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The cloud is poised to become the next computing environment for both data storage and computation due to its pay-as-one-go and provision-as-one-go models. Cloud storage is already being used to back up desktop user data, host shared scientific data, store web application data, and to serve web pages. Today's cloud stores, however, are missing an important ingredient: provenance. Provenance is metadata that describes the history of an object. The authors make the case that provenance is crucial for data stored on the cloud and identify the properties of provenance that enable its utility.
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