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Cloud Computing offers an entirely new way of looking at IT infrastructure. Cloud Computing system fundamentally provide access to large pools of data and computational resources through a variety of interfaces similar in spirit to existing grid and programming system. Cloud Computing eliminates an up-front commitment by users, thereby allowing agencies to start small and increases hardware resources only when there is an increase in their needs. Moreover,cloud computing provides the ability to pay for use of computing resources in a short term basis as needed and release them as needed. In this paper we focus on architecture, types of cloud services, characteristics, advantages & disadvantages and security of cloud computing.