Student Cloud Computing projects featured by HPCwire

Usually terms such as high performance and high availability are addressed by big corporations and institutions; however, something has changed over the past years as a real revolution is emerging from university classrooms. This week HPCwire has published an article describing some of the promising work being carried out by my students.


This year I have been honored to advise projects that respond to three critical areas that make their way to the media headlines nowadays: communications security, emergency medical services and P2P digital currencies.

Student Projects

Access the article here. And if you are curious about the rest of the projects, access the complete list here.

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

Estimating Resource Costs of Executing Data-Intensive Workloads in Public Clouds

Last week, the School of Computing at Queen’s University (Canada) published our latest work in the form of a technical report. This technical report, result of the collaboration with Prof. Patrick Martin‘s research group, is entitled “Estimating Resource Costs of Executing Data-Intensive Workloads in Public Clouds” and can be accessed here.

Technical Report No. 2013-613

The promise of “infinite” resources given by the cloud computing paradigm has led to recent interest in exploiting clouds for large-scale data-intensive computing. In this technical report, we present an analytical model to estimate the resource costs for executing data-intensive workloads in a public cloud. The cost model quantifies the cost-effectiveness of a resource configuration for a given workload with consumer performance requirements expressed as Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and is a key component of a larger framework for resource provisioning in clouds. We instantiate the cost model for the Amazon cloud, and experimentally evaluate the impact of key factors on the accuracy of the model.

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

Applications of neural-based spot market prediction for cloud computing

The IEEE Xplore Digital Library has made available our paper entitled “Applications of neural-based spot market prediction for cloud computing”, which was presented at the IEEE 7th International Conference on Intelligent Data Acquisition and Advanced Computing Systems (IDAACS 2013) last September. It can be accessed here.

 Applications of neural-based spot market prediction for cloud computing

Advances in service-oriented architectures (SOA), virtualization, high-speed networks, and cloud computing have resulted in attractive pay-as-you-go services. Job scheduling on these systems results in commodity bidding for computing time. This bidding is institutionalized by Amazon for its Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) environment and bidding methods exist for other cloud computing vendors as well as multi-cloud and cluster computing brokers such as SpotCloud. Commodity bidding for computing has resulted in complex spot price models that have ad-hoc strategies to provide demand for excess capacity. In this paper we discuss vendors who provide spot pricing and bidding and present a predictive model for future spot prices based on neural networking giving users a high confidence on future prices aiding bidding on commodity computing.

This is another work resulting from a collaboration with Prof. Lucio Grandinetti‘s research group at University of Calabria, Italy.

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

CloudCatalyst Project Officially Launched

Lisbon, 21st October 2013 –  CloudCatalyst was officially launched in Lisbon, Portugal. The kick off meeting gathered the consortium partners that are motivated to promote the potential of cloud computing throughout Europe.

The project main objectives are to support startups and SMEs moving into the cloud and provide them with innovative tools. Communities in at least 7 EU countries will be supported to produce innovative and sustainable businesses through cloud computing offers that help boost productivity, efficiency and competitiveness of the European economy.

The project is funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme and brings together 7 partners from 4 member states.

CloudCatalyst partners recognize, as it’s also defined by the “ENTREPRENEURSHIP 2020 ACTION PLAN”[i], recently presented by the European Commission, that in order to bring Europe back to growth and higher levels of employment, more entrepreneurs are needed. In CloudCatalyst partner’s point of view, the 2020 action plan for entrepreneurship is an unique chance to transform all the challenges of Cloud Computing deployment into opportunities – fostering innovation and new business creation within European entrepreneurial ecosystem.

CloudCatalyst project will be led by Portugal Telecom which has solid experience in the promotion and management of European Funded projects. Portugal Telecom has also recently presented a very ambitions Cloud Computing roadmap focused in accelerating the development and deployment of Cloud Computing technologies and internet services.

To promote entrepreneurship and job creation, this project will be aligned with the business and knowledge transfer strategy promoted by UPTEC, the University of Porto Science and Technology Park. UPTEC is the structure of the University of Porto dedicated to incubate start-ups and host Business Innovation Centres, supporting an effective knowledge and technology transfer among academia, companies and markets. In the last 5 years, UPTEC has helped create 115 new start-ups and more than 1200 jobs. UPTEC was further able to attract to Porto city highly innovative companies, creating a flourishing ecosystem of innovators and entrepreneurs.

