COMP 6111A: Cloud Computing Systems

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GU, Lin    (Office: 3562 Tel: 2358-6991)

Class time/venue

Mon. and Wed. (12:00-13:20) / Rm 5583


  Materials for Lab 4 is available online. This lab is optional.
  Lab 3 instructions are available.
  An extra lab is scheduled: Oct. 13, HP Teaching Lab (Rm3654)

  The materials for Lab 1 is now available. The class on Sept. 19 21 and 28 will be at the HP Teaching Lab (Rm3654, lifts 31/32).

  The class will start on Sept. 5.

Course description

Decades of innovations, development, and investment have made Internet connections a commodity product -- Stable, high-bandwidth, and low-latency Internet connections are now affordably available to a large number of users in many parts of the world. It is thus viable and preferable to construct and optimize computer systems at a global scale, integrating gigantic datacenters and geographically distributed user populations. Hence, the idea behind cloud computing is to unify vastly distributed data, users, and logic to form a computing system with unprecedented performance and efficiency.

In the meantime, cloud computing also requires that we re-design many components of the computing systems, including hardware, operating systems, storage abstractions, data models, programming frameworks, development utilities, user interfaces, and software engineering practice, to deliver computation at such a large scale. Many technologies have been constructed to fulfill this mission. For example, the Windows Azure platform provides a spectrum of solutions to cloud-based storage, communication, and software development.

This seminar course studies the organization of cloud computing systems and survey research problems in this area. The class meets twice a week for a mixture of lectures and class discussions of assigned readings. In addition, labs and a course project based on Windows Azure provide opportunities for hands-on experience with solving some real-world problems.

Grading scheme

Grades will be based on class participation, presentation, reading notes, and a course project. Each student will present a few research papers, lead a class discussion, and write notes on some papers in the reading list.

The development of the course materials is supported in part by the Microsoft Research Curriculum Development Grant on Windows Core and Cloud Computing. The lab platform is supported by the teaching lab sponsored by HP Labs China. We would like to also thank Mr. Yau Lam Yiu and other system staff at the CSE department for their technical support in course work.