Global Architecture and Partial Prototype Implementation for Enhanced Remote Courses

M.-A. Steinemann, S. Zimmerli, T. Jampen, and T. Braun (Switzerland)


remote learning, network laboratory, architecture


Internet based courses require new architectures that support features like authentication, authorization, accounting, scheduling and in some cases controlling of additional hardware resources. This article describes an open architecture for remote courses in which many locally distributed clients attend exercises on many locally distributed servers. The architecture includes lightweight directory access protocol for user management and public key infrastructure for the security needs. All traffic is encrypted, either with IPsec between the course servers or secure shell and secure sockets layer between clients and course servers. Although all connections are secured, students can work with any standard web browser and don’t need to install additional software. In a partly prototype implementation a module of a remote network laboratory with student’s access to real network hardware will be presented, showing the technical and didactical difficulties encountered.

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