COMP 529 – Cloud Computing – Spring 2019

Course Information

  • Course URL (this page):
  • Canvas:
  • Course Syllabus (Updated on April 18, 2019)
  • CI Catalogue URL: link
  • Previous version of this course: first time by this instructor
  • Lectures: Thursdays, 6-9pm, Sierra Hall 1132
  • CI Calendar Information
  • Instructor: Michael Soltys <>
  • Twitter: @MichaelMSoltys
  • Course Outline:This course is an introduction to Cloud Computing using Amazon Web Services (AWS). It covers distributed systems on the Internet, and in particular computing with virtual clients and servers, online storage and databases, and networking.
  • Textbook: No required textbook, but we will be covering the material in AWS Certified Solutions Architect
  • Grading: We will have quizzes and labs in class, which are going to be graded for attendance, 20%. There will be a midterm worth 30%, and a final exam worth 50%. Both the midterm and the final will be written in class.
  • How to avoid plagiarism: The midterm and final will be written individually, without aids, in class.
  • Attendance: Students are encouraged but not required to attend the lectures.
  • Students with disabilities: Cal State Channel Islands is committed to equal educational opportunities for qualified students with disabilities in compliance with Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The mission of Disability Accommodation Services is to assist students with disabilities to realize their academic and personal potential. Students with physical, learning, or other disabilities are encouraged to contact the Disability Accommodation Services office at (805) 437-8510 for personal assistance and accommodations. Please discuss your arrangements with the instructor as soon as possible.
  • Check this web page regularly for announcements.

Class diary

  • April 25: We did the last chapter of the certification handbook: AWS Architecture Best Practices, chapter 14. We did the corresponding quiz.
  • April 18: We covered chapters 12 and 13, on AWS security and Risk & Compliance, respectively. We did quizzes for both. We announced that we will have a lecture on April 25 after all (as well as the assignment for that day). On April 25 we will cover chapter 14, “Best Practices”.
  • April 4: We covered chapters 10 and 11: ElastiCache and Additional Key Services, which include: CloudFront (Content Delivery), Kinesis (Analytics), OpsWorks, CloudFormation, Beanstalk, Trusted Advisor and Config (DevOps). We did 2 quizzes for the corresponding chapters and a lab.
  • April 2: Read this paper on load balancing: [pdf]
  • March 28: We are covering chapter 8: SQS, SWF and SNS; and, we are covering chapter 9: DNS and Route53. Reading material:
  • March 21: This course, COMP 529, is the CI graduate introduction to Cloud Computing, and we are using AWS to lear the concepts. If you are interested in pursuing AWS certification, below are listed the current options (the AWS Academy has updated its curriculum, so the old name is also given). The two options are listed in order of AWS certification (i.e., 1. is easier than 2.). If you take one (or both) of these options, please let me know how you did and if our course helped you with the preparation:
    1. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (old name: AWS Academy Cloud Foundations (ACF))
    2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (old name: AWS Academy Cloud Architecting (ACA))
  • March 21: Spring break
  • March 14: Midterm
  • March 7: Databases: RDS, Redshift, DynamoDB; we had a quiz and a lab.
  • Feb 28: We covered both ELB, Cloud Watch and Auto Scaling (chp 5 of AWS), with a quiz, and then IAM (chp 6 of AWS) also with a quiz. A lab for IAM was assigned as homework. For more material on IAM please read:
  • Feb 21: Elastic Load Balancing, Cloud Watch, Auto Scaling (chp 5 of AWS). And:
  • Feb 14: VPC (chp 4 of AWS) and quiz 4. For more information see the documents:
  • Feb 7: EC2 and EBS (chp 3 of AWS) and quiz 3. For more information see the documents:
  • Jan 31: S3 and Glacier storage (chp 2 of AWS) and quiz 2. For more information see the documents below:
  • Jan 24: First lecture, we covered chapter 1 (AWS): basic concepts of cloud computing; we did a quiz 1 based on that material. We also did an AWS assessment exam.
  • Jan 15, 2018: A detailed explanation of how to sign up for an AWS Educate by Pallavi Amod Chavan.
  • Jan 4, 2018: setting up the web page