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Virtual Machine (VM) technology is rapidly emerging as a new foundation for server resource sharing and application service delivery. Virtual machines are instantiated from images containing initial file system state and software for the machine. VM images are a convenient vehicle for delivering virtual appliances with prepackaged software components for a specific purpose or application. An image may be instantiated in a guest VM on server hardware at a server hosting provider. VCL systems are an important example, but the provider could also be a data center managed by enterprise virtual utility software (e.g., VMware or XenSource), a virtual grid site such as Globus Workspaces [Keahey et al. 2006], or an open computing utility such as Amazon's EC2.
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