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UK School Taps Virtual Labs for Internet Courses

A research university in London's East End has adopted a new virtual lab system for delivering "hands-on" learning to graduate and undergraduate students studying Internet protocol- and infrastructure-related topics.

Queen Mary, University of London is using Junosphere Classroom from Juniper Networks for students in the Internet Infrastucture Master's course, the Internet Protocols undergraduate course, and in ongoing research projects.

Delivered in a software-as-a-service model, the network lab is accessible from any Web browser and is designed to provide students more flexibility in modeling networks and experimenting with configuration while cutting costs associated with power, cooling, and rack space.

According to information released by the company Junosphere Classroom resources can also be modified, ordered, and implemented more quickly than physical networks, cutting down on turnaround time between classes.

Junosphere Connector, included with Junosphere Classroom, allows the virtual network to be integrated with a physical network, creating "large scale networks that enable interoperability, scalability and convergence testing at realistic scale," according to information released by Juniper Networks.

"Hands-on experience and experimentation with networks is a critical part of the education process which augments the theoretic principles we teach our students," said Chris Phillips of  Queen Mary's Network Research Group. "Junosphere Classroom effectively gives students experience with cutting-edge, commercially available networking technology and demonstrates the real-world relevance of the programs we offer, but in a flexible, on-demand manner that improves efficiency and reduces costs."

The purchase price of Junosphere Classroom is dependent on usage time and the number of virtual machine instances. Junosphere Classroom is available as a standalone product or as part of Juniper Network's prepackaged curricula and courseware programs, the Juniper Networks Academic Alliance, and Juniper Networks Authorized Education Partners.

Junosphere Classroom can be accessed from computers running Mac OS X, Windows, or Linux operating systems and is compatible with Internet Explorer 7 and 8, Firefox 3 and above, Safari 3 and above, and Sun JRE 6 and above.

More information about Juniper Classroom is available at Juniper.net.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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