Cloud computing is Internet-based (“cloud”) development and use of computer technology (”computing“). The cloud is a metaphor for the Internet (based on how it is depicted in computer network diagrams) and is an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it conceals. It is a style of computing in which IT-related capabilities are provided “as a service”, allowing users to access technology-enabled services from the Internet (”in the cloud”) without knowledge of, expertise with, or control over the technology infrastructure that supports them. According to a 2008 paper published by IEEE Internet Computing “Cloud Computing is a paradigm in which information is permanently stored in servers on the Internet and cached temporarily on clients that include desktops, entertainment centers, table computers, notebooks, wall computers, handhelds, sensors, monitors, etc.”
Cloud computing is a general concept that incorporates software as a service (SaaS), Web 2.0 and other recent, well-known technology trends, in which the common theme is reliance on the Internet for satisfying the computing needs of the users.
Microsoft , Google and Amazon has already launch their platform which worked base on the Cloud Computing Architecture. Microsoft Azure Platform , Google Apps Engine and Amazon Web Service are most reasonable example of Cloud Computing .
There are similarities. However, Azure supports any .NET 3.5 language (C#, VB.NET, F# and a number of others), whereas App Engine only supports Python. In addition Microsoft has already announced that eventually you will be able to run native code on Azure opening the door to almost any Language/Framework that runs in Windows (e.g. Java, PERL, PHP).
Google App Engine doesn’t provide local storage. Azure does (although it’s not shared across instances, you have to use the Azure Storage Service for that). I’m not sure what ancillary offerings Google has beside app engine, but Azure provides a number of services above and beyond the hosting service including
* SQL Data (and soon to be Reporting and Analysis) services,
* .NET Services (WF, WCF and Identity services in the cloud),
* Live Framework (too much there for words)
I’m pretty sure I’m missing something there, but it’s 2 in the morning. Basically the big deal here is that Azure has a lot to offer that GAE is lacking currently, and will have more to offer in the upcoming months. So yes it is equal to GAE…and then some.