October 12, 2006
This week we began making preparations for a virtual test lab. The team has received a number of test machines and space to set them up. We are excited to use these machines to explore some of our ideas regarding possible implementations.
During a planning session this week we decided that we might be able to produce a working solution without the need of a scheduling server daemon if we make use of atomic database transactions and a "push" paradigm whereby clients would make known their availablity through POSTs to an application running on a webserver. This is appealing because it lets us overcome several potential issues -
1) How to prevent race conditions in obtaining a working machine
2) How to update the database without storing db credentials on user machines (making them vunerable to packet sniffing)
3) How to poll machines for availablity (no longer needing to)
We will probably still have to create a client daemon / service for use in changing firewall settings or other accessibilty issues but this approach looks promising.
Posted by samuelpj at October 12, 2006 11:38 AM
In the CAEN Labs, we use a homegrown system called HOSTINFO to monitor which lab systems are available. For Windows hosts the system shows which stations have a user logged on at the console. The HOSTINFO system sounds similar to the DB system you described.
See http://www.engin.umich.edu/htbin/wwwhostinfo for an example of the hostinfo system in action.
Posted by: tsmiller at October 16, 2006 03:28 PM
I wanted to congratulate you for your virtual lab project. I know that it is not easy at all. Because my friends also are in the middle of such an endauvour in their school.
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