Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud

Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud

Some reflections and details about our plans for distance labs in the face of lockdown and the use of Cloud platforms for such needs.
The accompanying video is at: https://vimeo.com/424393463

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Olivier Berger

May 30, 2020
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> 2020/05/30 Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    CV Olivier Berger Research Engineer at Télécom SudParis, in Évry (France) Teaching Web apps development to our Engineering School students Senior Engineer, working on digital learning technology Member of the support team setup for switching to distance learning (CoViD-19) Free Software activist Interested in virtual labs for many years (FLIRT MOOCs, etc.) : https://huit.re/blog-labs Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    A few issues Lockdown: no (or only partial) access to lab rooms Lab rooms = critical resources increasing promotion sizes 1 machine for 2 students (but without collaborative learning outcome) (partial) BYOD O hours : accessible H24 ? Heavy deployment Fabrication process of the lab setups Unsed machines (at night) External cloud oerings competition (Google Collab, Rosetta Hub, etc.): GDPR, cost, lock-in ? Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Some solutions Plan : Virtual machines Web browser Remote desktop access on physical machiens in our lab rooms, through a Web interface Lab platforms on the Cloud Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Virtual machines Been there, done that. . . Welcome to 2020 ! Well trusted solutions 2005-2015 Designing a virtual laboratory for a relational database MOOC, Olivier Berger, J. Paul Gibson, Claire Lecocq, Christian Bac, Int. Conference on Computer Supported Education) 2015 Lots of issues mainly performance of machines fabrication process We may do that in last recourse Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Symplifying hypothesis Zero install for students Universal client : Web browser UX problems ? I'll only mention Free and Open Source Software Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Aiming next september Remote desktop access to machines inside School walls Remote connection through a browser (authenticated), to graphical desktops Web Proxy, with : Guacamole VNC protocol for Linux lab room machines RDP protocol for Windows lab room machines or MeshCentral Preserved licenses (Windows, Matlab, etc.) Similar scheduling (Lab in room n on machine m, for 1 or 2 users) Mixed solution : alternating presence / distance Files saved in the user's HOME Transparent for ou IT dept (deployment, etc.) Minimal additional costs : machines already there and powered, open-source Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Aiming next september Example: MeshCentral Remote view really fast for distant tutoring (labs) Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Aiming next september Feasable soon ? Diculties : 2 x machine load ? before : 1 session for 2 students after : 2 sessions for 2 students (1 present, 1 distant) ? LDAP/CAS auth feasability Control of graphical sessions startup on machines via VNC/RDP UX, network bandwidth, etc. Security (MeshCentral code audit ?) ETA soon (september ?) Working on Guacamole in Évry MeshCentral deployment in Mines Albi Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Open Source lab platforms on the Cloud Longer term Cloud, cloud, cloud. . . Virtualizing lab platforms to standardize better Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Open Source lab platforms on the Cloud Standardizing infrastructure with Kubernetes Cloud Up to scale with the Cloud Kubernetes cluster (k8s) : exsting big machines in lab rooms additions server machines (private cloud) external cloud (possible in theory, GDPR, ...) ? Docker : industrialization reuse Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Open Source lab platforms on the Cloud Antidote (NRELabs) Networking labs : multiple virtual device environments, for every student Young OpenSource project Docker, k8s Integrates Jupyter TSP is already a contributor (O. Berger) https://nrelabs.io/ Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Open Source lab platforms on the Cloud Network lab in Antidote Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Open Source lab platforms on the Cloud Improvements/contributions wishlist Authentication Moodle LTI integration Saving work Evaluations, etc. Graphical desktops Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Open Source lab platforms on the Cloud Eclipse Che Development labs, Software Engineering k8s, Docker Eclipse foundation project Web IDE : Eclipse Theia Authentication (keycloak) Workspaces : saving work . . . https://www. eclipse.org/che/ Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Open Source lab platforms on the Cloud Kubernetes Workspaces Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Open Source lab platforms on the Cloud Web IDE : Eclipse Theia Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Open Source lab platforms on the Cloud Labtainers https://nps.edu/web/c3o/labtainers Distributed as a VM Cyber-security labs Docker Evaluation / personalization mechanism (cheating prevention) TODO: Integrate it into Antidote Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Open Source lab platforms on the Cloud Project ideas TODO : Validate labs industrialization with Docker approach (quality, reuse, updates, documentation, etc.) Integrate Antidote and Eclipse Che : auth, workspace persistence, networking or development labs (or mixed) Integrate the Labtainers evaluation mechanism into Antidote Who wants to play with me ? Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Conclusion Following the industry's evolution : Agility DevOps (pedagogical) Virtualization / Cloud Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Expected benets Universal remote access: Web browser Scalability / exibility: Kubernetes physical platforms, container virtualization, VMs Removing constraints of physical machines Pooling operation costs 1 environment for every student (no longer constrained to 2 on each machine) Standardization (same experience for professors, students) Industrialization of the fabrication process (quality, reuse, pooling, . . . ) Agile deployments (pedagogical DevOps) Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    Risks Technicity: Kubernetes, Docker (IT sta training, teaching assistants, professors) UX Dependence to networks quality Open Source projects dynamics Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud
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    Intro Problem statement Solutions Labs in the Web browser Conclusion

    How ? Achievable ? Eort Pooling Open Source Kudos: Laurent Guerby (Mines Albi) about MeshCentral Questions ? Contact me : mailto:olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu Olivier Berger <olivier.berger@telecom-sudparis.eu> Experimenting on distant labs and labs on the Cloud