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Communication middleware technologies are powerful instruments to develop and deploy remote laboratories for students to practice the control of real application cases. Middleware allows the rapid development and deployment of actual distributed settings since it abstracts the specifics of the different hardware platforms and communication media involved in the access of students to the lab material. This paper describes the practical settings carried out in the a case of a successful laboratory experience that allows students to simulate the on-line monitoring and control of remote systems, i.e., the train traffic in a simulated metro system. The innovative contribution of this experiment is the usage of data-centric middleware based on the publish/subscribe paradigm that has real-time properties. Up to our knowledge, such deployment with this particular middleware type has not been done, and it has given rise to a flexible setting that grows with the contributions of students. We have validated the idea by gathering the feedback of students with respect to the operation of the assignment, showing that this motivates the students' learning and enrollment in the assignment.