Course Title: Cloud Infrastructures

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Cloud Infrastructures

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Ibrahim Khalil

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2879

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Enforced Prerequisite: None

Required prior study: None

Assumed knowledge: The course assumes that students have basic understanding of the followings:

  • Basics of Data Communications and Networking Technologies
  • Understanding of college level (or first year undergrad type) Mathematics
  • Ability to write technical reports
  • Ability of code in any preferred programming/scripting languages (e.g. Java or C or PHP/Python etc.)

Note it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you accept responsibility for ensuring that you have completed the prerequisite/s and agree to concurrently enrol in co-requisite courses before enrolling in a course.

For your information the RMIT Course Requisites policy can be found at Course requisites see;ID=twx09y07zi1c

Course Description

Cloud computing enables access via the Internet to a pool of computing resources owned and managed by service providers using server virtualization technology. The “cloud infrastructure” is composed of hardware, storage, networks, interfaces, and services that provide the means through which users access the infrastructure, computing power, applications, and services on demand and independent of location. Cloud computing usually involves the transfer, storage, and processing of information on the provider’s infrastructure, which is outside the customer’s control (Ref: Cloud Computing: A Records and Information Management Perspective, IEEE SECURITY & PRIVACY, NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011, pp 63-66)
This course covers emerging issues and technologies related to Cloud Infrastructure. We will learn design principles for building energy efficient, highly available, reliable secure cloud infrastructure. Topics include: Large Datacentres and IaaS, Networking and Load Balancing in Cloud Datacentre, Energy Efficiency and cooling of Large Cloud Infrastructure, Availability/Relaibility of Infrastructure resources, access protocols and Homomorphic Cryptography for secure Cloud Infrastructure, Exascale systems, Big Data and Resource provisioning in modern cloud infrastructure.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course will focus on learning emerging issues related to Cloud infrastructures and Large Datacentres. Upon successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Discuss Hypervisor &Virtual Compute Environment, Networking and Load Balancing Issues for Cloud Datacentre Design; and discuss Availability, Reliability, and Scalability of resources in Cloud Datacentres
  2. Discuss Energy Efficiency, Distribution, Optimization, Cooling of Large Cloud Infrastructure
  3. Analyse secure interactions and access protocols between users and Cloud Infrastructure. Learn traditional cryptographic security protocols, their applications and pitfalls in securing cloud infrastructure. Investigate how to apply Homomorphic Cryptography to secure applications hosted by Cloud Infrastructure
  4. Discuss about future Exascale systems with millions of nodes supporting powerful Cloud Infrastructure and Big Data Analytics
  5. Analyse resource provisioning and performance of multi-server systems in Cloud Infrastructure
  6. Identify critical issues in Cloud Infrastructure design and resolve and redesign. Identify significant research issues for future Cloud Infrastructure/Datacentre and propose new solutions.

Overview of Learning Activities

  • Key concepts will be explained in lectures covering emerging topics on efficient and secure cloud infrastructure design. In total, there will be 12 lectures.
  • Every week (except the first week) a tutorial class will reinforce the concepts taught in the lectures and discuss common problems.
  • Journal/Conference/Magazine articles will be provided to the students for in-depth understanding of the topics covered in the lectures and tutorials.
  • During the lectures and tutorials students will encouraged to ask questions, give opinions and discuss innovative ideas to create stimulating teaching & learning environment.
  • Assignments will include options like comprehensive report writing (topics may include efficient energy management of datacentre, scalable design of datacentre etc.) or practical works related to cloud infrastructure design using google or amazon.
  • Students are encouraged to discuss the assignment topics, show incremental progress and receive feedback from the lecturer during consultations. This will enhance their chances of receiving good marks in the assignments.
  • Students may also use online forums to discuss any course related materials.

Total study hours

A total of 120 hours of study is expected during this course, comprising:

Teacher-directed hours (48 hours): lectures and tutorial (studio) sessions. Each week there will be 2 hours of lecture and a 2 hours tutorial (a games “studio”). You are encouraged to participate during lectures through asking questions, commenting on the lecture material based on your own experiences and by presenting solutions to written exercises. The tutorial (studio) sessions will introduce you to the tools necessary to undertake the assignment work.

Student-directed hours (72 hours): You are expected to be self-directed, studying independently outside class.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will make extensive use of computer laboratories and relevant software provided by the School. You will be able to access course information and learning materials through myRMIT. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment for this course comprises assignment works involving comprehensive report writing and practical works related to cloud infrastructure design using google or amazon, and a final exam.

The assessment is:

Examination: 50% -- this assessment assesses CLOS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Assignments: 50%

The Assignment component comprises: 

- Assignment One: 15% -- this assignment assesses CLOS 1, 2, 3
- Assignment Two: 35% -- this assignment assesses CLOS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.