Loyola University Maryland

Department of Computer Science


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Special Topics in Computer Science:


Spring 2014

Virtualization is an important technology with uses in cloud computing and other areas of information technology. Loyola is pleased to offer virtualization as a Special Topics graduate course for Spring term 2014. The instructor, Pat Stakem, has performed virtualization of systems and applications for on-board deployment in NASA spacecraft.

If you have used VMware, you have seen virtualization in action. VMware allows you to run multiple virtual computers within your physical computer. The virtual computers may run different operating systems than the host machine - for example Linux versus Windows. Virtual machines can be stopped and there states saved, and they can be reset to earlier states. This is idea for testing, where the work of setting a virtual computer to an initial state need take place only once. Another application of virtualization is found in the data center, which can host web servers for clients as virtual servers, each optimized according to its clients' needs, and each replicable to provide scalability. The instructor has virtualized embedded computers for use in satellites, so that software already certified for use in space can be reused on a different platform.

In this course, you will learn the application of virtualization techniques for data center operations, security, testing, and debugging. You will construct and debug virtual machines. Lecture material may be supplemented by visits from industry leaders in the field, such as VmWare and XenSource. The history of virtualization will be discussed, and the nature of virtualization as compared to compatibility middleware. The nature and functions of a Hypervisor will be explored, as will requirements on the host machine.

Prerequisites: knowledge of Java or C.

Pat Stakem works on space systems and robotics at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. He has taught graduate courses at Loyola University Maryland in the past, and he has worked closely mentoring interns and STEM program participants at Goddard.

The class will meet once a week, on Wednesdays, 5:30 pm to 7:40 pm, at Loyola's Columbia Graduate Center, Room 104. It runs from January 15 through April 30, 2014. The course number is CS*750*501.

Further information: Contact Dr. Berman at inquiry@cs.loyola.edu.