CSMCC16-Cloud Computing

Module Provider: Computer Science
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Prof Atta Badii

Email: atta.badii@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module covers the topic of cloud computing.


The massively increased uptake of computing in the last decade, with devices at all scales of operation, has driven the development of large-scale distributed systems capable of meeting the demands placed on service providers. This module provides an insight into the data-centric and service-centric techniques deployed in very large scale robust distributed systems such as those that support the largest and most popular websites. The module covers Cloud computing (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, Al-as-a-S), techniques for processing big data (Map/Reduce), large-scale systems architectures, RESTful systems and an architectural analysis of the Web as a whole, distributed systems utilising message passing (MPI and Erlang), methods for producing robustness in distributed applications, and an overview of the hardware and software technologies underpinning supercomputing. The module also addresses the business confidentiality, socio-legal, security, privacy and trust issues involved in operating and using cloud services.  It highlights the need to consider the security and privacy requirements and respective risks associated with the various types of cloud services and the design approaches adopted in the distribute systems that support such services.  In this context an overview of the distributed ledger technologies is provided as consensus networks of distributed value and information systems. 

This module also encourages students to develop a set of professional skills, such as software development documentation, technical reporting and project management.  

Assessable learning outcomes:

It is expected that students will acquire an integrated perspective on the computing processes in Cloud computing platforms. In general students are expected to acquire skills in distributed and parallel computing.

Additional outcomes:

The students will become familiar with the advantages and the potential applications of Cloud Computing. They will also learn how to develop and deploy applications in cloud computing platforms whilst being also mindful of the respective security–privacy risks associated with each type of cloud services deployment and distributed systems architecture.

Outline content:

  • Introduction to distributed and parallel computing; Cloud Computing (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, AI-as-a-S);

  • Security and privacy protection challenges in Cloud Computing 

  • Cloud Computing middleware;

  • Map/Reduce; RESTful systems

  • Consistency, Availability and Partition Tolerance In Distributed Information Systems

  • Consistent Hashing

  • Computational Efficiency Design Challenges

  • Di stributed Ledger Technologies and Applications

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module comprises lectures (20 hours), practical sessions (10 hours) and a major coursework. The lectures introduce basic concepts, methodologies and middleware for Cloud Computing. During the practical sessions the students will carry out hands-on activities on Cloud computing middleware. A final project allows the students to apply the concepts to a practical case.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Practicals classes and workshops 10
Guided independent study: 70
Total hours by term 100
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Project output other than dissertation 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One 1.5-hour examination paper in May /June.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One piece of coursework based on the laboratory exercises.

Formative assessment methods:

Practical tutorial exercises are made available to the students with worked examples. Students have the opportunity to obtain feedback on their attempts at solving the problems set e.g. through comparing their answers with the structured model answers provided and/or receiving personal feedback on their work through the tutorial sessions.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall. 

Reassessment arrangements:

One 2-hour examination paper in August/September. ).  Note that the resit module mark will be the higher of (a) the mark from this resit exam and (b) an average of this resit exam mark and previous coursework marks, weighted as per the first attempt (50% exam, 50% coursework.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 16 April 2020


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