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About CrownLabs

CrownLabs is currently developed, maintained and operated by a group of volunteers, mainly MSc students in Computer Engineering at Politecnico di Torino, Italy.

All the work is done for fun and for learning. It is a nice surprise to see to which extent the university lectures are really useful in the real work, but also how much additional work is needed to apply the learnt theory to practice.

New volunteers are always welcome, especially because students (sooner or later) graduate and slowly decrease their involvement in this project!

History

This service was set up in about three weeks by a group of students enrolled in the MSc of Computer Engineering at Politecnico di Torino (Italy), under the pressure of the Coronavirus, in March 2020.

This virus hit hard the entire country; all students were sent home, the University set up on-premise video conferencing services in a few days, and traditional classes were moved into remote lectures.

However, there was no answer for labs, in particular computing labs. How can students practice with their coding labs, simulations, cloud, networking?

The CrownLabs project was set up to answer to this question: a group of volunteering students decided to put their theoretical knowledge into practice.

It was a wonderful ride: creating the team, leveraging the knowledge of different people, defining the objectives, assigning the tasks, a lot of collaboration, a lot of day and night work.

The result was a nice playground for everybody: we demonstrated that with the proper knowledge, team spirit, and a great extent of sacrifice, we can achieve great results in, really, a few weeks. In fact, the first lab was delivered three weeks after the beginning of this project: students of the Local Area Networks subject were the first to play with CrownLabs, practicing with (virtualized) network switches running in the GNS3 network emulator.

And, more important, we gave birth to this project, which may be useful also outside our University.

Why “CrownLabs”?

In Italian, Corona means Crown. The name CrownLabs is the logical consequence: a project born under the pressure of the (nasty) Coronavirus!

The Team

Aldo Lacuku Alex Palesandro Andrea Cossio Francesco Borgogni
Aldo Lacuku Alex Palesandro Andrea Cossio Francesco Borgogni
Fulvio Risso Gabriele Filaferro Giuseppe Ognibene Hamza Rhaouati
Fulvio Risso Gabriele Filaferro Giuseppe Ognibene Hamza Rhaouati
Marco Iorio Michele Greco Mattia Lavacca Serena Flocco
Marco Iorio Michele Greco Mattia Lavacca Serena Flocco
Simone Magnani Stefano Galantino
Simone Magnani Stefano Galantino

Starting team

Given the way this project was born, it is worth remembering all the people who spend their nights on the first few weeks of the project!

Aldo Lacuku Aldo Lacuku, “To authenticate, you have to come to me”. He really knows about security.
Alex Palesandro Alex Palesandro, Architect, developer, tester. He really likes Kubernetes.
Andrea Cossio Andrea Cossio, “I know how to connect to the VM”. He knows VNC more than the actual developers.
Francesco Borgogni Francesco Borgogni, “Kubernetes CRDs are my future”. Give him to a CRD to create, code will come in minutes.
Fulvio Risso Fulvio Risso, project leader, tester. Nobody knows what he does. Always in some calls.
Giuseppe Ognibene Giuseppe Ognibene, “Give me a probe, and I’ll dominate the world”. Prometheus can never relax, with Giuseppe around.
Hamza Rhaouati Hamza Rhaouati, “Divide et impera”. With him, you don’t have to worry about scalability.
Marco Iorio Marco Iorio, “No words, only facts”. Whatever he does (silently), you can be sure that it will be perfect.
Mattia Lavacca Mattia Lavacca, “I want to start a PhD!". Instead, he did CI/CD in a magnificent way. Not really a topic for PhD students.
Serena Flocco Serena Flocco, “I don’t have Internet at home, how can I create the GUI?". Really hard to work when forced to stay home, without Internet.
Simone Magnani Simone Magnani, Webservice and API developer, “I’ll do also what I don’t like at all” (GUIs). Active day and night.
Stefano Galantino Stefano Galantino, “To enter, you have to pass on my body”. He is the only one who knows about Kubernetes ingress controllers.