This paper describes how a generic computer laboratory equipped with 52 workstations is set up for teaching IT-related courses and other general purpose usage. The authors have successfully constructed a lab management system based on decentralised, client-side software virtualisation technology using Linux and free software tools from VMware that fulfils the requirements of fast "switch over" time between consecutive lab sessions, the ability to support a wide range of IT courses and usage scenarios, low cost, easy maintenance, and a sandboxed environment for potentially disruptive IT security lab exercises. Sufficient implementation details are provided so that readers can build a similar lab management system. The objective is to share ideas and experiences that may be useful for lab administrators in academic institutions facing the same requirements and budgetary constraints.
Multi-purpose lab, Computing lab, Laboratory management, Laboratory administration, Teaching lab, Virtual lab, Virtualization, Virtual machine, VMware
Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Software Engineering
Australasian Journal of Educational Technology
ASCILITE (Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education)
City or Country
Mok, Heng Ngee, Lee Yeow Leong and Tan Wee Kiat. 2012. Setting up a Low-cost Lab Management System for a Multi-purpose Computing Laboratory using Virtualisation Technology. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 28 (2): 266-278. http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet28/mok.html
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