Guest Researchers from Mozambique

In the final days of October, the Service Prototyping Lab at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) hosted two doctoral candidates who take part in the structured doctoral programme Information Technology and Systems at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. The candidates Martina Barros and Ambrósio Vumo arrived from Germany, as they spent a significant part of their research time at Technische Universität Dresden (TUD) as part of the DAAD-funded joint programme Welcome to Africa. The realisation of this programme also involves the Service Prototyping Lab as competence centre for research and innovation on cloud applications and new services for digital economies. This article describes how innovation transfer was conducted during the stay.

Martina Barros, Ambrósio Vumo and the host Josef Spillner

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PyParis’17 conference report

PyParis is a community-organised conference on all topics around the Python programming language. The expected target group are primarily practitioners and researchers in the greater capital region of France, but also international engineers and language advocates. At Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Python is taught as automation and statistics application language to more than 200 business engineering, aviation and traffic engineering undergraduates per year. It is furthermore used a lot in research, including several prototypes resulting from the Service Prototyping Lab. Therefore, it was consequential for us to attend the conference and to contribute an in-depth tutorial on one of our research topics, Function-as-a-Service, to its attendees.

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NetSys’17 conference report

NetSys is a regular biennial conference covering networked and distributed systems. This year, NetSys’17 took place in Göttingen, Germany. We have attended and report on some of the research and technology trends, obviously with a focus on our own research directions. Apologies ahead for not giving a full account of the whole conference as our presence was limited by lecturing duties.

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Cloud Services: An Academic Perspective

An academic entity – more concretely, a research laboratory – resembles a stateful function: It receives input and generates output based on both the input and on previously generated knowledge and results. The input is typically a mix of fancy ideas, industry necessities, as well as funding and equipment. The output encompasses publications, software and other re-usable artefacts.

In the Service Prototyping Lab, we rely on access to well-maintained cloud environments as one form of input to come up with and test relevant concepts and methods on how to bring applications and services online on top of programmable platforms and infrastructure (i.e., PaaS and IaaS). This Samichlaus post reports on our findings after having used several such environments in parallel over several months.

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Calls for contributions to UCC 2016

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The 9th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Utility and Cloud Computing (UCC 2016) is going to run from December 6 to 9 in Shanghai. A number of calls are open to attract submissions of academic papers, hands-on demonstrations, project workshops and doctoral research plans. This brief blog post gives a convenient summary of the calls.
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Wanted: Senior Researcher / Researcher in Software Defined Networking for Clouds

Job description

The Service Engineering (SE, blog.zhaw.ch/icclab) group at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) / Institute of Applied Information Technology (InIT) in Switzerland is seeking applications for a full-time position at its Winterthur facility.

The successful candidate will work in the InIT Cloud Computing Lab (ICCLab) and will contribute to the research initiative on software defined networking for clouds.

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Impressions from the UCC 2015 Conference, and Call for 2016

On four days last year, from December 7 to 10 in 2015, two representatives of ICCLab and SPLab participated actively at the 8th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Utility and Cloud Computing (UCC 2015) which attracted about 150 academic and industrial researchers to the island of Cyprus where the University of Cyprus hosted the event close to the city of Limassol. The high density of technical talks, tutorials and poster presentations has conveyed solutions to the current and even near future issues in cloud computing.

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ICCLab’s strategic cooperation with IAESTE Switzerland

The lab has been fortunate to have a successful strategic relationship with IAESTE Switzerland. Every year we have been getting about 2 exchange student interns through IAESTE from around the world. The students have learnt and grown professionally within our team and we learn a lot from them as well, boasting our rich international representation.

Our cooperation is recognised and rewarded by the IAESTE in their annual review magazine this year, where they feature our lab head’s aka TMB’s interview. Have a look! Continue reading

ICCLab joins the new COST Action Autonomous Control for a Reliable Internet of Services (ACROSS) – IC1304

We are happy to announce that ICCLab was invited to join the COST Action Autonomous Control for a Reliable Internet of Services (ACROSS) – IC1304 as Swiss representative in the Management Committee.

ICT COST Action IC1304 Autonomous Control for a Reliable Internet of Services (ACROSS)

Descriptions are provided by the Actions directly via e-COST.

Currently, we are witnessing a paradigm shift from the traditional information-oriented Internet into an Internet of Services (IoS). This transition opens up virtually unbounded possibilities for creating and deploying new services. Eventually, the ICT landscape will migrate into a global system where new services are essentially large-scale service chains, combining and integrating the functionality of (possibly huge) numbers of other services offered by third parties, including cloud services. At the same time, as our modern society is becoming more and more dependent on ICT, these developments raise the need for effective means to ensure quality and reliability of the services running in such a complex environment. Motivated by this, the aim of this Action is to create a European network of experts, from both academia and industry, aiming at the development of autonomous control methods and algorithms for a reliable and quality-aware IoS.

