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Peer-To-Peer (P2P) and cloud computing, two of the Internet trends of the last decade, hold similar promises: the (virtually) infinite availability of computing and storage resources. But there are important differences: the cloud provides highly-available resources, but at a cost; P2P resources are for free, but their availability is shaky. Several academic and commercial projects have explored the possibility of mixing the two, creating a large number of peer-assisted applications, particularly in the field of content distribution, where the cloud provides a highly-available and persistent service, while P2P resources are exploited for free whenever possible to reduce the economic cost.
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