CloudCatalyst project has also a solid technical background, lead by the UCM, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, founders of the OpenNebula open-source project. OpenNebula, a success story in exploitation of FP7 research results, has played an important role in driving and supporting the transition to cloud computing and thus accelerating the pace of innovation in Europe. With thousands of deployments worldwide, OpenNebula has a very wide user base that includes leading companies in banking, technology, telecom and hosting, and research and supercomputing centers.

As a central hub for the exchange of knowledge, best practices and guidelines in the European Cloud ecosystem, EuroCloud role in this project will be fundamental for implementing an efficient dissemination action plan, but foremost, EuroCloud will be responsible for the exploitation of the results and for guarantee the future sustainability of the develop support services.

Finally, Si.mobil will provide important contributions based on the experience gathered during program – a competitive educational programme for entrepreneurs and start-up companies on development and bringing new innovative cloud services to the market. The program ran in 2013 for the second consecutive year, with 48 teams participating in 2 years and astonishing 20 solutions being developed and commercialized. Given a small scale of Slovenian market numbers are very encouraging. In addition Si.mobil has gathered wide experience while developing and implementing cloud services brokerage platform and business model. Their approach has been recognized as preferred within Telecom Austria Group in 2012 and will be implemented within other members of TAG group – with Si.mobil taking the lead in cloud services business for the whole group.


Contacts CloudCatayst: 

  • Dissemination Manager: Dalibor Baskovc –
  • Project Coordination: Andreia Jesus / Frederico Melo Santos-
  • For further information please visit:



So long 4CaaSt!

Last week the 4CaaSt project faced its final year review at the European Commission.

European Commission

This project aims to create an advanced PaaS Cloud platform which supports the optimized and elastic hosting of Internet-scale multi-tier  applications. 4CaaSt embeds all the necessary features, easing programming of rich applications and enabling the creation of a true business ecosystem where applications coming from different providers can be tailored to different users, mashed up and traded together.

The result? We passed our final review!

4CaaSt final year review

It has been 3 years of hard work and we have held general assemblies almost all over the European territory.


We have fostered innumerable and interesting collaborations.


And of course, we also established many new friendships!

DSC00095 NewImage3 PC026862

Bye bye 4CaaSt project… and bye bye to all of you who I’m honored to call “my colleagues” since 3 years ago, for now.


“Painful though parting be, I bow to you as I see you off to distant clouds” (Emperor Saga)

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

New book on Cloud Computing and Big Data

Today a new book on Cloud Computing and Big Data has been published by IOS Press. I had the pleasure and honor to team up with Dr. Charlie Catlett, Dr. Wolfgang Gentzsch, Prof. Lucio Grandinetti and Prof. Gerhard R. Joubert for its edition.

Cloud Computing and Big Data

Cloud computing offers many advantages to researchers and engineers who need access to high performance computing facilities for solving particular compute-intensive and/or large-scale problems, but whose overall high performance computing (HPC) needs do not justify the acquisition and operation of dedicated HPC facilities. There are, however, a number of fundamental problems which must be addressed, such as the limitations imposed by accessibility, security and communication speed, before these advantages can be exploited to the full.

This book presents 14 contributions selected from the International Research Workshop on Advanced High Performance Computing Systems, held in Cetraro, Italy, in June 2012. The papers are arranged in three chapters. Chapter 1 includes five papers on cloud infrastructures, while Chapter 2 discusses cloud applications.

The third chapter in the book deals with big data, which is nothing new – large scientific organizations have been collecting large amounts of data for decades – but what is new is that the focus has now broadened to include sectors such as business analytics, financial analyses, Internet service providers, oil and gas, medicine, automotive and a host of others.

This book will be of interest to all those whose work involves them with aspects of cloud computing and big data applications.

