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Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud computing is revolutionizing how we approach computing. Compute resource consumers can eliminate the expense inherent in acquiring, managing, and operating IT infrastructure and instead lease resources on a pay-as-you-go basis. IT infrastructure providers can exploit economies of scale to mitigate the cost of buying and operating resources and avoid the complexity required to manage multiple customer-specific environments and applications. The authors describe the context in which cloud computing arose, discuss its current strengths and shortcomings, and point to an emerging computing pattern it enables that they call sky computing.