The RAVE Lab is a collaborative effort by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the following academic institutions that provide hosting and technical support for the project:
The RAVE Lab started out as the ASSERT Lab back in 2006 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. ASSERT was used to host Virtual Machines for use within courses, research, workshops, etc. as was needed by faculty. RAVE started as an NSF-funded project to share these capabilities with other academic institutions across the country. The infrastructure is managed by VMware's vSphere suite, which provides dynamic provisioning capabilities for the environment. This allows for the scenario deployment process to be automated so that instructors can focus on teaching instead of manually deploying resources.
Instructors at any US-based, non-profit academic institution of higher education can request an account for free and start using these resources within their class. The public resources - shown on the scenarios page - are hands-on lessons that can be used to teach the basics of computer security, and range from single assignments to course long supplements. All scenarios are deployed on isolated networks allowing students to experiment with various tools in a safe and secure manner. Instructors are encouraged to test the environments so that they may find a selection that works best for their specific course.
After receiving an account, instructors can manage classes, student accounts, deployments, and any other institution resource through the portal. The portal allows instructors to provision resources on-demand through a click of a button. These deployments can be viewed through any VMware client and will provide graphic means to access the environment, just as if you were sitting in front of a physical Windows desktop.
RAVE is currently managed through a volunteer effort by UAF and the partnering institutions. While the help desk (email@example.com) is available answer any questions users may have, we request instructors attempt to address student issues before having them contact the help desk. Instructors are also welcomed to contribute back to the effort by suggesting improvements that could be made to existing resources, or new resources that could be imported into the environment. Our primary goal is to make sure instructors have easy access to excellent resources, and we are always looking for ways to improve!