Detailed Information

Title: Cloud Computing and Big Data
Editors: Catlett, C. , Gentzsch, W., Grandinetti, L., Joubert, G.R., Vazquez-Poletti, J.L.
Pub. date: October 2013
Pages: 264
Volume: 23 of Advances in Parallel Computing
ISBN: 978-1-61499-321-6
J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

Autonomic Resource Contention-aware Scheduling

This month the Journal of Software: Practice and Experience has published online our paper entitled “Autonomic resource contention-aware scheduling”. It can be accessed here.

The complexity of computing systems introduces a few issues and challenges such as poor performance and high energy consumption. In this paper, we first define and model resource contention metric for high performance computing workloads as a performance metric in scheduling algorithms and systems at the highest level of resource management stack to address the main issues in computing systems. Second, we propose a novel autonomic resource contention-aware scheduling approach architected on various layers of the resource management stack. We establish the relationship between distributed resource management layers in order to optimize resource contention metric. The simulation results confirm the novelty of our approach.

This work is the result of a collaboration with Prof. Lucio Grandinetti‘s research group from University of Calabria, Italy.

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

A Performance/cost Model for a CUDA Drug Discovery Application on Physical and Public Cloud Infrastructures

The Journal of Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience has published online our work entitled “A performance/cost model for a CUDA drug discovery application on physical and public cloud infrastructures”, while waiting for its inclusion in a special issue on distributed, parallel, and GPU-accelerated approaches to Computational Biology.

Virtual Screening (VS) methods can considerably aid Drug Discovery research, predicting how ligands interact with drug targets. BINDSURF is an efficient and fast blind VS methodology for the determination of protein binding sites depending on the ligand, that uses the massively parallel architecture of GPUs for fast unbiased pre-screening of large ligand databases. In this contribution, we provide a performance/cost model for the execution of this application on both a physical and public cloud infrastructure. With our model it is possible to determine which is the best infrastructure by means of execution time and costs for any given problem to be solved by BINDSURF. Conclusions obtained from our study can be extrapolated to other GPU based VS methodologies.

This work is the result of a collaboration with a multidisciplinary research group from Catholic University of Murcia (Spain). Also, this is the first paper published by my PhD student Richard M. Wallace with our research group. Congratulations!

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

Mars and Clouds at GridKa School 2013

I had the honor to be invited by the GridKa School organization to give a plenary talk in this year’s edition, which takes place from 26th to 30th August at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

My talk, entitled “Cloud Computing: Expanding Humanity’s Limits to Planet Mars”, focused in the use of cloud computing for the exploration of Planet Mars.

As another tool that Humanity has used for expanding its limits, cloud computing was born and evolved in consonance with the different challenges where it has been applied.

Due to its seamless provision of resources, dynamism and elasticity, this paradigm has been brought into the spotlight by the Space scientific community and in particular that devoted to the exploration of Planet Mars. This is the case of Space Agencies in need of great amounts of on demand computing resources and with a budget to take care of.

The Red Planet represents the next limit to be reached by Humanity, attracting the attention of many countries as a destination for the next generation manned spaceflights. However, theres is still much research to do on Planet Mars and many computational needs to fulfill.

My talk reviewed the cloud computing approach by NASA and then it focused on the Mars MetNet Mission, with which our research group is actively collaborating. This Mission is being put together by Finland, Russia and Spain, and aims to deploy several tens of weather stations on the Martian surface. The Atmospheric Science research is a crucial area in the exploration of the Red Planet and represents a great opportunity for harnessing and improving current computing tools, and establish interesting collaborations between countries.

The received feedback was very great and some collaboration opportunities have also arisen, making this travel another successful one.

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti

HPC Clouds arrive to Argentina thanks to HPCLatAm 2013

I had the honor to spend the last two weeks of July at Mendoza (Argentina) invited by Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. The reason was that the VI Latin American Symposium on High Performance Computing (HPCLatAm 2013) was taking place.

My job at Mendoza was double:

  • The second week I gave a keynote talk on how, since the end of 2009, we have been providing HPC in the cloud solutions for critical applications pertaining to the exploration of planet Mars area. I also provided recent results from the latest application we are working on.

The event has been a total success and collaborations with some Argentinian academic institutions are on the way!

J.L. Vázquez-Poletti