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The term “policy-based computing” refers to a software paradigm that incorporates a set of decision-making technologies into its management components in order to simplify and automate the administration of computer systems. A significant part of this simplification is achieved by allowing administrators and operators to specify management operations in terms of objectives or goals, rather than detailed instructions that need to be executed. A higher level of abstraction is thus supported, while permitting dynamic adjustment of the behavior of the running system without changing its implementation. This paper focuses on the application of the policy-based software paradigm to the automated provisioning architecture described elsewhere in this issue. We show how the use of policies can enhance utility computing services by making them more customizable and more responsive to business objectives.
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