Internship | Benchmarking the Cloud

Every software engineer nowadays knows how to create cloud based applications. What most software engineers do not know is which cloud provider is the best for their software. Your assignment is to develop a method that compares different providers.



Education type

university (wo)


Internship and graduation project

Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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What will you be doing?

The big cloud providers in the market, like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Alibaba, are fairly well-known to us all. Smaller providers, like LeafCloud, are lesser-known. Which of these offer capabilities you need? Services at a price that better, or best, suits your application and how do they compare? Think about the type of GPU, network speed and delay between VMs, network speed to the Internet, bootup time of a VM, etc. Which is the “best” cloud provider? Now but also tomorrow, cloud providers make constant updates to their infrastructure, how does that effect your initial choice? This is unclear and most providers are not transparent enough to be able to compare these clouds or the instances they offer on the topics that interest you most.
At TNO, we are developing a tool which can help in comparing clouds, the Cloud Monitor. This tool is capable of continuously monitoring clouds using microbenchmarks for different aspects of cloud performance by mimicking the usage behavior of typical cloud user. Providing insights which are not given by the providers themselves. For instance, the figure below shows how 5 performance measures of cloud resource performance could look for 2 different cloud providers (i.e., GCP and LC) if it were to be observed over a short period. It accesses cloud resources using the specific provider interfaces. Our goal is to advance, with your help, the development of this tool. Focusing on a framework for designing benchmarks from the application perspective in a flexible way.

As a Master’s thesis intern, you aim to address the following: How can benchmarks help select the right cloud provider for my application? You will develop a generic approach to benchmarking cloud providers using the TNO Cloud monitor.
Key research questions include:
  • What is a good set of indicators to evaluate the cloud? Indicators may be of the following nature: processing performance, network throughput, price-performance-functionality tradeoffs, security or sovereignty transparency, etc.
  • How can we measure the set of indicators?
  • Which metrics are to be associated with the set of indicators?
  • Which APIs, offered by providers, can be used?
  • Which are the useful benchmarks in the literature?
  • What is a good set of generic indicators to grade and compare cloud providers? Design indicators in such a way that it is measurable at each cloud provider and can be used to compare the results.
  • How can trends over time help in providing even more information?
At the Monitoring & Control Services department the conceptual work and practical realization is equally important. An integral part of your assignment is not only to design but also implement a framework that continuously measures your metrics and determines your indicators.

What do we require of you?

You are an ambitious university Master’s student with both scientific and practical skills (e.g., designing architectures, programming, testing and presenting solutions). You strive for an excellent thesis result and you are at least available for 6 months of fulltime work at TNO. You have a background in Computing Science and a special interest in Software Engineering and Quality aspects of clouds. You are pro-active and independent, at the same time a good team player. Good communication skills in English are expected.

What can you expect of your work situation?

We, at Monitoring & Control Services (MCS) prove the feasibility as well as the added value of innovative applications of information technology for industry and government through an approach of first-time engineering of large scale monitoring & control systems. We view such systems from an Internet-of-Things perspective, where large amounts of heterogeneous data are generated by internet-connected infrastructures. These data need to be stored, processed and analyzed to build usable information for decision-making or autonomous control. Our research group deals with the information technology challenges involved in:
  1. Automatic acquisition, storage and retrieval of large volumes of data across organizations.
  2. The continuous processing of large distributed sets of data into information using adaptive (machine-learning) algorithms from multiple parties involved in Big Data analysis.
  3. Predictive analytics and large scale simulation of complex model chains for decision support in different phases (from planning/design to maintenance) of the innovation cycle.
  4. Humans interacting with the processing of data into information within complex systems.
By developing future-proof, adaptable and scalable IT solutions, we cooperate with government bodies, enterprises, service providers and non-governmental organizations in three focus domains - Industry & Infrastructure, Sustainable Energy, and Defense to create a more efficient, greener and safer tomorrow. We are a fun and very social group of applied researchers, consultants in IT systems and processes, as well as a number of System Integration experts, located in Groningen and the Hague.

What can TNO offer you?

You want to work on the precursor of your career; an internship gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your internship and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable internship compensation.

Has this vacancy sparked your interest?

Then please feel free to apply on this vacancy! For further questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

Contact: Bram Waaij, van der
Phone number: +31 (0)88-86 67779

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


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