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Although it may sound lofty, pun intended, the cloud is a term that described the internet itself as a storage and application platform. Your network--whether it is through your web servers or your home's cable router--and the internet are connected with no obvious line between the two. The cloud is also "out there" in that, you can access your cloud database with no obvious line between your local computer or device, and the internet cloud server that it accesses.
The media has been all over the term "cloud" recently, as the concept of storing data in the cloud has revolutionized the functionality of database storage. Many of us, however, are unaware of just what the excitement is about, and aren't sure why a service such as SQL Azure would benefit our particular application. Let's discuss the cloud and SQL Azure in particular.