Private Cloud Initiative

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University of Calgary Private Cloud Initiative

The intent of this page and related pages is to document the progress of faculty, researchers, students, and staff in creating a local private cloud computing environment. This private cloud will serve as a major research instrument for researchers across multiple Faculties.

There is a strong case for a private Canadian cloud computing infrastructure. Researchers at the U of C are interested in studying the systems behavior and security properties of a real cloud environment; doing so entails fine-grained instrumentation of multiple layers of the cloud (more than most cloud clients have access to, such as the underlying virtualization layer and hardware resources).

  • Meeting Minutes (meeting minutes starting 18 Jan 2011)
  • Intended Uses (possible clients of the private cloud)
  • Research Initiatives (list of studies and experiments)
  • IRB/CPHS approval discussion
  • Resource Requirements (personnel/management, hardware, software, funding)
  • Data Repositories


  • Define experimental goals (at least within CPSC & ISPIA and possibly Faculty of Medicine/Public Health)
  • Define service goals and roles (what value can we add to research projects around the university?)
  • Identify a hardware platform (e.g., IBM)
  • Identify a virtualization management layer (IaaS), e.g., VMWare, Microsoft
  • Identify a guest OS layer (or appropriate mixture)
  • Identify an appropriate set of SaaS components (e.g., Hadoop)
  • Coordinate with UCIT and IS2
  • Start conversations with vendors; sales pitch is to partner with a university to understand the parameters of a private Canadian cloud (e.g., VMWare Academic partner)
  • At appropriate time, bring in local cloud services company to the conversation


Links to various experiments. Some of this is not yet ready for public consumption.

Virtual Machine Fingerprinting



List of people involved in the project and their roles and contributions.

Rei, Michael, Kris, Gaven, Raul, ...



Funding for this instrument comes from...


The cloud-security-interest-L mailing list at the U of C serves as a forum for discussing this research instrument (use cases, troubleshooting, feature requests, research ideas, hosting requests). Please visit the Mailman page for the list to sign up or browse the archives: