Cloud computing platforms can allow organizations to become more efficient and more responsive to users of both internal and external systems, yet a clear understanding is needed in order to separate the facts from the hype behind this new and rapidly expanding area. This Guide to Cloud Computing describes the landscape of cloud computing from first principles, leading the reader step-by-step through the process of building and configuring a cloud environment. The book not only considers the technologies for designing and creating cloud computing platforms, but also the business models and frameworks in real-world implementation of cloud platforms. Emphasis is placed on "learning by doing," and readers are encouraged to experiment with a range of different tools and approaches. Topics and features:Includes review questions, hands-on exercises, study activities and discussion topics throughout the textDescribes the key technologies involved in cloud computingExplores the use of cloud computing in business environmentsDemonstrates the approaches used to build cloud computing infrastructuresReviews the social, economic, and political aspects of the on-going growth in cloud computing useDiscusses legal and security concerns in cloud computingExamines techniques for the appraisal of financial investment into cloud computingIdentifies areas for further research within this rapidly-moving fieldThis easy-to-follow and highly practical textbook/guide is an invaluable resource for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students of software engineering, computer networking and related courses. The extensive worked examples will also appeal greatly to researchers, IT infrastructure technicians and application developers.