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Crowdsourcing Virtual Laboratory Architecture on Hybrid Cloud

Sianipar, Johannes; Willems, Christian; Meinel, Christoph in INTED2016 Proceedings. 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference Valencia, Spain. 7-9 March, 2016 Seite 2940-2949 . IATED , 2016 .

Virtual Laboratory is needed for practical, hands-on exercises in e-learning courses. The E-learning system needs to provide a specific laboratory environment for a specific learning unit. A Virtual laboratory system with a high requirements learning units, is struggling in serving a large number of users, because the available hardware resources are limited and the budget to provide more resources is low. The number of e-Learning users that simultaneously access the virtual laboratory is varied. In this paper, we propose an architecture of a virtual laboratory system for a large number of users. A person or a company can contribute in providing hardware resources in crowdsourcing manner. This system uses Hybrid cloud platform to be able to scale out and scale in rapidly. The architecture is able to expand by receiving more hardware resources from a person or a company that is willing to contribute. The resources can be anywhere but must be connected to the Internet. For example, if a user has a Virtual Machine (VM) in the cloud or in his own bare metal system connected to the Internet, he can integrate his VM into the Virtual laboratory system. Because the e-learning system is a non-profit system, we assumed that some users and companies are willing to contribute. We use Tele-lab architecture as a based to create the proposed architecture. The Tele-lab is a virtual laboratory for Internet Security e-learning. The Tele-lab uses a private cloud (openNebula) to provide VMs and Containers that are used to represent hosts in a Virtual laboratory. In our architecture as also in the Tele-Lab, there is a frontend and a backend. The frontend is providing an interface to the users. In our architecture, we focus on the backend to be able to provide a virtual laboratory that can serve a large number of users. In the architecture, we use a middleware to provide a communication between a private cloud and a public cloud and also communication between the Virtual laboratory system and the resources that belong to the crowd. This work is part of the continuous improvement on Tele-Lab to make it more reliable and more scalable. We are heading toward using Tele-Lab in the implementation of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
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