific feature sets differ, but all cloud computing infrastructures share two common characteristics: they rely on operating system virtualization (e.g., Xen, VMWare, etc.) for functionality and/or performance isolation and they support per-user or per-application customization via a service interface (typically implemented using high-level language technologies, APIs, and web services).
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