Miscellaneous Papers

Using OpenStack To Improve Student Experience in an H.E. Environment

by Stephen Bonner, Carl Pulley, Ibad Kureshi, Violeta Holmes, John Brennan and Yvonne James. Science and Information (SAI) Conference 2013

Abstract

The cloud computing paradigm promises to deliver hardware to the end user at a low cost with an easy to use interface via the internet. This paper outlines an effort at the University of Huddersfield to deploy a private Infrastructure as a Service cloud to enhance the student learning experience.

The paper covers the deployment methods and configurations for OpenStack along with the security provisions that were taken to deliver computer hardware. The rationale behind the provisions of virtual hardware and OS configurations have been defined in great detail supported by examples. This paper also covers how the resource has been used within the taught courses as a Virtual Laboratory, and in the research projects.

A second use case of the cloud for Automated Formative Assesment (AFA) by using JClouds and Chef for Continuous Integration is presented. The AFA deployment is an example of a Software as a Service offering that has been added on to the IaaS cloud. This development has led to an increase in freedom for the student.

Full paper: [PDF]

Advancing Research Infrastructure Using OpenStack

by Ibad Kureshi, Carl Pulley, John Brennan, Violeta Holmes, Stephen Bonner and Yvonne James. Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications

Abstract

Cloud computing, which evolved from grid computing, virtualisation and automation, has a potential to deliver a variety of services to the end user via the Internet. Using the Web to deliver Infrastructure, Software and Platform as a Service has benefits of reducing the cost of investment in internal resources of an organisation. It also provides greater flexibility and scalability in the utilisation of the resources. There are different cloud deployment models - public, private, community and hybrid clouds. This paper presents the results of research and development work in deploying a private cloud using OpenStack at the University of Huddersfield, UK, integrated into the University campus Grid QGG.

The aim of our research is to use private cloud to improve our High Performance Computing (HPC) research infrastructure and to provide flexible and scalable resources for research, teaching and assessment. As a result of our work we have deployed private QGG-cloud and devised a decision matrix and mechanisms required to expand HPC clusters into the cloud maximising the resource utilisation efficiency of the cloud.

As part of teaching and assessment of computing courses an Automated Formative Assessment (AFA) system was implemented in the QGG-Cloud. The system utilises the cloud's flexibility and scalability to assign and reconfigure required resources for different tasks in the AFA. Furthermore, the throughput characteristics of assessment workflows were investigated and analysed so that the requirements for cloud-based provisioning can be adequately made.