Cloud computing continues to emerge as a subject of substantial industrial and academic interest. Although the meaning and scope of cloud computing continues to be debated, the current tion of clouds blurs the distinctions between grid services, web services, and data centers, among other areas. Clouds also bring considerations of lowering the cost for relatively bursty applications to the fore. Cloud Computing: Principles, Systems and Applications is an essential reference/guide that provides thorough and timely examination of the services, interfaces and types of applications that can be executed on cloud-based systems. The book identifies and highlights state-of-the-art techniques and methods for designing cloud systems, presents mechanisms and schemes for linking clouds to ecomic activities, and offers balanced coverage of all related techlogies that collectively contribute towards the realization of cloud computing. With an emphasis on the conceptual and systemic links between cloud computing and other distributed computing approaches, this text also addresses the practical importance of efficiency, scalability, robustness and security as the four cornerstones of quality of service. Topics and features: explores the relationship of cloud computing to other distributed computing paradigms, namely peer-to-peer, grids, high performance computing and web services; presents the principles, techniques, protocols and algorithms that can be adapted from other distributed computing paradigms to the development of successful clouds; includes a Foreword by Professor Mark Baker of the University of Reading, UK; examines current cloud-practical applications and highlights early deployment experiences; elaborates the ecomic schemes needed for clouds to become viable business models. This book will serve as a comprehensive reference for researchers and students engaged in cloud computing. Professional system architects, technical managers, and IT consultants will also find this unique text a practical guide to the application and delivery of commercial cloud services. Prof. Nick Antopoulos is Head of the School of Computing, University of Derby, UK. Dr. Lee Gillam is a Lecturer in the Department of Computing at the University of Surrey, UK.