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The OpenComputing Laboratory

The OpenComputing Laboratory logo is a round circle with a teal background which contains several rows of ones and zeros in different colours, representing binary code. The text The OpenComputing Laboratory is to the right of the main circle.

The OpenComputing Lab currently comprises several activities that give users an authentic experience of networking and distributed computing.

Explore the links below to find out more about the OpenNetworking Lab.

A picture of a cluster of eight Raspberry Pis in two rows of four which are mounted on a Perspex sheet. The one in the bottom left-hand corner has a matrix of LED lights on top of it. Each Raspberry Pi has a network cable and USB cable, for power, connected to it. Two USB hubs, a network switch and router are also shown under the Perspex sheet.

Raspberry Pi cluster

In this activity you will explore the effectiveness of distributed computing using a Raspberry Pi cluster to solve processor-intensive tasks.

You will be able to explore three programs that deal with solving the travelling salesperson problem, decrypting a hashed password and combining three images together. You will change the values of the inputs and observe the length of time it takes for the problem to be solved on both an individual Raspberry Pi and the Raspberry Pi cluster.

The OpenNetworking Laboratory icon that shows a drawing of a computer monitor that has most of the right-hand side replaced with different colour and size dots connected with blue lines to represent an interconnected network. The text Open Networking Lab is underneath the image.

The OpenNetworking Laboratory

The Open Networking Lab will make available introductory practical computer networking skills training, in order to service the needs of vocational learners (Further Education and Apprenticeship levels), educators, and industry.

PT Anywhere is the underlying technology the project uses to teach networking concepts. The platform offers a network simulation environment via a web interface that can be accessed from any browser or as a widget inside an interactive eBook. PT Anywhere is based on the Packet Tracer network simulator for Windows and Linux developed by the Cisco Networking Academy.

The project has produced a free online course, Discovering computer networks: hands on in the Open Networking Lab, which is available through the Open University’s OpenLearn platform.

For more information visit

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