M-Lab welcomes the participation of companies, institutions, and researchers who would like to help expand the platform and ensure its growth and success.
If you are a researcher who is interested in deploying tools on M-Lab, or a company or institution interested in providing resources to extend the platform, please read this document outlining the project's conceptual and technical scope, as well as the short Policies & Procedures and Roles & Responsibilities documents for new researchers. If your project fits within the guidelines and principles, you can apply for M-Lab hosting here. You can also participate in our our public mailing list.
Measurement Lab is intended to:
- Provide passive server-side resources for client-initiated active network measurement of users' Internet connections.
- Provide resource allocation on each server that will ensure sufficient bandwidth and machine resources. At the outset, we limit oversubscription to 1.5 tools per every one core on the machines. Each site will host three servers with 8 cores on each machine.
M-Lab is distinct from but related to PlanetLab. M-Lab's scope and resource allocation are distinct from PlanetLab's. At the same time, Measurement Lab is developed in conjunction with the PlanetLab Consortium, and PlanetLab provides the software architecture and operations, administration and maintenance framework for M-Lab. You can think of M-Lab as a "private PlanetLab."
M-Lab's founders are developing a "proof of concept." Our goal at this stage is simply to provide some immediate value to researchers currently building broadband connection testing tools, prove the value of the M-Lab concept and learn from that process.
The platform currently features 5 tools, developed by researchers who have collaborated on setting up M-Lab. A total of 45 servers are currently operational across 15 sites in the United States and Europe.
M-Lab is currently managed by an ad-hoc steering committee made up of M-Lab's founding members. This steering committee will lead development of the organizational policies and structure of the platform going forward.
Due to current resource constraints we cannot guarantee that all tools will be able to be deployed during the "proof of concept" stage, and researchers must be PlanetLab users to deploy tools on M-Lab.
Our key goals going forward are to:
- Support a wide variety of Internet research & measurement tools. M-Lab will work with current and future supporting partners to expand the number of servers in as many locations as possible, and collaborate with the research community to define a process for adding more tools to the platform. We want this process to be as open as possible, enabling many tools to run and maximally useful data to be collected.
- Make all data publicly accessible. All data collected through M-Lab should be made publicly available and placed in the public domain, and M-Lab will work to find a solution for hosting all data collected on the platform.
- Enable open access to server-side tools. All tools' source code will be published, and all researchers' server-side tools will be openly licensed and operated in a way that allows third-parties to develop client-side software for measurements.
- Develop policies and organizational structures that advance the goals of the project.