Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user. Large clouds often have functions distributed over multiple locations, each location being a data center. 

Amazon created subsidiary Amazon Web Services (AWS) with the goal to “enable developers to build innovative and entrepreneurial applications on their own.” In March 2006 Amazon introduced its Simple Storage Service (S3), followed by Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) in August of the same year. These products pioneered the usage of server virtualization to deliver IaaS at a cheaper and on-demand pricing basis.

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