Cloud For Students – how can we scale this out?

Codescalers, an Egypt-based group working as part of the ThreeFold team, has developed a simple cloud portal called Cloud for Students, which allows users to launch a virtual machine or kubernetes cluster on top of the decentralized ThreeFold Grid.

The initiative was launched to 1. show another use case on top of the grid and 2. give back to the community. Codescalers has chosen to target local universities and students with this effort and is providing these cloud solutions for free (with their own TFT) at the current time.

Scaling the Solution

This initiative was showcased on a team call recently and I thought it made sense to bring it to the community, to show what has been worked on and to see how we may be able to work together to replicate their efforts.

Over the past four months, several students have been using the platform to run their solutions and the aim is to scale this up to a larger group in the coming semester.

But why stop there? Couldn’t we white label this solution and as a ThreeFold community reach out to universities, colleges, and other educational institutions about bringing this effort to them? These institutions can sponsor the cost of running their students’ workloads and can even buy or sponsor nodes, meaning their students can run their workloads on their own hardware, or at least hardware owned by the university.

Let’s take it even further. Today’s Internet began with a few universities using their own hardware to interconnect and share information. Can we create a 2.0 version of this moment?

These are just some initial ideas, I am curious on your thoughts.


That’s a really cool idea. How can we make this known by students?


White labelling sounds interesting. So far it has been challenging setting up a profitable business on the grid without programming capabilities. It would be very beneficial to both the grid as well as Threefold if they provide such opportunities


I like the idea regarding whitelabeling👍

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Thanks for the responses so far! I’ll give it another few days this week to see if there are any other add-ons or thoughts or comments and otherwise I’ll go back to the team to see what we can make happen.

There is a post buried somewhere I wrote about presenting zos as a hypervisor software to large institutions. I think this is a great initiative, when you look at the cost of other hypervisors just for licensing, one that has the potential to offer cost offset for idle machines could be an interesting proposal.

I think there is truly opportunities here to make this software do even greater work though, what if this wasn’t about short lived vm’s but providing a persistent machine for underserved populations.

Imagine if instead of certified nodes, we had certified terminals, small low power thin clients that have an attached larger vm, a low cost machine that allows complete scalability and keeps the clients data safe and well connected. While giving them access to the power from local hosts.

Imagine if someone only needed a shared community internet connection and 30-40$ machine to easily access an ubuntu desktop that can be scaled to different levels with a low cost subscription. We could truly connect the world, imagine how many people could have 4 cores and 12 gb of ram just from greenedge alone, we can’t be Google cloud, but we can be the cloud that is willing to work with communities to better the lives of everyone.


These could eliminate many of our woes, a built for purpose solution can boot just like 3Node from a protected storage, download its image and then connect to its peer workload. Displaying the desktop.

A boot to desktop solution is I think viable, But we would definitely need the ability for the local image to snapshot into a zdb and be restorable. I think a single 24 hour rollback snapshot would be the max though. These snapshots could leverage hdd and qsfs since they will be natively able to be read only. We have more space then we know what do with on the hdd Side.

Could we offer a solution that creates a micro vm desktop that you can move around hosts but always have the same attached storage, this could be amazing for a turn key scalable prototyping box.

How is the status about this project?
Where else is it promoted? Many student that are the target group wont have access to this forum.
It would make sense to reach out to the many Universities in Cairo, especially the ones with “tech sudents”.

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It’s one of those many Drew’s posts, that convince me he’s on to something great, and while reading it three times I still don’t have a clue what he means. I’ll have to see it to understand… :slight_smile:

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Let’s make it basic then.

Create an app that allows people to have a Linux desktop on the grid that they can use anytime from their pc, phone, tablet…

Imagine a single classroom, 30 students per class, 6 classes per day. Traditionally each student would need a laptop or pc to use.

Having them in class is cheap, but your sharing, it doesn’t go home and it’s not a scalable solution

Issuing each student one is expensive and the risk of handing a student a multi thousand dollar device can be pretty high.

Instead, my thought process, each student gets an affordable and easily replaceable “access terminal” whether be a tablet, a mini, roi, , or even a Chromebook, and a then an assigned vm that device connects to and displays on boot.

This means each student can have only the specs they actually need, access their work from anywhere etc.


Personal computing as come full circle. Return of the terminal!!!

Not cli, a device used by a human to handle Input/output still talking desktop enviroment

No, I mean literally terminal computing. Connected to a mainframe. The word terminal comes from that, as that is what the user interested with. The mainframe was a beast of a thing in the backroom, the user each accessed from their own “terminal”

lol much before my time :joy:. But yes that’s the concept, except the terminal just needs an internet connection and a place to sit

We got rid of our mainframe (the last two programs no one wanted to migrate) about a decade ago.
Terminal software is also about to extinct and the users get hardware that is capable of processing their work.

Terminal / remote desktop can make sense for some special cases where you really need very powerful hardware.

Finally following up here.

On our side we are now working to introduce this to a student / testing community in Dar Es Salaam (related to our Dunia Yetu initiative). So right now we are syncing with the team in Egypt to reskin the platform for that purpose. Let’s see how this goes, will show us how quick / simple / difficult it is to replicate.

Yes for sure. The team in Egypt is doing more direct outreach to students and universities in the area. I only created this post to show to our community what was happening. :pray:

I wonder if we can introduce this program in India. Let’s talk @tullysinc @Amanda.


Certainly, @gosam! Honestly, @tullysinc and I have discussed the possibility of implementing this in India. Let’s go ahead and finalize a date and time to exchange our ideas.