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Cloud computing represents a new way to deliver and use services on a shared IT infrastructure. Previously, applications and hardware were linked, and applications were resident on specifically designated hardware for compute and storage. With cloud computing, the functionality of these same software and hardware products is delivered in a more scalable fashion as services over a network. IT groups can apply the lessons of the cloud to their own IT departments, whether or not they are deploying clouds to achieve optimal results. However, in the highly connected world of virtualized applications and infrastructures, a close examination of the network is required, because simplified networks are the foundation of cloud-ready data centers.
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