72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hands-on experiments are essential for computer network security education. Existing laboratory solutions usually require significant effort to build, configure, and maintain and often do not support reconfigurability, flexibility, and scalability. This paper presents a cloud-based virtual laboratory education platform called V-Lab that provides a contained experimental environment for hands-on experiments using virtualization technologies (such as Xen or KVM Cloud Platform) and OpenFlow switches. The system can be securely accessed through OpenVPN, and students can remotely control the virtual machines (VMs) and perform the experimental tasks. The V-Lab platform also offers an interactive Web GUI for resource management and a social site for knowledge sharing and contribution. By using a flexible and configurable design, V-Lab integrates pedagogical models into curriculum design and provides a progressive learning path with a series of experiments for network security education. Since summer 2011, V-Lab has served more than 1000 students from six courses across over 20 experiments. The evaluation demonstrates that the platform and curriculum have produced excellent results and helped students understand and build up computer security knowledge to solve real-world problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6632976
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Volume57
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Network security
Education
experiment
Students
Curricula
education
Experiments
virtualization
curriculum
student
Security of data
Graphical user interfaces
Computer networks
Scalability
flexibility
Switches
evaluation
management
resources
knowledge

Keywords

  • Collaborative learning
  • network security
  • virtual laboratory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Education

Cite this

Cloud-based virtual laboratory for network security education. / Xu, Le; Huang, Dijiang; Tsai, Wei Tek.

In: IEEE Transactions on Education, Vol. 57, No. 3, 6632976, 2014, p. 145-150.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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