The Definition of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is managed, shared applications, development platforms, or computing infrastructure accessible via the internet. It provides options such as bandwidth and on-demand computing power with flexible capabilities normally purchased as a metered service.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines cloud computing as 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." NIST lists five essential characteristics: