Using planetLab for network research: Myths, realities, and best practices

Neil Spring, Larry Peterson, Andy Bavier, Vivek Pai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


PlanetLab is a continuously-evolving global network research testbed that is simultaneously used by hundreds of researchers for diverse tasks, ranging from shortterm self-contained experiments among PlanetLab nodes to continuously-running Web-accessible services with tens of thousands of non-PlanetLab users. While PlanetLab cannot provide a perfectly-customized environment for every experiment, it has been changing over time, and the base of knowledge of how to best utilize it has also been growing. As a result, many of the early observations researchers made about PlanetLab would change if rechecked today. In this paper, we discuss these issues and explain whether they remain, have been addressed via PlanetLab's evolution, or can be avoided by the use of best practices. Where possible, we provide quantitative evidence showing the realities of PlanetLab and possible research avenues to further broaden the opportunities for using PlanetLab in network research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalOperating Systems Review (ACM)
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


Dive into the research topics of 'Using planetLab for network research: Myths, realities, and best practices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this