Recently I've been getting a lot of emails from people who run their own networking labs at home and want to do something similar to what I've done with the community lab. While their initiative is commendable, I unfortunately haven't been much help to these people. The root problem is that the solution I devised for this site's lab is a custom assembly of both off-the-shelf and original code, built specifically for the framework on which this site runs. It was never intended to be portable or scalable.
Of course now, nearly a year later, I realize that there is demand for such a solution. It's got me thinking about the potential for a new site, perhaps even a new business to help people make their home labs public. My initial brainstorming has come up with a hosted scheduling and authentication service, which would handle user reservations and provide upstream authentication for console servers via RADIUS or TACACS+. While it would be ideal to also offer a Telnet/SSH proxy to perform command filtering, I suspect that adding a middleman to the connection between user and device would too often push latency beyond the the acceptable limit.
So, I'm looking for some feedback.
- How many of you with your own home labs would want to rent them out to others for a small hourly fee?
- How many of you already have a console server of some type for your lab?
- What else would you want to see from such a service?
As always, questions and comments are appreciated.