Understanding Scientific Applications for Cloud Environments

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Distributed systems and their specific incarnations have evolved significantly over the years. Most often, these evolutionary steps have been a consequence of external technology trends, such as the significant increase in net-work/bandwidth capabilities that have occurred. It can be argued that the single most important driver for cloud computing environments is the advance in virtualization technology that has taken place. But what implications does this advance, leading to today's cloud environments, have for scientific applications? The aim of this paper is to explore how clouds can support scientific applications.