What exactly is cloud computing?

Question by M: What exactly is cloud computing?
Can someone explain to me in lay man’s terms what exactly is cloud computing and provide examples if it exists already? I’ve read a couple of articles and from what I understand – it is services that are hosted on different servers and provided to people on demand at a cost. Is that right? But isn’t information stored on different servers anyways? Take for example: Google- it picks up info from different sources and then displays search results linking you back to the relevant websites.
I’m curious about this new trend so someone who knows best please let me know 🙂 Also- I read that this will help with social media services- how?

Best answer:

Answer by Zarn
Well, you can read the following article: http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1721672

Or you can read this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing

In general, it is selling computing resources on demand. This isn’t really a new trend; it is closely related to grid computing. It helps with social media services in the sense that one can buy more server capacity if and when something sparks interest – i.e. getting a site slashdotted isn’t the temporary death sentence for a service which it was earlier.

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