Information and Communication Technologies COST Action IC1304

Action Fact Sheet

Download AFS as .RTF

Memorandum of Understanding

Download MoU as PDF

30th Birthday of the Swiss Informatics Society

30th birthday of the Swiss Informatics Society

The 30th birthday of the Swiss Informatics Society (SI), held on Tue 25 June  in Fribourg CH, concluded successfully with more then 200 participants who globally have attended the thematic workshops in the morning, the inaugural Meeting of the Swiss AIS Chapter and the plenary in the afternoon.

We post hereafter relevant topics on the Cloud Computing workshop, moderated by ZHAW ICCLAB,  and the award ceremony.

Workshop: Cloud Computing in Switzerland

Cloud Computing is transforming the IT industry, and this concerns a high-tech country like Switzerland in particular. The resulting potentials and risks need to be well understood in order to be able to fully leverage the technical as well as economical advantages. This workshop  provided an overview of current technological and economical trends with a particular focus on Switzerland and its Federal Cloud Computing strategy

8:45 – 9:00  Intro by Christof Marti (ZHAW)
Workshop introduction, goals and activities on Cloud Computing at ZHAW.

The Cloud Computing Special Interest Group (SIG), whose formation is coordinated by ZHAW ICCLAB, was introduced with its overall goals identified  to stimulate the knowledge, implementation and development of Cloud Computing in Industry, Research, SMEs and Education. The Kick-Off meeting is foreseen in September (watch si-cc-sig or linkedin group for more details ).  Further information were presented on the InIT Cloud Computing Lab (ICCLAB),  Research Lab dedicated to Cloud Computing in the focus area of Service Engineering encompassing important research themes and cloud initiatives like: Automation, Interoperability, Dependability, SDN for Clouds, Monitoring, Rating, Charging, Billing and Future Internet platforms.

9:00-09:20  Peter Kunszt  (SystemsX)
Cloud computing services for research – first steps and recommendations

The view of the scientific community on technological trends and the opportunities offered by Cloud Computing infrastructures.  Interesting start of the workshop by the Project leader of SyBIT (SystemsX.ch Biology IT: SyBIT) with overview of possible cloud services for science and education, recommendation concerning commercial vs. selfmade clouds and possible pricing & billing models for science .

9:20-09:40 Markus Brunner (Swisscom)
Cloud/SDN in Service Provider Networks

Markus illustrated “why a new network architecture” with feature comparision of aging network technology (static) and current trend (dynamic) on global needs like cost effectiveness, agility and service oriented. The proposal was to  look at new infrastructures based on SDN (Software Defined Network) and NFV (Network Function Virtualisation). NFV is concerned with porting network or telecommunications applications, that today typically run on dedicated and specialized hardware platforms, to virtualized Cloud platforms. Some basic architectures were discussed and interplay of NFV-SDN.   The presentation concluded with analysis of challenges for Cloud technologies today for communication oriented applications like: Real-time, Security, Predictable performance, Fault Management in Virtualized Systems and fixed /  mobile differences.

9:40-10:00  Sergio Maffioletti (University of Zurich)
A roadmap for an Academic Cloud 

“The view of the scientific community on how cloud technology could be used as a foundation for building a national research support infrastructure”. Interesting and innovative presentation made by Sergio starting from the “why and what’s wrong” analysis through the initiatives in places (new platforms, cloud utilisation and long tem competitiveness objectives). The presentation also made an overview of how this is implemented with National Research Infrastructure program (the Swiss Academic Compute  Cloud project) and innovative management systems (a mechanism to collect community requirements and implementing technical services and solution ).  The presentation concluded on the objectives and targets like: inter-operate, intra/inter access to institutional infrastructure, cloud enabled,   research clustering and national computational resources.

10:00-10:20 Michèal Higgins  (CloudSigma) – remote
CloudSigma and the Challenges of Big Science in the Cloud

Switzerland based CloudSigma is a pure-cloud IaaS service provider, offering highly-available flexible enterprise-class cloud servers in Europe and the U.S. It offers innovative services like all SSD storage, high performance solutions and firewall/VPN services. Helping building the a federated cloud platform (Helix Nebula) that addresses the needs of big science, CloudSigma sees the biggest challenges and values to have huge data-sets available close to the computing instances. As a conclusion CloudSigmas offers the Science community to store common big data sets for free close to their compute instances reducing the cost and time to transfer the data.

         10:20-10:40 Muharem Hrnjadovic (RackSpace)

An overview of key capabilities of cloud based infrastructures like OpenStack and challenging scenarios were presented during this session.

10:40-10:45 All
Q&A session

Swiss Informatics Competition 2013

Aside from speakers and panel discussions, captivating student projects (Bachelors &  Masters in Computer Science), from Universities and High Schools Specialty, have been introduced  to illustrate the diversity of computing technologies. Selected projects by team of experts have been also awarded. The details on the student projects are available here.

 Some photos taken from the cloud computing workshop, the plenary and ending awards:

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