I am trying to categorise subfields of computer science. Wikipedia does a good job of it.

However, it cannot fit cloud computing, virtual machines, containers and related technologies in any of the mentioned fields.

Does it fit under computer architecture or do we need a new sub-field?

I know categorising topics under subfields might not seem that useful but it really helps me put things into perspective.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you want to build cloud computing farms, or do you want to use a cloud platform? $\endgroup$ – Raphael Sep 5 '17 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ Why do you think cloud computing is a scientific discipline? What are the scientific questions you have identified? Maybe it's easier to decide where each question fits; they may each relate to different areas. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Sep 5 '17 at 16:17

According to the ACM classification, cloud computing belongs to:

  • Distributed architectures, under Architectures, under Computer systems organization.
  • Network services, under Networks.
  • Distributed systems organizing principles, under Software system structures, under Software organization and properties, under Software and its engineering.
  • Storage architectures, under Information storage systems, under information systems (as Cloud based storage).

So cloud computing is at the intersection of Computer architecture, Networking, Software engineering, and Information systems.

Cloud computing could also be considered its own area, since it has a dedicated conference, SoCC.

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Distributed computing is pretty closely related. It studies sytems comprised of networked computers.

A lot of what you count as cloud computing I wouldn't necessarily put under the label "computer science", since it's in large parts engineering. E.g. the different methods of fooling programs running on the same physical machine believe that they're actually on their own machine and talk to the rest of the world via a network. But as usual with there are no hard cutoffs between science and engineering.

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