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Today's cloud computing platforms are typically "Opaque": Amazon EC2 users only receive virtual units of CPU and memory, and physical details of the platform are hidden. Such opacity prevents programs from online optimizations and deployment adjustment, and is penalizing the very applications cloud computing attempts to attract: high-performance software. On the other extreme, a completely transparent design of clouds would lead to severe security and reliability concerns. In this position paper, the authors take the middle-of-the-road approach, proposing a language model for well-defined programmable interactions between the cloud platform and the client program.
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