Using CloudLab as a Scalable Platform for Teaching Cluster Computing

A significant challenge in teaching cluster computing, an advanced topic in the parallel and distributed computing body of knowledge, is to provide students with an adequate environment where they can become familiar with real-world infrastructures that embody the conceptual principles taught in lectures. In this paper, we de- scribe our experience setting up such an environment by leveraging CloudLab, a national experimentation platform for advanced computing research. We explored two approaches in using CloudLab to teach advanced concepts in cluster computing: direct deployment of virtual machines (VMs) on bare-metal nodes and indirect deployment of VMs inside a CloudLab-based cloud.