Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Jason Bloomberg, Greg Smith, Shelly Palmer, Fiona McNeill, Ian Khan

Related Topics: Cloud Expo

Cloud Expo: Blog Feed Post

Cloud Computing Goes Back to College

My oldest son was writing papers on cloud computing years ago in college, before “cloud” was a marketing term

The University of Washington adds a cloud computing certificate program to its curriculum

uw_logo

It’s not unusual to find cloud computing in a college environment. My oldest son was writing papers on cloud computing years ago in college, before “cloud” was a marketing term thrown about by any and everyone pushing imagesolutions and products hosted on the Internet. But what isn’t often seen is a focus on cloud computing on its own; as its own “area of study” within the larger context of computer science. That could be because when you get down to it, cloud computing is merely an amalgamation of computer science topics and is more about applying processes and technology to modern data center problems than it is a specific technology itself. But it is a topic of interest, and it is a complex subject (from the perspective of someone building out a cloud or even architecting solutions that take advantage of the cloud) so a program of study may in fact be appropriate to provide a firmer foundation in the concepts and technologies underpinning the nebulous “cloud” umbrella.

The University of Washington recently announced the addition of a cloud computing certificate program to its curriculum. This three-course program of study is intended to explore cloud computing across a broad spectrum of concerns, from IaaS to PaaS to SaaS, with what appears to be a focus on IaaS in later courses. The courses and instructors are approved by the UW Department of Computer Science, and are designed for college-level and career professionals. They are non-credit courses that will set you back approximately $859 per course. Those of us not in close proximity may want to explore the online option, if you’re interested in such a certificate to hang upon your wall. This is one of the first certificates available, so it will be interesting to see whether it’s something the market is seeking or whether it’s just a novelty.

In general, the winter course appears to really get into the meat and serves up a filling course. While I’m not dismissing the first course offered in the fall, it does appear light on the computer science and heavy on the market which, in general, seems more appropriate for an MBA-style program than one tied to computer science. The spring selection looks fascinating – but may be crossing too many IT concerns at one time. There’s very few folks who are as comfortable on a switch command line that are also able to deal with the programmatic intricacies of data-related topics like Hadoop, HIVE, MapReduce and NoSQL. My guess is that the network and storage network topics will be a light touch given the requirement for programming experience and the implicit focus on developer-related topics. The focus on databases and lack of a topic specifically addressing scalability models of applications is also interesting, though given the inherent difficulties and limitations on scaling “big data” in general, it may be necessary to focus more on the data tier and less on the application tiers.

Of course I’m also delighted beyond words to see the load testing component in the winter session, as it cannot be stressed enough that load testing is an imperative when building any highly scalable system and it’s rarely a topic discussed in computer science degree programs.

The program is broken down into a trimester style course of study, with offerings in the fall, winter and spring.

Fall: Introduction to Cloud Computing

  • Overview of cloud (IaaS/PaaS/Saas, major vendors, market overview)
  • Cloud Misconceptions
  • Cloud Economics
  • Fundamentals of distributed systems
  • Data center design
  • Cloud at startup
  • Cloud in the Enterprise
  • Future Trends

Winter: Cloud Computing in Action

  • Basic Cloud Application Building
  • Instances
  • Flexible persistent storage (aka EBS)
  • Hosted SQL
  • Load testing
  • Operations (Monitoring, version control, deployment, backup)
  • Small Scaling
  • Autoscaling
  • Continued Operations
  • Advanced Topics ( Query optimization, NoSQL solutions, memory caching, fault tolerance, disaster recovery)

Spring: Scalable and Data-Intensive Computing in the Cloud

  • Components of scalable computing
  • Cloud building topics (VLAN, NAS, SAN, Network switches, VMotion)
  • Consistency models for large-scale distributed systems
  • MapReduce/Big Data/NoSQL Systems
  • Programming Big Data (Hadoop, HIVE, Pig, etc)
  • Database-as-a- Service (SQL Azure, RDS, Database.com)

Apposite to the view that cloud computing is a computer science related topic, not necessarily a business-focused technology, are the requirements for the course: programming experience, a fundamental understanding of protocols and networking, and the ability to remotely connect to Linux instances via SSH are expected to be among the skill set of applicants. The requirement for programming experience is an interesting one, as it seems to assume the intended users are or will be developers, not operators. The question becomes is scripting as is often leveraged by operators and admins to manage infrastructure considered “programming experience?” Looking deeper into the courses it later appears to focus on operations and networking, diving into NAS, SAN, VLAN and switching concerns; a focus in IT which is unusual for developers.

That’s interesting because in general computer science as a field of study tends to be highly focused on system design and programming, with some degree programs across the country offering more tightly focused areas of expertise in security or networking. But primarily “computer science” degrees focus more on programmatic concerns and less on protocols, networking and storage. Cloud computing, however, appears poised to change that – with developers needing more operational and networking fu and vice-versa. A focus of devops has been on adopting programmatic methodologies such as agile and applying them to operations as a means to create repeatable deployment patterns within production environments. Thus, a broad overview of all the relevant technologies required for “cloud computing” seems appropriate, though it remains to be seen whether such an approach will provide the fundamentals really necessary for its attendees to successfully take advantage of cloud computing in the Real World™.

