Examination 1 - Cloud computing services

For this examination you are expected to produce a written report. Report should be delivered to the course email address, 1dv032@lnu.se, as a PDF, see the planing for exact date and time. The report will go through a peer-review after finishing. This means you also should do a review of a other students paper as part of the assignment. Again, the report must be in pdf-format

Purpose of the report

The writing of this report aims to give knowledge of finding and analyzing services hosted by cloud service providers. In the report you will try to act as some kind of cloud advisor and try to analyze some scenarios and determine which kind of services will fit and motivate and explain your choices. The idea is not to get down to technical details rather to learn about and explore the services that are available. There will be no "direct and correct" answers in this assignment but we are expecting that you do the job as good as you can to get reasonable answers and show us that you have put effort into your report.

The scenario

You have been asked by a relatively new started software company to investigate the possibilities to bring their software into the cloud. Today there software is operated in a private data center where they configure up a couple of different servers supporting their infrastructure. The company have develop a web-based software that learns users to speak and understand different languages with a gamification system. The software includes not just the web site but also servers that handles calculation, logging, data management and so on. The following image describes the system and how it looks today:

Image over the application

  1. The service have a simple load balancer (Nginx) with a round-robin algorithm.
  2. Two frontend-servers running node.js LTS. Their job is to redirect requests to the right service and then put together the responses and send them back to the client.
  3. The web site. This is the part that handles all the visual part of the software. This is a monolith written in the python framework Django, using the 3.7 version of python.
  4. Database for the website, PostgreSQL version 9.4
  5. The Auth microservice. This microservice support the authentication, the handling of user credentials
  6. Database storing the user credentials, PostgreSQL version 9.4
  7. Microservices that handles the service logs, both system logs and meta data from the users that will be used for analyzing their learning and calculating point in the gamification system.
  8. Database for logging data and interaction. Mainly for metadata. This is a noSQL database.
  9. The calculation microservice. This part draws data from the logs and make some calculations every night. The results is stored in the log database.
  10. The database where calculated data is stored and used by the web site, PostgreSQL version 9.4

The biggest issue today is that the service have is the fear of getting scalability problems. The service has been popular and the last month the users has doubled many times and most of the competence is in development of the product. One possible way is to move the operations of servers and infrastructure to the cloud. This is where you come in.

The assignment

You should write a report where you have investigated the possibility to move the described software to the cloud and using one of the big IaaS; AWS, Microsoft Azure or/and Google Cloud Platform. You can choose one or compare two depending on your ambition. Here follows a description of the mission from the company.

We don´t want a technical report how to set up the infrastructure but more an overview what possibilities and services that is available and an estimation of the cost of the different services we needed. We also want references back to where you find your information so we can track it back. We will estimate our traffic will be 50 QPS normally but during some points of the day or when we do some campaign it could in extreme cases be up to 2500 QPS. At the moment we have MAU-number of 15.000.

Here are some questions you should answer about your chosen IaaS:

  • We want a up-time of at least 98%. What will happen if the cloud provider don´t live up to this?
  • How about load balancing for our front-end servers?
  • If our traffic and number of users grow. Is there any way to dynamic scale?
  • We want to be sure of that we owns our data and that the IaaS won´t be able to take our intellectual property or miss-abuse our clients thrust.
  • We want to know if that when we delete some data (for example a user) the data can´t be reproduced.
  • We want to know how the IaaS handle metadata (our interaction with the IaaS-services).
  • We are interesting in storage of static files. In the future we may want to store more data like video and audio. Is there services available for this and how will it affect the cost?
  • Are there some easy way to run health checks?
  • We are interesting to implement a more fine-grained monitoring system for our application. Are the any services for this?
  • How much will our current infrastructure cost in the cloud?
  • What are your recommendations? Which kind of services could we use?

Some data

Description Numbers of CPU RAM Storage Other
Load balancer 1 - - - 50 - 2500 QPS, HTTP messages
Front-end server 2 1 0.5 GB 1 GB -
Web site/microservices 3 1 2 GB 1 GB -
Calculation service 1 4 16 GB 1 GB -
PostgreSQL RDBS 3 2 1 GB 10 GB -
noSQL 1 - - 300 GB -

Structure of the report

You are pretty free to structure your report. We assume you have the knowledge of how to present written text in a structure way that makes it easy for the reader to understand. Here are some "must-have":

  • The document must have your name, student-id in the first page.
  • The report must include a description of the IaaS you may choose
  • Each, by you, investigated service the IaaS provide must be described, motivated from our point of view and some kind of estimated monthly cost

Some tips

Spell check! Grammar check! Bad written reports will be failed! Read it out loud. If it is hard for you to read, it is probably hard for someone else. Let some else read it and get their feedback on the content, the language and the narrative. Keep within the limits!

Make sure to make references to the course literature and any other articles that is relevant for your topic.

The peer-review instructions

In this course we will use so-called peer-review, the Swedish also called "referensgranskning". This means in short that you will study an other student´s written reports. The idea of the step is to demonstrate your knowledge by analyzing and providing feedback on other student's assignments and hopefully also get great feedback on your own. This dose not mean that you should grade each other rather push and give each other good feedback. In addition, it is important to be able to rise from your own bubble and reflect on the work of others.

After the submission deadline, 27/9 08:00, you will get an e-mail with another students report. Read and analyze the report and give feedback, no more then 300 words. Send your feedback to the course email address and a copy to the student who wrote the report, no later than 30/9 23:59. You should also fill out this form Peer-review 1dv032 HT-18 your response in the form will only be seen by the course administration.

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