Cloud review: Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM and Joyent

The top five public clouds pile on the services and options, while adding unique twists

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The message from the cloud has always been simple: Surrender your cares, IT managers, and we’ll handle everything. Forget about skinning your knuckles installing servers, double-checking diesel backups, or fretting about 1,000 or 10,000 things that could go wrong. Give us a credit card number and your data. We’ll do the rest.

For the last few months, I’ve once again been living the dream, building a vast empire of computers that spanned the globe. Machines everywhere crunched my data into teeny tiny bits, then crunched the numbers even more. Private networks carried my secret scraps of info between the machines so that others could work the data and reform it into pretty graphs. Sure, my desktop is a bit old and could use more RAM, but with my browser I created a worldwide army of machines with about as much ease as the sorcerer’s apprentice in “Fantasia.”

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