UpCloud Partnership is a Win for CSE 356


UpCloud has been a fantastic partner in teaching CSE356,” said computer science Professor Michael Ferdman.

Ferdman’s course, CSE 356 Cloud Computing, introduces undergraduate students to the field of cloud computing. Students learn how large-scale systems such as Google and Twitter are built, providing them with the foundation they need to join or start a company that creates these systems.  

Known as the “world’s fastest cloud,” Upcloud has a distinctive infrastructure of eight interconnected data centers across the globe including the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Singapore, and the Netherlands with their headquarters in Finland. The platform includes services such as simple-to-use backups, the ability to scale servers at any time, and easy-to-use API.

The Upcloud partnership began several years ago when Ferdman asked the company about donating credits to students so that they would have a “first-hand experience on how to build new online services hosted at a cloud service provider.” The students, in turn, use their rented computers (via credits) to complete assignments.

“Its powerful APIS enabled us to automatically provide students with accounts and keep them up-to-date throughout the semester,” says Ferdman.

Students find the UpCloud interface is user-friendly and that it offers stability. “[UpCloud] has been very reliable and responsive throughout the semester. It was a great resource as part of our introduction to cloud computing,” said student Justin Cai.

Described as “efficient and straightforward,” students even use Upcloud to write up grading scripts to help with their teaching assistant (TA) responsibilities. “The main benefit of using UpCloud has been its simplicity and tasks on UpCloud can take longer somewhere else,” said Kevin Li, an ex-TA for CSE 356. “For example, adding an SSH key on GCP is considered an ‘Advanced Option’ and hidden under a bunch of other features. Meanwhile, UpCloud stores your SSH keys in your profile.”

All assignments for CSE 356 used Upcloud, including deploying web pages, building custom Docker containers, load balancing, and setting up a message queue, among many others.

The course’s final project revolves around a live text editor where students progressively increase the amount of requests it could take, all done via UpCloud.

Antti Vilpponen, UpCloud CEO, is proud of their contribution to the Stony Brook University course and says, "Organizations are moving at a rapid pace to cloud services. The challenge here is a gap in talent that slows down industries to transform and innovate fast. At UpCloud we foster and empower learning and actively address the gap in skills by collaborating with institutions and offering our easy to use and reliable cloud services.”


- Alissa Pabon