Data Management Investigate

Virtualized Games for Teaching About Distributed Systems

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Executive Summary

Complex distributed systems are increasingly important in modern computer science, yet many undergraduate curricula do not give students the opportunity to develop the skill sets necessary to grapple with the complexity of such systems. This paper has developed and integrated into an undergraduate elective course on parallel and distributed computing a teaching tool that may help students develop these skill sets. The tool uses virtualization to ease the burden of resourcing and configuring complex systems for student study, and creates varied "Firefighting" gaming scenarios in which students compete to keep the system up and running in the presence of multiple issues.

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