There may be no bigger buzzword over the past several months than cloud computing. Nearly every software provider in the galaxy has made some sort of announcement around cloud computing. And the cloud topic has been beaten to death in the media and blogs.

But while a lot of noise has been made around the concept, very few software companies are working to create accurate - or even consistent - definitions of what cloud computing means. With different areas of IT looking at the same term, the meaning of the cloud will vary, depending on who you're talking to. At its heart, though, there are some basic tenets of cloud computing that we can all agree upon.

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