Unit 16: Cloud Computing

Unit code                            F/615/1644

Unit level                            QCF Level 5/ NFQ Level 6/7

Credit value                       15


Cloud Computing has revolutionised the way IT services are delivered and has become an important part of the computing sector. Cloud Computing is internet-hosted computing, which means it uses the internet to deliver data and other IT services such as storage, printing, server facilities and so forth. In other words, the end users or organisations no longer need to have their own extensive network environment on the premises, but can get the same services provided virtually over the internet.

The fundamental difference between traditional networking and Cloud Computing is that the technical details of the system are hidden from the end user. That means the networking infrastructure does not have to be on the premises as it would be hosted off-site in the cloud. However, the end user can use the services without the fear of technical difficulties or disasters as it would be managed by the cloud service provider. Cloud Computing is a natural evolution of networking and is adapting the modern network-oriented technologies such as virtualisation, service- oriented architecture, utility computing and ubiquitous computing among others.

This unit is designed to develop an understanding of the fundamental concept of Cloud  Computing,  cloud segments, and cloud deployment  models,  the need for Cloud Computing, an appreciation of issues associated with managing cloud service architecture and to develop a critical awareness of Cloud Computing based projects.

Topics included in the unit are the paradigms of networking, fundamentals of Cloud Computing, Cloud Computing architecture, deployment models, service models, security, technological drivers, and cloud service providers.

On successful completion of this unit, students will understand the concept, architecture, and services of Cloud Computing and will gain hands-on experience of configuring a cloud service from major providers such as ECM, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM etc., and implementing a simple cloud platform using open source software with an appropriate networking platform.

As a result students will develop skills such as communication literacy, critical thinking, analysis, reasoning and interpretation, which are crucial for gaining employment and developing academic competence.


Learning  Outcomes

By  the end of this unit students will be able to:

LO1.     Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals of Cloud Computing and its architectures.

LO2.     Evaluate the deployment models,  service models  and technological drivers of Cloud Computing  and validate their use.

LO3.     Develop Cloud Computing  solutions using service provider’s frameworks and open source tools.

LO4.     Analyse the technical challenges for cloud applications and assess their risks.