The aim of these two lectures is to introduce you to the increasingly important topic of cloud computing - something which you've almost certainly heard of already. Cloud computing is important because it is changing the way that most people and businesses get computer services - instead of using local computers, they access remote computers 'in the cloud'.
This is a very general introduction that assumes you know nothing at all about cloud computing. I start by introducing the general principles underlying cloud computing, talk about the benefits of this approach and then go on to discuss specific ways in which cloud computing is used.
I think that the objective of lectures is to enlighten and enthuse. Traditional Powerpoint slides with bullet points rarely enlighten and never enthuse. Therefore, my slides illustrate my lectures and, I am pleased to say, don't have any bullet points at all. But they don't really make a lot of sense without hearing the lectures.
Lecture 1: Cloud Computing 1
Lecture 2: Cloud Computing 2
To back up the lectures, you need to do some reading and I've produced a course reading list. For the tutorials, you must read the first paper on this list; for the exam, you should read the first three articles on the reading list.
I've included some links to videos that you may find helpful. For those who would like to know more about the topic, I have suggested some extra reading that goes into the topic in more depth.
January 2014: I am not maintaining or updating this page but it will remain available indefinitely.
Moving IT into the cloud
You are a consultant who has been hired by Suu, Grabbit and Runne - a traditional law firm - to make recommendations on how they should update their IT systems. Lawyers from Suu, Grabbit and Runne carry around huge paper files when they visit clients and attend court and the company is keen to both reduce their IT costs and to eliminate as much paperwork as possible.
The senior partners in Suu, Grabbit and Runne have heard of cloud computing but have no idea what it means or what its implication are. Write a 2000 word report for these senior partners explaining what cloud computing is, how it might benefit their business and issues they have to be aware of if they move their IT to the cloud.