Regardless, it’s a step forward for cloud computing to be recognized as valuable enough to warrant a year of study, let alone a certificate, and it will be interesting to hear what students of the course think of it after earning a certificate.

You can learn more about the certificate program at the University of Washington’s web site.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Cloud Expo Breaking News
As more applications and services move "to the cloud" (public or on-premise) cloud environments are increasingly adopting and building out traditional enterprise features. This in turn is enabling and encouraging cloud adoption from enterprise users. In many ways the definition is blurring as features like continuous operation, geo-distribution or on-demand capacity become the norm. NuoDB is involved in both building enterprise software and using enterprise cloud capabilities. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO at NuoDB, Inc., will discuss the experiences from building, deploying and using enterprise services and suggest some ways to approach moving enterprise applications into a cloud model.
Until recently, many organizations required specialized departments to perform mapping and geospatial analysis, and they used Esri on-premise solutions for that work. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dave Peters, author of the Esri Press book Building a GIS, System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers, will discuss how Esri has successfully included the cloud as a fully integrated SaaS expansion of the ArcGIS mapping platform. Organizations that have incorporated Esri cloud-based applications and content within their business models are reaping huge benefits by directly leveraging cloud-based mapping and analysis capabilities within their existing enterprise investments. The ArcGIS mapping platform includes cloud-based content management and information resources to more widely, efficiently, and affordably deliver real-time actionable information and analysis capabilities to your organization.
In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Hinkle, Senior Director, Open Source Solutions at Citrix Systems Inc., will provide overview of the open source software that can be used to deploy and manage a cloud computing environment. He will include information on storage, networking(e.g., OpenDaylight) and compute virtualization (Xen, KVM, LXC) and the orchestration(Apache CloudStack, OpenStack) of the three to build their own cloud services. Speaker Bio: Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Source Solutions, at Citrix Systems Inc. He joined Citrix as a result of their July 2011 acquisition of Cloud.com where he was their Vice President of Community. He is currently responsible for Citrix open source efforts around the open source cloud computing platform, Apache CloudStack and the Xen Hypervisor. Previously he was the VP of Community at Zenoss Inc., a producer of the open source application, server, and network management software, where he grew the Zenoss Core project to over 10...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mac Devine, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, will discuss bringing these three elements together via Systems of Discover.
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Derek Tumulak, Vice President of Product Management at Vormetric, will discuss how to address data security in cloud and Big Data environments so that your organization isn’t next week’s data breach headline.
The cloud is everywhere and growing, and with it SaaS has become an accepted means for software delivery. SaaS is more than just a technology, it is a thriving business model estimated to be worth around $53 billion dollars by 2015, according to IDC. The question is – how do you build and scale a profitable SaaS business model? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jason Cumberland, Vice President, SaaS Solutions at Dimension Data, will give the audience an understanding of common mistakes businesses make when transitioning to SaaS; how to avoid them; and how to build a profitable and scalable SaaS business.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia, the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between personal and professional social, mobile and cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dramatically improve productivity, reduce collaboration costs, and increase the overall enterprise value by bringing collaboration and infrastructure solutions to the cloud.
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, war stories, case studies, and recommendations.
Enterprises require the performance, agility and on-demand access of the public cloud, and the management, security and compatibility of the private cloud. The solution? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Simone Brunozzi, VP and Chief Technologist(global role) for VMware, will explore how to unlock the power of the hybrid cloud and the steps to get there. He'll discuss the challenges that conventional approaches to both public and private cloud computing, and outline the tough decisions that must be made to accelerate the journey to the hybrid cloud. As part of the transition, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service model will enable enterprise IT to build services beyond their data center while owning what gets moved, when to move it, and for how long. IT can then move forward on what matters most to the organization that it supports – availability, agility and efficiency.
Every healthy ecosystem is diverse. This is especially true in cloud ecosystems, where portability and interoperability are more important than old enterprise models of proprietary ownership. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Baker, Server Product Manager at Canonical/Ubuntu, will discuss how single vendors used to take the lead in creating and delivering technology, but in a cloud economy, where users want tools of their preference, when and where they need them, it makes no sense.
The 15th International Cloud Expo has just expanded its conference program, to bring together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC at one location. Cloud Expo is the single show where delegates and technology vendors can meet to experience and discuss the entire world of the cloud. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to learn about the latest technology developments and solutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare Corporation, a leading enabler of smart connected systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Bsquare is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success.
SYS-CON Events announced today that NuoDB, Inc., the leader in webscale distributed database technology, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NuoDB was launched in 2010 by industry-renowned database architect Jim Starkey and accomplished software CEO Barry Morris to deliver a webscale distributed database management system that is specifically designed for the cloud and the modern datacenter.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudian, Inc., the leading provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudian is a Foster City, Calif.-based software company specializing in cloud storage. Cloudian HyperStore® is an S3-compatible cloud object storage platform that enables service providers and enterprises to build reliable, affordable and scalable hybrid cloud storage solutions. Cloudian actively partners with leading cloud computing environments including Amazon Web Services, Citrix Cloud Platform, Apache CloudStack, OpenStack and the vast ecosystem of S3 compatible tools and applications. Cloudian's customers include Vodafone, Nextel, NTT, Nifty, and LunaCloud. The company has additional offices in China and Japan.