Besides enjoying the availability of shared general lab and IT infrastructures at KAUST, RC3 intends to promote dedicated laboratory infrastructures in accordance to its specific research objectives. Given the horizontal research objectives towards resilience outlined in the strategic plan, we have foreseen the need for investing in laboratory capacity enabling experiments on two specialised labs in the generic categories of: cyber-physical systems (CPS); Internet and cloud complex.
The reason behind the need for investing in a dedicated and closed networking environment, and in cloud/DC hardware, is explained by the research goals we are pursuing, implying research on specialized private/public cloud compounds, and/or the need to deploy and experiment with severe threats, targeted attacks and advanced persistent threats, in sandboxed environments.
Distributed Cyber Physical Systems (DCPS) lab
Concretely, the Distributed Cyber Physical Systems (DCPS) lab capacity aims at providing a facility where innovative research ideas towards resilient and secure distributed (a.k.a. networked) CPS can be pursued and tested, with applicability in a number of verticals, such as power grids (generation, transport, distribution), process control (continuous, discrete), autonomous vehicles (land, air, space) or cooperative (swarm) robots. The lab will be equipped with the necessary HW/SW to fulfil the experimentation needs. Examples may include the use of specialised (e.g. trusted) components and subsystems, in the construction or the enhancement of prototypes of standard SCADA systems, smart meters, vehicle controllers, etc.).
Resilient and Cyber-Secure Cloud (RCSC) lab
Secondly, the Resilient and Cyber-Secure Cloud (RCSC) lab capacity aims at providing a facility where innovative research ideas towards resilient and secure Internet and multi-cloud or cloud-of-clouds infrastructures can be pursued and tested, with applicability in yet another number of verticals, such blockchain-based systems (cryptocurrency, smart contracts, permissioned corporate consortia), big-data processing (including but not limited to e-health and genomics, fin-tech), content distribution, and other sectors leveraging the availability of secure and dependable communication and data repository and computing facilities. Again, examples of HW/SW to be acquired include specialised (e.g. trusted) components and subsystems in the construction or the enhancement of prototypes of standard systems, such as hypervisors, data centres (DC) or edge clouds based on SDN fabrics, blade or rackable server and NAS/SAN systems, or ASICs for distributed deployments, such as blockchain systems.