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Clouds can be used to provide on-demand capacity as a utility. Although the realization of this idea can differ among various cloud providers from Google App Engine1 to Amazon EC2, the most flexible approach is the provisioning of virtualized resources as a service. These virtualization-based clouds, like Amazon EC2 or the Science Clouds which uses the Globus Virtual Workspace Service, provide a way to build a large computing infrastructure by accessing remote computational, storage and network resources. Since a cloud typically comprises a large amount of virtual and physical servers, in the order of hundreds or thousands, efficiently managing this virtual infrastructure becomes a major concern.
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