You are the primary point of contact for your site when PlanetLab Support requires physical access to the nodes. As a Technical Contact, you are responsible for hardware configuration, installation and maintenance. In general, you are not responsible for any sort of software installation or maintenance. However, due to the initial network configuration, it is helpful if you have a working understanding of UNIX and Internet protocols.


After your nodes are installed, they are remotely managed by staff at PlanetLab Operations for the duration of your site's participation in PlanetLab. For the most part, you will not need to administer the nodes, except when they need to be physically rebooted, upgraded to meet current hardware requirements, or repaired. Occasionally, you may be asked by staff at PlanetLab Operations to assist in debugging hardware or software failures, or to pass on console error messages.


Thank you for accepting this role and for your help with PlanetLab operations.


We have two static requirements for the machines you choose to dedicate to PlanetLab:

  1. They are x86-based, server-class machines, appropriately provisioned (CPU, memory, and storage) to support a 24x7 research workload; and
  2. There is a means to remotely power cycle those machines via the network.

Because the machines are part of a 24x7 research workload, we also have two dynamic requirements for the machines:

  1. That your machines are placed in a reasonably secure location, such as on a rack in a dedicated server room, treating your machines as you would any heavily used servers by providing adequate power, connectivity, and ventilation.
  2. That hardware is kept up-to-date with the Minimum Hardware Requirements due not only to the passage of time, but because hardware can fail. Expect to repair or upgrade your machines at least once during their lifetimes.