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As virtual appliances become more prevalent, the authors encounter the need to stop manually adapting them to their deployment context each time they are deployed. They examine appliance contextualization needs and present architecture for secure, consistent, and dynamic contextualization, in particular for groups of appliances that must work together in a shared security context. This architecture allows for programmatic cluster creation and use, as well as mitigating potential errors and unnecessary charges during setup time. For portability across many deployment mechanisms, they introduce the concept of a standalone context broker. They describe the current implementation of the entire architecture using the Virtual Workspaces toolkit, showing real-life examples of dynamically contextualized Grid clusters.
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