Are cloud based virtual labs cost effective? (CSEDU 2012)

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Cost efficiency is an often mentioned strength of cloud computing. In times of decreasing educational budgets virtual labs provided by cloud computing might be an interesting alternative for higher education organizations or IT training facilities. This contribution analyzes the cost advantage of virtual educational labs provided via cloud computing means and compare these costs to costs of classical ed- ucational labs provided in a dedicated manner. This contribution develops a four step decision making model which might be interesting for colleges, universities or other IT training facilities planning to implement cloud based training facilities. Furthermore this contribution provides interesting findings when cloud computing has economical advantages in education and when not. The developed four step decision making model of general IaaS applicability can be used to find out whether an IaaS cloud based virtual IT lab approach is more cost efficient than a dedicated approach.

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Are cloud based virtual labs cost effective? (CSEDU 2012)

  1. 1. Nane KratzkeARE CLOUD ENABLED VIRTUALLABS ECONOMICAL?A Case Study Analyzing Cloud Based VirtualLabs for Educational Purposes Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 1 Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  2. 2. IntroductionThese use cases (among others ) are postulated to be cloud compatible data storage, support software short-term system disaster recovery hosting websites development cycles demonstrations and business continuity overflow processing Training and media processing or large-scale educatioin and rendering scientific data processing •  Research shows that cost advantages of cloud computing are deeply use case specific •  Be aware of comparing non comparable use cases •  This contribution analyzes the cost advantage of virtual educational labs provided via cloud computing means Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 2 Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  3. 3. The next 30 minutes are about ...•  Definition of virtual labs•  Analyzed use case •  Some use case specific findings about costs •  Some use case specific findings about ressource usage•  Decision making is not always obvious => How to decide?•  Findings and advices •  Establishing virtual labs •  Is the concept transferable? •  Advices for practical courses •  Pragmatic rules for cost control•  Conclusion and outlook Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 3 Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  4. 4. What is a virtual lab (definition)A Virtual Lab is a collection ofcompute, storage and networkingresources provided by aneducational organization foreducational or research purposes.It can be provided to a single or asmall group of students.Provided resources are available forshort-term use and are billed byactual resource consumption.In most of the times providedresources are rented by theeducational organization from acloud service provider. Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 4 Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  5. 5. Analyzed use case•  Web technology lecture/practical course for 49 computer science students in summer 2011.•  Project 1: Develop a website for a scientific conference on robotic sailing•  Project 2: Google map based automatic sailbot tracking service•  All groups were assigned cloud service accounts provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS).•  Analysis of billing as well as usage data provided by AWS. Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 5 Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  6. 6. (A) Costs per Month (aligned to Weeks) 500 Cost analysis 400Costs in USD 300 200 Total costs: 846.99 $ 100 Total students: 49 Cost per student: 17.28 $ 0 CW 13 CW 14 – CW 17 CW 18 – CW 21 CW 22 – CW 25 Calendar Weeks (CW) (B) Main Cost Drivers instancehour (62%) Main identified cost drivers: (1)  Server uptime (2/3) datatransfer (0%) adressing (3%) (2)  Data storage (1/3) datastorage (34%) Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 6 Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  7. 7. 0 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25Average to Peak Ratio per Week (I) Calendar Week (C) Average Box to Maximum Box Ratio according to Weinman 1.0 Cloud computing is economical not reasonableAvg to Max Box Usage Ratio 0.8 Cloud computing 0.6 might be reasonable 0.4 Cloud computing is 0.2 economical reasonable 0.0 14 16 18 20 22 24 Calendar Week Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 7 Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  8. 8. 0 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25Average to Peak Ratio per Week (II) Calendar Week (C) Average Box to Maximum Box Ratio according to Weinman 1.0 Training Cloud computing is Project 24x7 economical not reasonableAvg to Max Box Usage Ratio 0.8 Cloud computing 0.6 might be reasonable 0.4 Migration Cloud computing is 0.2 economical reasonable 0.0 14 16 18 20 22 24 Calendar Week Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 8 Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  9. 9. Economical Decision AnalysisA four step process to decide for or against cloud based virtual labs (A) Determine your atp Maximum and Average Box Usage 50 ratio Average Box Usage Maximum Box Usage in an hour 40 Used Server Boxes 30 Determine your 20 dedicated costs 10 0 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Calendar Week Determine your (B) maximal cloud costs Max instances: 49 2000 Accumulated Processing Hours per Week Processing hours: 7612 1500 Processing Hours Determine appropriate Average: 7612 / (26 * 7 * 24) = 1.74 1000 cloud ressources Overall atp ratio: 1.74 / 49 = 0.035 500 Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 9 0 Computer Science and Business Information Systems 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
