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Cloud Computing is emerging today as a commercial infrastructure that eliminates the need for maintaining expensive computing hardware. Through the use of virtualization, clouds promise to address with the same shared set of physical resources a large user base with different needs. Thus, clouds promise to be for scientists an alternative to clusters, grids, and supercomputers. However, virtualization may induce significant performance penalties for the demanding scientific computing workloads. In this work the authors present an evaluation of the usefulness of the current cloud computing services for scientific computing.
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