The Fraunhofer Cloud Computing Alliance is a group of six Fraunhofer institutes that carry out research and industrial projects focusing on different aspects of cloud computing and related topics, such as grid computing, utility computing and service-oriented architectures. By pooling their expertise, the institutes involved are able to offer customers and research partners a central point of contact for questions relating to networking and the optimized utilization of distributed IT resources.
Cloud computing refers to an IT model that extends far beyond computing in its purest sense, i.e. the use of processing power. It essentially involves outsourcing IT services to external service providers. As well as processing power and storage capacity (infrastructure-as-a-service), this also encompasses the provision of platforms with value-added services such as security solutions and billing services and the use of software-as-a-service in many different forms.