The above-linked page presents the U.S. government's official definition of cloud computing, then a brief history of technological developments that led up to cloud computing, and then a brief summary of where PetiteCloud fits in.
The one common concept that binds together all the various technologies, ideas, etc. behind cloud computing (and anything related to it) is the illusion that a single host computer can be split into many smaller and (as a group) faster computers. The maintaining and enhancing of this illusion with systems built on top of it is the heart and soul of cloud computing.
PetiteCloud provides services primarily at what we call the "Cloud Foundation Layer," i.e. instance control and basic networking and storage, and is designed primarily for private small-scale mini-clouds. In contrast, the better-known open-source cloud platforms (e.g. OpenStack, CloudStack, and Eucalyptus) provide services at various layers, primarily at what we call the "scalable cluster layer," and are designed primarily for large data centers.
Because PetiteCloud specializes in the cloud foundation layer, it can also be used in conjunction with higher-layer cloud platforms to help make the latter more stable, more robust, and easier to install. We will be publishing a series of tutorials on how to do this, both with well-known higher-layer cloud platforms and with do-it-yourself higher-layer cloud platforms.
Because PetiteCloud relies heavily on generated scripts, it can also be used to generate (starter) scripts for your own 100% custom-made cloud platform.
PetiteCloud's general design priniciples are: