Creating a Local Infrastructure

The user is responsible for setting up the local infrastructure to run the PlanetLab Europe nodes. Each site is required to have the following in place before the user can begin using PLE:

  • Principal Investigator
  • Technical Contact
  • Machines

Principal Investigator

The Principal Investigator is responsible for managing slices and users at each site. PIs are legally responsible for the behavior of the slices that they create. Most sites have only one PI (typically a faculty member at an educational institution or a project manager at a commercial institution).

Technical Contact

The Technical Contact is responsible for installation, maintenance, and monitoring of the site's nodes. This is commonly a system administrator or graduate student.


Before joining PlanetLab, your site agrees to dedicate at least two server-class machines (called nodes) to the PlanetLab network. The machines are exclusively devoted to PlanetLab operations, and all data on the nodes are erased as part of the installation process.

A PlanetLab node is a fairly standard 1U rack-mounted server with a network-addressable power control unit. However, as server technology is constantly evolving, it is important that the specific requirements be finalized soon after the date of purchase. We target 1000 Euro per server, prior to taking into account institutional overheads and unused amortization of equipment.

Your site Technical Contact will set up the machines.