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The wide availability of cloud computing offers an unprecedented opportunity to rethink how the authors construct applications. The cloud is currently mostly used to package up existing software stacks and operating systems (e.g. LAMP) for scaling out websites. They instead view the cloud as a stable hardware platform, and present a programming framework which permits applications to be constructed to run directly on top of it without intervening software layers. The prototype (dubbed Mirage) is unashamedly academic; it extends the Objective Caml language with storage extensions and a custom run-time to emit binaries that execute as a guest operating system under Xen.
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