Master Thesis students awarded in Spanish Open Source Contest

One of my Master Thesis student groups has been awarded at the Seventh Edition of CUSL, which stands for “Open-Source University Contest” in Spanish. They were competing against other 84 teams and on 24th May they received the “Best Community Project” prize in a ceremony that took place at the University of Granada.

All the VII CUSL winners. The CygnusCloud team member stand in the second row (left).

The three members of the CygnusCloud team (named in honor of the swam of Complutense University coat of arms) observed that many computational resources of the computer labs spread across the UCM campus were underutilized. On the other hand, computers from our faculty labs are often insufficient to meet the demand.

Turning each campus PC into a Computer Science lab computer would be one way to increase overall computing power, but in reality this isn’t a workable solution given the multitude of software requirements and subsequent administrative overhead this would create.

This project then aims to provide virtual lab machines that can be accessed from any available campus PC in which the both hardware and software requirements are minimal.

CygnusCloud architecture.

An on-demand and centralized distribution of these services like that proposed by CygnusCloud reduces the effects of budget cuts in education as students could use cheaper computers with less energy consumption. The proposed solution increases the academic progress as it optimizes the use of non-specialized computer labs and reduces costs as it relies totally on open source software.

Besides the trophy, my students received a Raspberry Pi development kit. Also, the University of Granada will evaluate CygnusCloud for its integration during next academic year.

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

Provisioning Data Analytic Workloads in a Cloud

Future Generation Computer Systems has published our work entitled “Provisioning Data Analytic Workloads in a Cloud”, which is the result of the collaboration with Prof. Patrick Martin‘s group from Queen’s University.

Data analytics applications are well-suited for a cloud environment. In this paper we examine the problem of provisioning resources in a public cloud to execute data analytic workloads. The goal of our provisioning method is to determine the most cost-effective configuration for a given data analytic workload. Provisioning a workload in a public cloud environment faces several challenges: it is difficult to develop accurate performance prediction models using standard methods; the space of possible configurations is very large so exact solutions cannot be efficiently determined, and the mix and intensity of query classes in a workload vary dynamically over time.

We provide a formulation of the provisioning problem and then define a framework to solve the problem. Our framework contains a cost model to predict the cost of executing a workload on a configuration and a method of selecting configurations. The cost model balances resource costs and penalties from SLAs. The specific resource demands and frequencies are accounted for by queueing network models of the Virtual Machines (VMs), which are used to predict performance. We evaluate our approach experimentally using sample data analytic workloads on Amazon EC2.

You can access the full paper here.

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

Cloud 4CaaSt’ing in Madrid

This week our project held its General Assembly in Madrid, at IMDEA Software headquarters. In fact, we are very happy to announce that this partner is the latest addition to our consortium.

The IMDEA Software Institute is part of IMDEA, the Madrid Institute of Advanced Studies, a network of international research centers in the Madrid region for research of excellence in areas of high economic impact. Its main focus is to perform the research of excellence required to devise methods that will allow the cost-effective development of software products with sophisticated functionality and high quality.

After 3 days of hard work, surely inspired by the huge amount of clouds that invaded Madrid, we have set a very solid roadmap for the next 6 months.

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

Student Cloud Computing Projects against the Financial Crisis

The Master Thesis project is an important stage in which students tackle a specific problem and do so using all available technologies and methodologies learned during their studies.

One of the best features of cloud computing is its high accessibility. In this way, it opens up a world of research possibilities and engenders a fast learning process, allowing the students to develop outstanding projects in a very reasonable time.

This time the effects of the financial crisis turned to be the center of gravity of this year’s Master Thesis projects with I advise, which are always proposed by the students themselves. This year’s projects provide sustainable solutions for Computer Science teaching, Research and High-Tech SMEs.

HPC in the Cloud has featured an article on my students and their awesome projects. Click here to access it.

Also, Cadena SER, one of the major radio stations in Spain, interviewed us in prime time. You can access the audio (in Spanish) here.

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

4CaaSt Passes its Second Year Review!

Last week the 4CaaSt project has been evaluated by the European Commission after its second year.

These 29 months of hard work have produced solid presentations, high quality deliverables and even more important, the integration of components developed within the project. Obviously, the integration of the whole platform is not at 100% (we are just in our second year) but the reviewers were satisfied with the current level.

So long Brussels! We’ll see you next year and we at 4CaaSt promise to bring you something even cooler.

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

Curiosity, Phobos and Cloud Computing

The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society journal has just published our paper entitled “Opportunities to observe solar eclipses by Phobos with the Mars Science Laboratory”. In this contribution a series of predictions for observing solar eclipses by Mars’ biggest moon within NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) Mission.

