e-Science logo Nesc logo
About NeSC
e-Science Institute
e-Science Hub
e-Science Events
Presentations & Lectures
Technical Papers
Global Grid Links
UK e-Science Centres
UK e-Science Teams
Career Opportunities
Bibliographic Database


PlanetLab LogoAn open testbed for developing, deploying, and accessing planetary-scale services.


PlanetLab (www.planet-lab.org) is an open, globally distributed testbed for developing, deploying and accessing planetary-scale network services. There are currently more than 125 machines at 55 sites world-wide available to support both short-term experiments and long-running network services. Since the beginning of 2003, more than 70 research projects at top academic institutions including MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Princeton and the University of Washington have used PlanetLab to experiment with such diverse topics as distributed storage, network mapping, peer-to-peer systems, distributed hash tables, and distributed query processing. Many of the results from these experiments are now appearing in such internationally prestigious conferences as ACM's SIGCOMM, OSDI, and SOSP.

PlanetLab map

PlanetLab creates a unique environment in which to conduct experiments at "Internet Scale." The most obvious is that network services deployed on PlanetLab experience all of the behaviors of the real Internet where the only thing predictable is unpredictability (latency, bandwidth, paths taken). A second advantage is that PlanetLab provides a diverse perspective on the Internet in terms of connection properties, network presence, and geographical location. The broad perspective on the Internet enables development and deployment of a new class of services that see the network from many different angles. For example, to date, researchers using PlanetLab have created worldwide Internet mapping software and identified a common cause of router failure.

Over the next two years, our intention is to grow PlanetLab from 125 nodes into a world-wide federation of 1000 nodes with sites in universities, co-location centers, industrial labs, and even the Abilene (Internet2) backbone routing centers . Each node consists of a Linux-based PC running specially developed virtual machine technology allowing experiments to be conducted independently.

We invite you to join PlanetLab. Researchers wishing to conduct experiments or become part of the PlanetLab federation should contact planetlab-support@lists.sourceforge.net.


This is an archived website, preserved and hosted by the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh. The School of Physics and Astronomy takes no responsibility for the content, accuracy or freshness of this website. Please email webmaster [at] ph [dot] ed [dot] ac [dot] uk for enquiries about this archive.