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This is a pre-print of an article published in Journal of Grid Computing. The final authenticated version will be available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10723-018-9430-x Virtual machine (VM) images (VMIs) often share common parts of significant size as they are stored individually. Using existing de-duplication techniques for such images are non-trivial, impose serious technical challenges, and requires direct access to clouds' proprietary image storages, which is not always feasible. Wedoi:10.5281/zenodo.1164408 fatcat:snf2yc6g4rahpooocj2h432vre