Second year undergraduate students from the University of Patras have had the chance to work with FORGE tools and FIRE infrastructure in two of their semester lab exercises. In particular, 202 students participated and successfully completed two FORGE exercises especially designed and adjusted to the course “Introduction to Computer Networks”. At the same time the FORGE project was able to collect valuable feedback and evaluate its current tools and exercises on FIRE infrastructure, in real experiments with a large number of concurrent participating users.
The two lab exercises, which examined general concepts and parameters of the TCP congestion control, were designed by the University of Patras (GR) and the iMinds (BE). In these exercises, UoP students were asked to properly setup two remote nodes (a client and a server) in the iMinds Virtual wall, run a TCP connection between them and collect an output file with the TCP parameters that were recorded during this process. In the first lab, apart from running the experiment, students were also asked to use FIRE tools (iMinds jFed tool) to create the exercise topology, and complete an online questionnaire. In the second lab, students were asked to only connect to the nodes through FORGE tools (FORGEBox widgets and adapters) and run the test. In this lab the creation and activation of the exercise nodes was entirely handled by the lab supervisor.
The first attempt to create and execute FORGE exercises in real conditions can be characterized as successful. University of Patras and iMinds worked together to design and implement two exercises with various complicated settings e.g. account management, resource allocation, software installation etc and successfully collaborated to address all technical issues that appeared during the deployment of these exercises.