Learn more about the cloud: A resource guide

Information, examples, and tutorials about the cloud and computing abound on the Internet. Here are a dozen links to a few cloud-related resources that can help you get started in learning more about this new technology.


Control Engineering December 2011 cover story and related online extras cover cloud-based automation.Information, examples, and tutorials about the cloud and computing abound on the Internet. Here are a dozen links to a few cloud-related resources that can help you get started in learning more about this new technology. Connect to the related Control Engineering cloud-related articles below, and the following.

Amazon Web Services provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of businesses in 190 countries around the world. The website explains more about this cloud provider, launched in 2006, and outlines how it operates and the products and services it offers.


Cloud Industry Forum is a UK-based organization established in 2009 to champion and advocate the adoption and use of cloud-based services. Its intent is to provide transparency through certification to a code of practice for credible online cloud service providers, and to assist end users in determining the core information necessary to enable them to adopt these services.


Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) is a not-for-profit, member-driven organization formed to promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within cloud computing and provide education on the uses of cloud computing to help secure all other forms of computing. It is led by a broad coalition of industry practitioners, corporations, associations, and other key stakeholders.


The Cloud Tutorial, managed by Astrea IT services (www.astreait.com), provides a technical overview of cloud computing, including information on cloud types, vendors, and links to other articles on the cloud and related technologies.


Control Engineering, a part of CFE Media, covers the impact of cloud computing on manufacturing overall and the automation and control industry in particular. Find more by searching “cloud computing” on the Control Engineering website.


HowStuffWorks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Discovery Communications, is a well-known source of credible, unbiased, and easy-to-understand explanations of how things work, the cloud being no exception. It covers “How Cloud Computing Works,” from architectures to applications, concerns, and links to more information.


IBM is helping clients excel in cloud computing, providing secure and reliable software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solutions. Read more about how to transition to a cloud infrastructure, the IBM SmartCloud Foundation, and other cloud products and services on the website.


Learn more about Microsoft’s cloud resources on the software giant’s website. Cloud Power videos answer a variety of questions. Also included are tutorials on the company’s cloud computing products, including Windows Azure cloud platform, Windows Server Hyper-V, and Microsoft Office 365.


NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) defines the cloud as “a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimum maintenance, effort, or service provider interaction.


Salesforce.com enterprise cloud computing company helps foster collaboration and connection through the cloud. Its website offers videos and information about the cloud and about its cloud platform and the services it provides.


Search “cloud computing” on the U.S. CIO (Chief Information Officers council) website at to learn more about how the U.S. government is becoming involved in cloud computing, including the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy that is being developed.


Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, offers general background on the cloud, including discussions of its history, characteristics, architecture, various models, and such issues as standards and security.


- Compiled by Jeanine Katzel, contributing consulting editor, CFE Media, Control Engineering