snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner delves into the ill-defined realm of 'cloud computing,' providing a deeper look at four shared services: Amazon EC2, Google App Engine, GoGrid, and AppNexus. Offering wildly divergent amounts of hand-holding at various layers in the stack, the services simplify your workload but force you into a set, 'ball-and-chain-computing' routine that you may not prefer. Sure, the services allow you to pull CPU cycles from thin air whenever you need to, but they can't solve the deepest problems that make it hard for applications to scale gracefully, Wayner writes. He describes these 'clouds' as an evolving experiment, rife with potential but 'far from clear winners over traditional shared Web hosting.' The sobering look at the trend includes a QuickTime tour of each service — EC2, App Engine, GoGrid, AppNexus (those links all .MOV)."