2016-11-08 (b72d2a9)

4 CloudLab and Repeatable Research

One of CloudLab’s key goals is to enable repeatable researchwe aim to make it easier for researchers to get the same software and hardware environment so that they can repeat or build upon each others’ work.

CloudLab is designed as a scientific instrument. It gives full visibility into every aspect of the facility, and it’s designed to minimize the impact that simultaneous slices have on each other. This means that researchers using CloudLab can fully understand why their systems behave the way they do, and can have confidence that the results that they gather are not artifacts of competition for shared hardware resources. CloudLab profiles can also be published, giving other researchers the exact same environment—hardware and software—on which to repeat experiments and compare results.

CloudLab gives exclusive access to compute resources to one experiment at a time. (That experiment may involve re-exporting those resources to other users, for example, by running cloud services.) Storage resources attached to them (eg. local disk) are also used by a single experiment at a time. See the planned features chapter for a discussion of exclusive access to switches.