The semester-long project is an open-ended systems research project. Project topics are of your choice but should be related to cloud computing and data centers. Projects should be done in groups of two or three and include a systems building component.

Project Timeline

9/11: Post your project group in Piazza
9/25: Post your project proposal (single column, 2 pages at most)
12/19: Email me your project report; Put your code in dropbox

Writing Papers

Papers must be written in LaTeX. Papers must be no longer than 6 pages, EXCLUDING references. Text should be formatted in two columns on 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper using 10 point fonts on 12 point (single-spaced) leading, and 1-inch margins. You should strongly consider using some type of version control software (e.g., Subversion or Git) for your project and the paper you write describing it.


If you need access to one or two computers for testing your system, please contact us. For larger-scale tests, you should try out one of the following testbeds:


DeterLab is a network emulation environment at ISI. It provides racks of machines and programmable switches that can be configured to form mostly-arbitrary network topologies, with controllable delay and loss between nodes. It's a great way to test real programs in repeatable conditions or at scales that you can't get on your own.

If you wish to use Emulab for your project, you should join our class deterlab project.


PlanetLab is a large-scale, distributed collection of machines that can be used for experiments and measurements. It has around 600 nodes scattered over about 350 sites. The machines run something linux-ish that you can login to and run programs, and there exist a variety of utilities for automatically distributing software to the nodes, running programs, and so on.

You must sign up to use a PlanetLab account. Please only sign up if you're going to use the account, since it imposes some management overhead on people not involved with the course.

Amazon ec2

We have got a few credits from Amazon. Contact me if you need credits to run experiments in Amazon.