Cloud Computing

For Cloud Computing Fall 2016 Students:
Please download the first reading assignment here(external link).

Instructor Information

Instructor: Weidong Shi (Larry), Ph.D.
Office Location:PGH 567
Telephone: Office – 713-743-3045
E-mail: $_ = "wshi3XXuhYYedu"; s/XX/@/; s/YY/./;
Office Hours:Tuesday, Thursday. 2:30pm – 3:30pm or by appointment


Course Information

Course Number: COSC6376
Course Name: Cloud Computing
Course Location: SEC 104
Class Times: TuTh 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Prerequisites: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. Good knowledge of data structures, algorithms, databases, operating systems, and distributed computing. The projects will require good programming skills and sufficient knowledge of Python and script programming. Be prepared to learn new programming frameworks. You should have good experience working in the Linux environment, since our projects will be done in Linux.



There is no textbook for this course. All materials will come from recently published papers and online documents.


  • “Cloud Computing, Implementation, Management, and Security” by John W. Rittinghouse and James F. Ransome, ISBN: 978-1-4398-0680-7, CRC Press, 2010
  • “Cloud Application, Architectures”, by George Reese, ISBN: 978-0-1360-0922-1, Addison Wesley, 2009
  • Practical Virtualization Solutions: Virtualization from the Trenches”, by Kenneth Hess, Amy Newman, ISBN: 978-0-1371-42972, Prentice Hall, 2009



This is a graduate level course to cloud computing. In this course, we will explore a few aspects of cloud computing: distributed data crunching with MapReduce, cloud and datacenter filesystems, virtualization, cloud security and privacy, Amazon Web Services, and interactive web-based applications. Students are expected to read extra materials including papers and online resources, finish several mini projects, a large team project, and take the final exam. Participation in the class discussion is strongly encouraged. Guest speakers might be invited for some particular topics.

Learning Objectives:

On completion of this course, students will have a comprehensive knowledge of cloud computing techniques, be able to design and implement applications using Amazon cloud services, have a comprehensive knowledge of best practices in cloud computing, and be able to understand the challenges and issues in cloud computing.

Project Schedule


Class Schedule and Slides

Date Topic Slide Reading Assignment
8/25 Intro Introduction to the class(pdf), Introduction to the class (ppt)
8/27 Intro Cloud computing introduction(pdf), Cloud computing introduction(ppt) Cloudonomics: A Rigorous Approach to Cloud Benefit Quantification
9/1 Cloudonomics Cloudonomics(pdf), Cloudonomics(ppt)
9/3 Challenges Challenges(pdf), Challenges(ppt) Brewer’s Conjecture and the Feasibility of Consistent, Available, Partition-Tolerant Web Services
9/8 MapReduce MapReduce(pdf), MapReduce(ppt) MapReduce: Simplified Data Processing on Large Clusters
9/10 HDFS and MapReduce HDFS and MapReduce (pdf), HDFS and MapReduce(ppt)
9/15 Storm and Spark Storm and Spark (pdf), Storm and Spark (ppt) Resilient Distributed Datasets: A Fault-Tolerant Abstraction for In-Memory Cluster Computing
9/17 Amazon HDFS/MapReduce/Spark Tutorial_AWS.pptx
9/22 Homework HW(pdf), HW(ppt)
9/24 BigTable and HBase Bigtable and HBase (pdf), Bigtable and HBase (ppt) Bigtable: A Distributed Storage System for Structured Data
9/29 Dynamo DB Amazon Dynamo DB(pdf), Amazon Dynamo DB(ppt) Dynamo: Amazon's Highly Available Key-value Store
10/1 PigLatin Pig Latin(pdf), Pig Latin(ppt) Pig Latin: A Not-So-Foreign Language for Data Processing
10/6 No Class
10/8 Virtualization Virtualization (pdf), Virtualization (ppt)
10/13 HW1 help and HW2 Homework 1 Hints
10/15 Projects and Virtualization Virtualization (pdf), Virtualization (ppt) Xen and the Art of Virtualization
10/19 Virtualization Virtualization (pdf), Virtualization (ppt)
10/22 Software Defined Network SDN (pdf), SDN (ppt) NOX: Towards an Operating System for Networks
10/27 Storage Virtualization Storage Virtualization (pdf), Storage Virtualization (ppt)
10/29 Scalable Internet Services Scalable Services (pdf), Scalable Services (ppt)
11/3 Scalable Internet Services Scalable Services (pdf), Scalable Services (ppt)
11/5 Infrastructure as Code Automated Infrastructure Management (pdf), Automated Infrastructure Management (ppt)
11/10 Cloud Security Cloud Security (pdf), Cloud Security (ppt) Infrastructure as a Service Security: Challenges and Solutions
11/12 Cloud Security XML Wrapping Attack (pdf), XML Wrapping Attack (ppt) All Your Clouds are Belong to us – Security Analysis of Cloud Management Interfaces
11/17 Cloud Security Topology and Side-Channel Attacks (pdf), Topology and Side-Channel Attacks (ppt)
12/1 No class (keep working on the project)
12/8 Class presentation
12/10 Class presentation





  • Reading summaries 10%
  • Two programming assignments 20%
  • Team Projects 70%


Honor Code:

Students are expected to uphold the University of Houston Honor Code and to avoid any instances of academic misconduct in homework assignments and exams. Any violation will be immediately and directly reported to the Dean of Students' Affairs for further action.

Student with Disabilities:

Any student with a documented disability needing accommodations must speak with the instructor.

Created by admin. Last Modification: Tuesday 27 of December, 2016 22:36:09 UTC by admin. (Version 48)