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Cloud computing is an emerging commercial infrastructure paradigm that promises to eliminate the need for maintaining expensive computing facilities by companies and institutes alike. Through the use of virtualization and resource time-sharing, clouds serve with a single set of physical resources a large user base with different needs. Thus, clouds have the potential to provide to their owners the benefits of an economy of scale and, at the same time, become an alternative for scientists to clusters, grids, and parallel production environments. However, the current commercial clouds have been built to support web and small database workloads, which are very different from typical scientific computing workloads.
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