This paper focuses on the integration of virtualised environments within the teaching of computer security and digital forensics, and includes three case studies. The first case study involves assessing student perception on the usage of VMware Workstation and AWS (Amazon Web Services) for security and digital forensics labs, while the other two present a performance and reflective evaluation of a Cloud-based infrastructure using VMware ESXi. The evaluation for the first case study shows the results of a questionnaire for the integration of VMware Workstation and AWS, and highlights that the virtualised environment seems to engage students more than traditional desktop ones, along with identifying the key areas which seem to be useful, such as for network forensics and in running instances within a sand-boxed environment. The other two case studies show an evaluation of the performance impact of security and digital forensics students using a Cloud-based infrastructure for their labs, and that the developed infrastructure copes well with both scheduled lab-based classes, remote access, and a virtualised environment for courseworks.
Buchanan, W. J., Graves, J., Bose, N., Macfarlane, R., Davison, B., & Ludwiniak, R. (2011). Performance and student perception evaluation of cloud-based virtualised security and digital forensics labs. HEA ICS Conference,