- Clouds allow the separation of a software environment from a physical computer (virtualization), enabling multiple operating systems (OS) to run on one computer.
- Clouds also reduce management costs, freeing up budgets for additional computing resources and taking up less hardware resources, thus being greener for the environment.
- Cloud computing could help to overcome conflicting software requirements. For example, researchers in the field of bioinformatics (the application of computer science to molecular biology) use many software packages to analyze data. It is not always easy to find grid resources with appropriate operating systems, memory or processor capacity. All this information could be packaged into a virtual machine and used on any grid infrastructure.
The video below gives a good introduction on how to get going on clouds. Its emphasis is on StratusLab, but the ideas are broadly applicable.