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April 2010, Vol. 1 No. 1

Cloud computing: Threat or opportunity?

Many solution providers have heard the phrase cloud computing thrown around as if it were the end-all, be-all future of information technology. But cloud computing can mean many different things to different people, and the channel is no exception. For many system integrators and VARs, cloud computing seems to be more of a threat than an opportunity. The perceived threat comes from the idea that a customer's computing resources can be converted into a virtual offering, where applications are hosted and storage is sold based upon need and capacity. What's more, that virtual offering can be located in a data center hundreds or thousands of miles away, far from the reach of the local solution provider. That creates a major dilemma for most small integrators and VARs: How can you compete with something that is not quite tangible and requires minimal up-front expense? The answer comes from demystifying the IT entity called the "cloud." To fully understand how cloud computing can affect IT buying decisions means, you have to take a ...

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