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This paper introduces a cloud broker service (STRATOS) which facilitates the deployment and runtime management of cloud application topologies using cloud elements/services sourced on the fly from multiple providers, based on requirements specified in higher level objectives. Its implementation and use is evaluated in a set of experiments. In the evolving cloud ecosystem, it is difficult to determine from which provider(s) a particular cloud resource should be acquired. At present, providers describe their offerings according to a self-defined methodology. For example, Amazon uses what they refer to as Computation Units and number of cores to express the CPU capabilities of its various compute offerings while Rack-space defines CPU as a proportion of the physical host machine.
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