The data center is increasingly virtual. In this class, students will explore “cloud”-based services, ranging from “Software as a Service”—using internet-based software suites such as Google Docs or Salesforce.com, through platform-based systems (PaaS) such as Microsoft’s Azure environment that make it easy to focus on developing new apps or services, to complete cloud-based infrastructure (IaaS) such as Amazon’s Web Services. The class also explores how use of the cloud also changes how we “do” IT. Cloud-based services are especially well-suited to Agile development and Lean Startup thinking. This leads to new ideas such as DevOps and “continuous deployment.” In addition, use of SaaS security systems changes how we integrate systems, how we handle identity and access management (IAM), opening up new threats—and new opportunities—to keep data secure. Finally, we will look at how the cloud enables us to work with more data than ever before, “Big Data”—NoSQL databases and scalable infrastructure (e.g., Hadoop). Students will learn how to evaluate the various cloud-based services and how to communicate that evaluation to decision-makers in the organization. There will also be a hands-on practicum using Amazon Web Services (AWS) and exploring the most common features of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and how IaaS, overall, differs from older paradigms of systems management and program architecture.