In this assignment you are asked to provide a solution to a hypothetical scenario. The assignment implies that you have a good understanding of the Cloud Reference Model and its segmentation into the three key market offerings (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS), and the key patterns utilized in designing Cloud Computing applications.
Assessment Rules and Submission Policy (please read):
- This is an individual task. While collaborative work is encouraged collusion/copying is not permitted and constitutes plagiarism.
- The submission date for the assignment is 29.01.2016 (5:00pm)
- The assignment should be submitted through DeakinCloud as a single PDF document. Hard-copy and e-mail submissions are not acceptable and will not be marked.
- All references should be correctly cited and included using a standard form of referencing.
- Students who do not submit by the due date will have their mark reduced. The faculty rules for this state: Work submitted late without documented approval of the Unit Chair will be penalised. Assignments that are submitted after the submission date will be subject to a mark penalty equal to 10% of the marks per day of the marks available for the piece of work, up to and including three days after the published due date. Assignments submitted more than three days after the published submission date will not be marked.
Case Study: Improve Service Performance
The assignment does not require any “implementation” work (i.e. you will not be expected to deliver a working application but simply its design). Despite this, the practice sessions have exposed you to some of the technologies and methodologies that are involved in building applications for the Cloud. Use the learning developed in those sessions to inform your design.
The Italian Government has just hired you to lead an important project. The scope of the project is to review in real time the performance of some its key services, provided to the general public.
In the past years, the performance of the Taxation Office was only evaluated upon collected data from marketing research companies, which involved sampling data from phone interviews.
The Government now wants to gather more information about how to improve the service. Part of this is based on collecting feedback, but the Government recognizes that by mining the social media they could gather much more valuable information provided by the public.
Project Goal and Scope:
You have been engaged to devise an end-to-end solution for gathering and presenting information.
Develop a service, which people can use to provide feedback – such as a feedback form.
Mine data from social media, in particular Twitter.
Provide an interface for government staff to visualize the collected information and do additional analytics.
Some Aspects to Consider
- Because the feedback feature will be integrated into the current web application that the Government utilizes to provide lodgment and Q&A online, it will have access to the users confidential data to provide a better context for the feedback. This information needs to be “managed with care” as there are additional constraints related to where it can be stored and in which form. In particular, there are “Data Sovereignty” constraints and the information cannot leave the country, while at rest.
- The Government cannot estimate with confidence what the longevity of this application will be. In particular, they do not know whether such project will be needed after an initial trial of 6 months. Therefore, it is not willing to make huge upfront investments (e.g. extend their data centers now running at full capacity, or buy a software solution). Because of that, it is particularly keen to exploit Cloud Computing technologies, but it has given you freedom to devise what the best approach will be.
- During the development of the solution, you will be given access to the public Twitter feed, which only gives you access to a small portion (i.e. 10%) of the total number of tweets. Once in production, or when eventually the application will be deemed valuable, the Government plans to access the entire Twitter feed, thus creating a considerable increase in the data volumes that will need to be handled. For your reference, monitoring a single twitter keyword could generate at least 100 MB/day on a public feed.
- The user experience of the public citizen is particularly important to the Government, as the organization tries to improve its services and image. Therefore, a key requirement is the performance of the feedback function, which needs to run without delays and provide useful information to the user. Less pressure is perceived in the administrative user interface for the Government staff, as it will be subject to less user demand, but potentially deal with much larger datasets.
What You Are Expected to Deliver
Produce a report that incorporates the following aspects:
- Devise a comprehensive architecture of the system that includes the three capabilities and how they relate and interact with each other.
- Design of each the three capabilities in more detail by highlighting the components needed to address the business concerns discussed above.
- Discussion about the different design choices made. This implies that you motivate the reason of the choices you have made.
- A discussion on how you decide to use Cloud Computing technologies (and which ones from the Cloud Reference Model) and their implication on the price and the charges that you will eventually apply to the Government. In particular, which specific pricing scheme you will propose and how will you make profit?
A Little Help
- The “project brief” in this document has highlighted some key aspects to point you in the right direction. For instance data sovereignty and scalability of the application are particularly important, but they are not the only ones. Please keep in mind these aspects as you develop your solution.
- Even though, not expressed explicitly, the solution needs to live on “Cloud Computing technologies” and the discussions and case studies that have been presented during lectures 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are of particular importance to complete the assignment.
- The practice sessions have highlighted some technologies that could be of help in devising the architecture of some of the components. In particular, NodeRed, NoSQL databases. You might want to consider them to design some of the components of the solution as an option.