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Cloud computing, which was once viewed by some industry leaders as a marketing buzzword as much as a definable concept, has evolved into a clear and promising vision for a new era of computing. Today, cloud computing's powerful potential both to enhance business performance and to increase technology's accessibility for consumers has caused companies to embrace it on an unprecedented scale. As defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology, 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."
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