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Communications of the ACM


From the EDVAC to WEBVACs

From the EDVAC to WEBVACs, illustration

Credit: GuoZhongHua

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By now everyone has heard of cloud computing and realized it is changing how traditional enterprise IT and emerging startups are building solutions for the future. Is this trend toward the cloud just a shift in the complicated economics of the hardware and software industry, or is it a fundamentally different way of thinking about computing? Having worked in the industry, I can confidently say it is both.

Most articles on cloud computing focus too much on the economic aspects of the shift and miss the fundamental changes in thinking. This article attempts to fill the gap and help a wider audience better appreciate some of the more fundamental issues related to cloud computing. Much of what is written here should not be earth shattering to those working with these systems day to day, but the article may encourage even expert practitioners to look at their day-to-day issues in a more nuanced way.


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