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Unit information: Cloud Computing in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Cloud Computing
Unit code COMSM0010
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Dave Cliff
Open unit status Not open

Knowledge of programming in the open-source/free language "Python" is assumed, but a student with prior competence in a language such as C or Java should have no trouble quickly converting to Python.



School/department Department of Computer Science
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

This unit aims to give a comprehensive overview of elastically scalable and remotely-accessed "cloud" computing services such as those offered by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, and associated technologies. The unit commences with discussion of the economics that are driving the rapid development and adoption of cloud computing in a variety of industries; it then explores the provisioning of cloud services moving from infrastructure as a service (IaaS), through platform as a service (PaaS), to software as a service (SaaS). The unit closes with discussion of current research issues.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit students will:

(1) Understand the economic factors and economies of scale that have driven the development of cloud computing;

(2) Be able to explain key issues in designing and managing warehouse-scale data-centers;

(3) Compare the cloud computing services offered by major providers such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, and have direct experience of initiating, running and managing, and closing remotely accessed computational resources via X-as-a-Service access models;

(4) Understand and practice cloud database programming under the "NoSQL" approach, with reference to MongoDB, Apache Cassandra, and/or CouchDB;

(5) Be familiar with at least one case-study of a contemporary successful company whose business model is dependent on cloud services;

(6) Describe methods by which cloud computing can be used for high-performance applications; and

(7) Discuss current research issues in cloud computing.

Teaching Information

20 Lectures each of 50 mins.

Assessment Information

50% Exam. 50% Coursework (programming project)

Reading and References

L. Barrosso & U. Hoelze (2009) "The Data-Center as a Computer: An Introduction to the Design of Warehouse-Scale Machines" Morgan & Claypool.

N. Carr (2009) "The Big Switch: Rewiring the World from Edison to Google" W. W. Norton & Co.

J. Vliet & F. Paganelli (2011) "Programming AWS" O'Reilly

J. Weinman (2012) "Cloudonomics" John Wiley.