University of Waterloo
University of Waterloo

CS 854 - Advanced Topics in Computer Systems:
Infrastructure as a Service

Winter 2018

Comp Sec Camp Loc Time Days/Date Bldg Room Instructor
SEM 001UW U10:00-12:50 ThuDC 2568Martin Karsten

Instructor's Name Office Location Contact Office Hours
Martin Karsten DC 3506 by email

Registrar's Schedule of Classes


From the School's web page:

"Graduate courses assume a background of at least third-year Honours Computer Science at the University of Waterloo and a similar level of mathematical maturity."

For CS 854, students are expected to understand the fundamentals of programming languages, data structures, operating systems, and algorithms, each at least at the level of an introductory course.

Course Overview

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) combines the virtualization and client/server computing paradigms at scale to provide general-purpose computing, communication, and storage resources that are detached from the underlying hardware and dynamically provisioned. Prominent commercial public offerings include Amazon's AWS, Google's Cloud Platform, and Microsoft's Azure offerings. At the same time, the open-source platform OpenStack can be used to build smaller-scale and/or private cloud infrastructure. In this course, we will study the recent research literature addressing challenges and opportunities in this domain. We will investigate and attempt to categorize and generalize solution approaches. The course is comprised of several elements:

Evaluation (tentative)

Students must complete and sign the Academic Integrity acknowledgement form and hand it in at the beginning of the third class. See policies below for further information.


List of Papers



Schedule (tentative)

Date TopicNotes
Jan 4Organizational Meet 
Jan 11Lecture - Concepts 
Jan 18Lecture - Components 
Jan 25Research Papers - Computing 
Feb 1Research Papers - Networking 
Feb 8Research Papers - Storage 
Feb 15Research Papers - Architecture
Project Outlines
Feb 22Reading Weekno class
Mar 1Research Papers - Consensus 
Mar 8Research Papers - Security 
Mar 15Research Papers - Monitoring 
Mar 22Research Papers - Consolidation
Mar 29Project Presentations