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Overlay hosting systems such as PlanetLab, and cloud computing environments such as Amazon's EC2, provide shared infrastructures within which new applications can be developed and deployed on a global scale. This paper explores how systems of this sort can be used to enable advanced network services and sophisticated applications that use those services to enhance performance and provide a high quality user experience. Specifically, the authors investigate how advanced overlay hosting environments can be used to provide network services that enable scalable virtual world applications and other large-scale distributed applications requiring consistent, real-time performance.
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