The application is a result of the great collaboration that lasts for two years within the MEIGA-MetNet Project, part of the Finnish-Russian-Spanish Mars MetNet Mission which will deploy several meteorological probes on the Martian surface. Phobos shadow trace could be used for the localization of the probes and due to its computing requirements, cloud computing is a “must use” technology.

We already published some papers on this topic, specially on the efficient infrastructure deployment by means of performance and cost. This time, the news are not only that the contribution with proposed observation dates/times for Curiosity was published but also that the Martian rover has confirmed the predictions with the incredible precision of 1 second.

One example of the observations made by Curiosity on Sol 37 (13th September 2012) can be found here.

Summarizing, the application for the next generation of Martian probes has been successfully validated by Curiosity. And of course, cloud computing has become an essential tool for Space exploration.

The complete reference for this journal paper is:

G. Barderas, P. Romero, L. Vazquez, J.L. Vazquez-Poletti and I.M. Llorente: Opportunities to observe solar eclipses by Phobos with the Mars Science Laboratory. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2012, Volume 426, Number 4, pp. 3195–3200. Wiley.

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

Cloud 4CaaSt’ing in Paris

The latest General Assembly meeting of the 4CaaSt European Project took place in Paris, where France Telecom headquarters are located.

“The City of the Lights” witnessed a meeting with a more technical profile, as the review for year 2 at the European Commission is approaching. We employed all our time in the preparation of the demo stories that will be shown while integrating the available components (including the clustering features of OpenNebula).

Ingénieur Alexandre Gustave Eiffel must have inspired us, because the outcome of this meeting has been specially great. We are sure that the European Commission reviewers will be astonished with our project!

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

Clouds for Business and Business for Clouds

Last week I had the pleasure to organize with Francesco Lelli and Dana Petcu the International Workshop on Clouds for Business and Business for Cloud (C4BB4C), which took place at Madrid during the 10th IEEE International Symposium on Parallel and distributed Processing with Applications (ISPA2012).

Cloud computing has acquired enough maturity to expand its field of application to business. Yet there are not only institutions, which use this paradigm in their production line, but there are also those which are offering services through the Cloud.

The Workshop intended to put together efforts done from service producers and consumers in order to make Cloud Computing provide an added value to the economy of any kind of institution. Technologies, policies and heuristics were shared, as it will be shown below. Of course, the know-how coming from other areas that would benefit Cloud Computing were not discarded.

The idea was originated at the 4CaaSt European Commission FP7 project but its success was ensured thanks to the collaboration with the mOSAIC European Commission FP7 project, where Dana Petcu is Scientific Coordinator. In fact, results from coming both projects were showcased and discussed during the Workshop.

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

Twenty years of HPC at Cetraro

Every 2 years, The International Advanced Workshop on High Performance Computing, Grids and Clouds (HPC) takes place for shedding some light on key topics in advanced high performance computing systems. From June 25th to 29th experts in the field accomplished this with about forty invited talks.

The venue has been always the same: Gran Hotel San Michele, located at Cetraro, Italy. The hotel shares the charm of the one of the most beautiful places of South Italy.

The founder of this Workshop is Professor Lucio Grandinetti from Università della Calabria. His incredible work and dedication made the best experts to take part of HPC edition after edition.

I had the honor to participate in this event with a talk entitled “Automatic IaaS Elasticity for the PaaS Cloud of the Future where I introduced the 4CaaSt European Commission FP7 project and our work there, providing elasticity at IaaS level. In particular I showed our three approaches: cluster management with the OpenNebula virtual infrastructure manager, a proposal for SLAs and service definition, and finally a set of admission control algorithms.

As explained before, the HPC Workshop started 20 years ago. For this reason we the participants wanted to give Professor Lucio Grandinetti a tribute in the form of a gift. I have to say it was a very emotive moment, and not only for Professor Grandinetti but for all the participants!

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

Cloud 4CaaSt’ing in Stockholm

Summer is here again and so are the preparations for the Year 2 Review at the European Commission.

This time, our General Assembly took place at Stockholm (Sweden) and was hosted by Ericsson.

In particular, the meetings were at “Ericsson Studio”, where our hosts gently showcased their latest concepts. The entire building is an ode to the integration of creativity and technology.

In fact, almost all of the discussions had to do with the integration of the components.

Also, during the social dinner the entire Consortium teamed up with the Spanish partners, as their soccer team was playing that night at the Euro 2012 championship.

Next stop will be Paris in September and then we’ll be ready for the Review.

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti