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05 - V-Labs

Simone Ferretti

In the last few years the number and the quality of services dedicated to study and research has increased, giving powerful tools to sysadmins and expert users. What has not improved is the accessibility for the students who cannot afford expensive hardware and software or don't know how to install and configure complex programs. One way to improve it is to provide material and open source services in a faster and more accessible way, using optimized products, promoting communities, cutting costs for users and providers and facilitating sysadmins work, or in one word: V-Labs V-Labs is a virtual environments provisioning platform binded to Openshift Origin. It permits to instantiate services through a web interface making them reachable by users using only an internet browser and an internet connection. Once a teacher or an admin is authenticated in his project area in V-Labs he can choose a service from the marketplace and set variables and persistent volumes. A URL address will be returned pointing to the chosen service, making it accessible for his students or researchers. The actual marketplace comprehends learning management systems, Root and Geant4 VMs, CAD, videoconference services, statistical computing and programming languages environments, real-time collaboration and file storage and synchronization services, it can be also expanded with any container image built ad hoc by users or built and released by the Docker Hub community. V-Labs is written in Python and Django, binded to an existing installation of Openshift Origin, independent from the underlying infrastructure, it manages replicas and scalability of pods, replicated persistent volumes mounting and it will be released stand alone and as a docker container.