WebLab-Deployer: Exporting remote laboratories as SaaS through federation protocols


During the last decade, remote laboratories have been extensively used as a primary learning tool in many universities around the world. However, today most of the remote laboratories are still only used by the same institution that provides or even develops them, or by direct partners in federated environments. There are two ways to support this type of federation: a) using a federated authentication system such as Shibboleth or b) installing a remote laboratory management system that supports federation natively. In both cases, the consumer institution must go through a process of deployment or complex configuration. This contribution explores providing access to laboratories using a Cloud Computing approach, considering the federated environments that do not have laboratories attached as a SaaS (Software as a Service) system. This approach not only makes adoption by other institutions easier, but also benefits from the existing features provided by Cloud Computing, such as elasticity to reuse the same resources for different institutions to balance the load.