Personen | Personen nieuwe site | Google | Route | Contact Login 
Course details 2012-2013  
Topics in Distributed Computing
Course Code :2001WETTDC
Study domain:Computer Science
Bi-anuall course:Taught in academic years starting in an even year
Semester:Semester: 1st semester
Contact hours:45
Study load (hours):168
Contract restrictions: No contract restriction
Language of instruction :English
Exam period:exam in the 1st semester
Lecturer(s)Jan Broeckhove


1. Prerequisites

At the start of this course the student should have acquired the following competences:
Specific prerequisites for this course:
This course requires knowledge of distributed systems and in particular of middleware concepts. For full-time Computer Sciences master students at the University of Antwerp this means they must have obtained a credit for the ''Distributed Systems'' course.

2. Learning outcomes

The course objectives are the following
  • You have gained insight in virtualization technology (what,how, why) and are able to identify different types of virtualization solutions. 
  • You understand the internal workings of different types of virtualization software and are knowledgeable with respect to the challenges of virtualizing an x86 architecture.
  • You understand the driving forces behind and key characteristics of cloud computing. You are able to frame this technology inside the spectrum of distributed systems.
  • You have gained product knowledge of different cloud offerings and now how to make use of a IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) solution at the API level.
  • You understand the architecture of grid systems and can identify the key middleware components of grids and how they interact.
  • You are able to run parallel codes on a grid system.
This course combines knowledge and insight in cloud, grid and virtualization technology with experience in working with this technology.

3. Course contents

The first part of the course focuses on virtualization. Different types of virtualization are discussed and a taxonomy of virtualization solutions is presented. The internal workings of a number of virtualization solutions are addressed and the key challenges related to the virtualization of the x86 architecture are discussed.

The second part addresses the field of cloud computing and shows how virtualization at the level of a data center can be combined with on-demand provisioning of resources and applications to create a new paradigm for outsourcing of IT functions. The important driving factors and business cases behind cloud computing are discussed, as well as a number of current cloud offerings (with a particular focus on Amazon EC2 and S3).

In a third part of the course, we move beyond the scale of a single data center or cloud provider and look at the field of grid computing. We show how grids can integrate compute and storage resources on a European and global scale in order to support scientific discovery and create large-scale shared infrastructure over wide-area networks.

The practical side of the course involves hands-on work with the technologies discussed above. An integrated programming project that runs throughout the duration of the course will combine practical knowledge of virtualization, cloud computing (with Hadoop), and grid computing (with EGEE gLite middleware and the Belgian BEgrid).

4. Teaching method

Class contact teaching:
  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Laboratory sessions

  • Directed self-study
    Project-based work:
  • In group

  • 5. Assessment method and criteria

  • Oral without written preparation

  • Portfolio:
  • With oral presentation

  • 6. Study material

    Required reading

    Course notes will be made available, including appendices with papers and documents that are required reading. After each theory session handouts will be made available through the Blackboard system. This also goes for the materials that are needed for the practice sessions.

    Optional reading

    The following study material can be studied on a voluntary basis:
    [1]  Grid Computing: Making the Global Infrastructure a Reality
           F. Berman, G. C. Fox and A. J. G. Hey, 2003, J. Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England
    [2]  The Grid: Core Technologies
           M. Li and M. Baker, 2005, J. Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England

    7. Contact information
    For questions concerning the theory sessions, contact
    • Kurt Vanmechelen, email:, lokaal: Gebouw G, G214
    For questions concerning the theory sessions, contact
    • Wim Depoorter, email:, lokaal: Gebouw G, G207

    (+)last update: 02/09/2011 15:24 jan.broeckhove