CS 4803/8803 - Systems Issues In Cloud Computing

Fall 2016

Instructor: Kishore Ramachandran
TA: Enrique Saurez
Meeting time: Every Wednesday 2-5 PM
Meeting Location: Klaus 1207


This is a hands on project-intensive immersive course aimed at senior-level undergraduates and graduate students to give them an in-depth experience in developing different layers of a cloud computing infrastructure including network virtualization, distributed runtime systems, and application development.


There will be LITTLE to NO hand holding in the course. The course is intended for self-motivated students who are hungering for an immersion into system hacking.

Registering for the Class

CS 2200 Introduction to Systems and Networks (or equivalent level of OS and Computer Architecture knowledge and excellent C programming experience)

If you are an undergrad, you should have taken CS 2200 already and done extremely well (top 10% of the class).

If you are a grad student, you have to convince me that have the prerequisites for this class.

You need a permit to register for the class. Send me e-mail (rama at gatech dot edu), detailing why you belong in this class, and I will issue a permit on a case by case basis.

Organization of the Course

The course is organized into three project-driven modules (roughly equal duration):
  1. Software Defined Networks (SDN): Click here for more information on this module.
  2. Cloud System Software: Click here for more information on this module.
  3. Cloud Applications: Click here for more information on this module.
Each module is organized as discussion of the technical details pertaining to that topic (from selected readings from research papers and other online resources).

Note: Please note that the details of these three modules are evolving and hence subject to change.

In-class Meetings

Each in-class meeting is for 3 hours and consists of:


There will be three significant projects pertaining to each of the three topics to be carried out by 2-person student teams over the course of the semester.

Course Rules

  1. You have to be present in every class for the entire duration. Personal commitments will not be accepted as excuses for missing a class. The only exceptions will be institutional commitments and/or health-related absences.
  2. All the assignments have to be completed fully and on time. Partial work gets NO CREDIT.

Honor code


The expectation is that the students will review reading materials assigned to the class (as instructed by the professor) ahead of the class. There may be short in-class quizzes to ensure that such review has been done by the students. There will be no exams.

We will give you very clear guidelines on software engineering principles to be adhered in code development. Remember you are working as though you are part of a product team in a company...not doing just a course project. You have to adhere to such principles in all your projects.

There are only two letter grades for your performance in the entire course: A or F. To earn an A in the course, you have to do the following: