June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
11.1078.1 - 11.1078.13
Remote Internetworking Laboratory
Remote experimentation is the process of conducting real lab experiments without being physically in contact with lab devices. Recently, the development of Internet technologies fostered the spread of online laboratories, and significant benefits helped establish remote experimentation as a potential substitute to real experimentation. Internetworking lab experiments usually involve very expensive hardware; and providing remote access to this type of laboratories is highly desired, especially when a large number of students must share a limited set of devices. Very few remote internetworking laboratories have previously been implemented, and they had several drawbacks. In this paper, we discuss our design of a Remote Internetworking Laboratory which provided access to the internetworking lab at the American University of Beirut (AUB). The uniqueness of our approach is that it uses VLANs (Virtual LANs) to build network topologies, a technique that separates network subnets into different broadcast domains before allowing users to configure each lab device. The proposed scheme overcomes the limitations of other designs, and allows users to build any desired network topology and configure the lab devices in real-time. Many technical and educational features were integrated into the system, and possible enhancements were suggested based on several evaluation criteria.
Recently, remote experimentation was introduced as a potential way of overcoming the limitations of traditional laboratory experience. It can be defined as the process of conducting real lab experiments while being physically located away from laboratory devices. The general scheme for remote experiments consists of a user that connects to a remote server through a graphical interface, via the Intranet or Internet; the server directly interfaces the equipment and is responsible for forwarding the user’s requests to the intended lab device. The internetworking lab that we are considering was offered as a course to undergraduate engineering students at the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department at AUB, starting 2003, and an average lab session, held weekly, lasted for more than two hours. In this lab, students do not work on fixed topologies; instead, they work on a fixed number of network components which they interconnect and assign different roles to, depending on the experiment. Many students requested to be offered supplementary lab sessions so that they can familiarize themselves with previous experiments or acquaint themselves with prospective ones. However, it was very difficult to match these requests in view of the inadequate amount of space and time, and the limited availability of teaching assistants. In this paper, we present the design of a Remote Internetworking Laboratory, which we fully implemented, tested and allowed for use by a sample group of students. Our design allows the lab to be accessed remotely, anywhere and at anytime. Furthermore, it overcomes the limitation on the number of devices, by making them accessible 24 hours/7 days a week. Students can use the remote lab by reserving a lab session and then executing the experiment interactively, by connecting any network topology remotely and configuring the network devices in real-time.
Jabbour, I., & Haydamous, L., & Kazan, W., & Hayek, A. (2006, June), Remote Internetworking Laboratory Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/1047
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