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Cloud computing, one of the emerging topic in the field of information technology, is the development of parallel computing, distributed computing and grid computing. By using the internet and central remote services it maintains the data, applications etc which offers much more efficient computing by centralizing storage, memory, processing, bandwidth and so on. It can also concentrate all computation resources and manage automatically through the software without intervene. There are several layers in present cloud computing architecture, service models, platforms, issues i.e. security, privacy, reliability, open standard etc. and types. This paper presents all about the promising cloud computing technology i.e. its architecture, advantages, platforms, issues and challenges, applications, future and research options of cloud computing. There four generations of computing such as mainframe based computing, personal computing, client server based computing and web server based computing respectively. As there are several advantages over present generation of web server based computing such as fast micro processor, huge memory, high-speed network, reliable system architecture etc. we can say that cloud computing will provide the next generation of computing services.