CESWP Gets Some Time In the Sun

By Everett Toews, Senior Developer, Edmonton

Aloha from the 2011 International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

The ICSE is a software engineering conference, which provides an opportunity for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss innovations, trends, experiences and concerns in the field of software engineering.

This year's conference theme was "Software by Design" and it reflected the belief that design is fundamental to the long-term success of a software system. While other concepts, concerns and processes are important to the success of a software engineering project, it is the quality of a system's design that is the critical ingredient.

On Sunday, May 22, I had the privilege of presenting a paper on the Cloud-Enabled Space Weather Modeling and Data Assimilation Platform (CESWP), which I wrote specifically for the cloud computing workshop at the conference. The presentation was well-received and it sparked a number of pertinent questions, such as CESWP's use of authentication/authorization and big data. These questions led to some interesting discussions and perhaps some new opportunities.

I was also able to learn about many other fascinating projects, but there were a few that stood out for me:

  • The Virtual Computing Lab (VCL), based out of the North Carolina State University, is an open-source system used to dynamically provision and broker remote access to a dedicated compute environment for an end-user. The VCL is a mature production cloud with more than 40,000 users. One of the primary goals of the VCL is to deliver a dedicated compute environment to a user for a limited time through a web interface. This compute environment can range from something as simple as a virtual machine running productivity software, to a machine room blade running high-end software (e.g. a computer-aided design (CAD), geographic information system (GIS), statistical package, or an Enterprise level application) to a cluster of interconnected physical (bare metal) compute nodes.
  • The edubase Cloud can create an environment where you can acquire necessary IT resources when needed and can test your ideas without restraint. We witnessed a demonstration and discovered it integrated with OpenStack and VCL, which are programs that Cybera is using and looking into using.
  • The Lunar Mapping and Modeling Project (LMMP) is managing the development of a suite of lunar mapping and modeling tools and data products that support lunar exploration activities. In this demonstration, we discovered how the project replayed Apache logs to enable load testing for applications.

The cloud computing workshop and conference was a great experience. Thanks to all of the co-authors on the CESWP paper.