Computing Labs in the Cloud: A case study analysis of virtual computing in education #ICAL2013, #cloudvcl Erik Mitchell Assistant Professor College of Information Studies University of Maryland, College Park MD, USA
Scope What is a “Virtual Computer Lab”? What roles do VCLs play in education and are they important for libraries? How does the cloud transform VCL uses?
http://www.evc.edu/llr/open_lab.htm, http://thinkingthai.blogspot.com Library support of computing
Computing labs in the cloud. . . Computing lab types: Classrooms, Design studios, Meeting rooms / lounges, General purpose, Technology suites (Herrick, 2012) VCL approaches: Client VCL, Web-based specialized tools, Enterprise VCLs, Cloud VCLs (Mitchell, 2013) Key considerations: Network bandwidth Digital fluency Local vs. institutional infrastructure Up-front vs. ongoing costs Technology-fatigue and scaffolded learning (Locatis, Vega, Bhagwat, Liu, & Conde, 2008)
A broad VCL model - Apache VCLPatron access and use Scheduling / management IT infrastructure Security, authentication https://cwiki.apache.org/VCL/
Web-based tools Cloud-based VCL Student infrastructure Server/school infrastructure High IT fluency Lower IT fluencyClient VCL Private cloud VCL
Lightweight cVCL managementDjango framework Boto library
Admin VCLmanagement platform interfaceVirtual computing lab Student VCL interface VCL to AWS tools cVCL infrastructure AWS web- based tools Amazon Web Service EC2 cloud Security groups Platform monitoring / configuration Micro Micro Micro Micro Micro Micro Micro server server server server server server server “Gold” machine API / Web console Backups / Snapshots images
cVCL – “clouds all the way down”Administer Access Connect PaaS Lab management platform Platform-as-a-Service deployment container Google Apps Engine environment Datastore
How can VCLs facilitate learning?Case study: LBSC670: Organization ofinformation “Understand representation and classification of information through cataloging, metadata creation, indexing and organization. .” “Develop skills for analyzing and processing structured data” “Create new information structures and services”
Course objectives and outcomesRemember Understand Apply Analyze Evaluate Create Concepts / Cataloging Metadata Metadata Metadata New metadata standards process standards content quality records New Schemas / Metadata System Activities System design information classifications functions suitability systems New Tools Tool use Tool functions Tool output Tool utility information services
Case studiesFall 2011 Client install: “What is java?” Cost: Student laptop costsSpring 2012 One cloud server System scale, security Cost: ~$260 US / 7 students = $37Fall 2012 cVCL, 63 servers Scalability, privacy Cost: ~$450 US / 52 students = $8.66
cVCLs use casescVCLs broaden access to server technology and serve as contained experimentalenvironments in Computer SciencecVCLs can pull on cloud-based data storage an other services to create a courseinfrastructure for cultural heritage resource sharing and computation Datastore
How can we assess the impact ofcVCLS?Remote client using domain-specific tools savesinstructional time / avoids “Tech-fatigue”cVCLs created a level playing field forstudents, with a common and persistentenvironmentTechnology is only an issue when it doesn’twork, satisfaction measures are insufficient
cVCL Unanswered questionsWhat are the regulatory and policy issues withusing cloud-based VCLs?Are there technical / financial models that helpthis type of lab scale?How can this platform support research ordissemination of ‘actionable data’?
Thank You!Computing Labs in the Cloud: A case study analysis of virtual computing in education #ICAL2013, #cloudvcl https://github.com/mitcheet Erik Mitchell Assistant Professor College of Information Studies University of Maryland, College Park MD, USA firstname.lastname@example.org