  10. 10. Economical Decision AnalysisA four step process to decide for or against cloud based virtual labs Determine your atp According to Weinmann the peak-to-average ratio ratio should be greater than the relation between the variable costs c and the dedicated costs d: Determine your dedicated costs Example Server: 500 US Dollar Determine your maximal cloud costs Amortization: 3 years 500$ Determine appropriate d5years (500$) = = 0.019 $ h 3 • 365 • 24h cloud ressources Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 10 Computer Science and Business Information Systems €
  11. 11. Economical Decision AnalysisA four step process to decide for or against cloud based virtual labs Determine your atp ratio Determine your dedicated costs Determine your maximal cloud costs 0.019 $ h $ c Max = = 0.54 Determine appropriate 0.035 h cloud ressources Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 11 € Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  12. 12. Economical Decision AnalysisA four step process to decide for or against cloud based virtual labs Determine your atp 0.023 $ h $ ratio c Max = = 0.54 0.035 h Pricings for EU region, 19th March, 2012 Determine your € Example: Amazon Web Services EC2- dedicated costs Determine your maximal cloud costs Determine appropriate cloud ressources Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 12 Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  13. 13. General Findings•  Cloud computing loves peak load scenarios (higher education provides peak loads, be happy)•  Cloud generated costs are use case specific (be carefull)•  Main cost drivers are (try to minimize) •  Box usage (server uptime) •  Data storage (server volumes)•  Not economical interesting use cases (try to avoid) •  24x7 and •  constant loads Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 13 Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  14. 14. TransferabilityAccording to module descriptions of computer science (near) studyprograms of the Lübeck University of Applied Sciences•  Industrial Networks and Databases•  Informationtechnology•  Databases common: Ressource requirements in•  Integrated •  Database Informationsystems •  Distributed•  Distributed Systems processing instances•  Operating Systems •  Webtechnologies•  ... •  Linux/Unix based instances •  Parallel processingWhenever there exist a practical •  Large-scale datacourse with one of the mentioned processingressources requirements a virtual labmight be a reasonable option. Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 14 Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  15. 15. Advices #1 •  Initial training phase (may be even an virtual lab training course) #2 •  Cloud computing gives flexibility. Use it! No presence is required (after initial training) #3 •  Watch your costs and establish a cost awareness Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 15 Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  16. 16. Mindkeeping cost control rules forstudents motivation rule Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 16 Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  17. 17. Conclusions •  Cloud based labs are scalable (10, 100, 1000 students) •  Decision making must not be obvious => four step decision making model •  Analysed use case showed a 25 to 50 times cost advantage in comparison to classical dedicated approaches •  advices for applying virtual labs in practical courses •  common requirements to search for similar courses •  It is likely that cloud based virtual labs might be an economical option for several practical courses, but ... Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 17 Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  18. 18. Outlook •  Provided cloud management tools are not designed for educational purposes so far •  Missing multi account handling •  Missing cross region handling •  Missing comfortable batch processing of recurring administrational tasks •  Our focus: Management software to set up and manage virtual labs •  Reduce administrational efforts for teachers •  Automatic average to peak ratio calculation •  Decision support by analysing generated usage as well as cost data Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 18 Computer Science and Business Information Systems
  19. 19. Thank you for listeningYou can find this presentation here:http://www.slideshare.net/i21aneka/csedu-2012 Slideshare: i21aneka Xing: Nane_KratzkeProf. Dr. Nane KratzkeComputer Science and LinkedIN:Business Information Systems nanekratzkeLübeck University of Applied SciencesMönkhofer Weg 239 WEB:23562 Lübeck Mail: kratzke@fh-luebeck.de http://praktische-informatik.fh-luebeck.deGermany Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Nane Kratzke 19 Computer Science and Business Information Systems

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