Virtualization of Teaching at the Department of KVD UWB in Pilsen, New Features and Benefits
Ing. Jiri Toman and Ing. Petr Michalik
Affiliation: Department of Computer Science and Educational Technology, Faculty of Education, University of West Bohemia, Klatovska 51, 30619 Pilsen, Czech Republic.
Keywords: Active Directory (AD), Domain Controller (DC), ESX server, KVD, MS Srv2008, subject UAPO, subject PSDS, Sun Ray technology, vCenter Server 4.0, virtual lab, virtual machine, FPE (Faculty of Education), KVD (Department of Computer Science and Educational Technology), permission, role, subject UAPO (Administration Computers and Operating Systems), subject PSDS (Computer Network and Distributed Systems), virtualization, virtual machine (VM), virtualization in education, VMware vSphere 4, ZCU v Plzni (UWB - University of West Bohemia in Pilsen)
The existence and functionality of virtual environment at the Department of Computer Science and Educational Technology (KVD) of the University West Bohemia (UWB) in Pilsen are the current reality. The VMware ESX server has been in operation sinece 2007 at the KVD department. The software ESX 3.5.0 SP2 has been installed on the server Dell PE2900. Current status is as follows: about 10 virtual machines (VM) are used by department members, 6 virtual machines are used as a variety of servers and services for education and teaching, about 30 VM are designed as virtual labs to teach students. Earlier model to manage the VM bases solely on access via the ESX server using VMware Infrastructure client which is not effective and safe. In particular, the system of permissions and roles is not effective enough. It is not possible to set access rights (ACL) to each single VM separately. The new solution has been installed since September 2009, ESX host server and vCenter server as one entity. The new ELMS licensing model for VMware vSphere 4 provides unprecedented efficiency, control and choice. Virtual Center Server 4.0 (recently called vCenter Server 4.0) has been implemented on the operating system MS Srv2008 and as one of the virtual machines. Information systems educators must balance the need to protect the stability, availability, and security of computer laboratories with the learning objectives of various courses. The same requirements and needs have to be considered on our side. This paper presents this basic environment, configuration, licensing model and sample teaching laboratories at the KVD. The manuscript demonstrates the advantages, strengths but also the weaknesses in the creation of virtual laboratories for teaching purposes. The final chapter deals with considerations on the coexistence of virtual computer environments to traditional classrooms. We then review the main body of research in this area and identify the key patents that have emerged in this field.
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