Networking Lab
Fall 2020

Instructor: Parviz Kermani
Colleg of Information and Computer Science
University of Massachusetts

In this course, students will learn how to put "principles into practice," in a hands-on-networking lab course.  The course will cover router and end-system labs in the areas of Single Segment IP Networks, Multiple Segment IP Networks and Static Routing, Dynamic Routing Protocols (RIP, OSPF and BGP), LAN switching, Transport Layer Protocols: UDP and TCP, NAT, DHCP, DNS, and SNMP. Each topic/topic area is covered in a Lab assignment. Labs are due at a rate of roughly one lab per week. A short pre-lab Q&A, as well as lab writeups, are required for each lab.

These labs cab be done in two ways:

  1. In a (physical) networked lab setting with a few racks (at this time 3), each of which consists of a Juniper MX104 router, 4 Cisco2600-series routers, 4 hubs, and 4 Linux hosts. We will additionally have a few labs with Pica8 software-defined networking (SDN) switches or the Juniper switches in SDN mode. Software-defined networking has been changing the landscape of the networking industry in recent years, so the recently added SDN routers and labs will expose students to the underlying concepts.

  2. In a Virtual Lab environment, using the publically available software, GNS3, on a (relatively powerful) personal computer running Windws, OS X, Linux. With GNS3, students can do the lab at the comfort of thei room. Once the core GNS3 and its needed modules are set up, there is no need for Internet connectivity to run the lab experiments. Even if you have access to a real lab, it is recommened that you do the lab on GNS3 and then run the experiments on the physical (real) networked lab.

it should be emphasized that doing the labs on a physical lab setting provides a much richer learning experiment, but short of that, GNS3 is a good replacement. The labs have been revised so that except for the first lab (at this time we call it Lab 0), description of all succeeding labs (Lab 1 and later) are the same

The labs are self-paced (do them in at a time of your own choosing), and so you will need to be motivated, conscientious, and organized in order to complete this course successfully. There will be formal lectures by the instructor, but these will primarily

If you prefer classes where material is presented in detail by the instructor, or if you need the structure of in-class lectures to absorb material, then this is not the class for you.

Please Note: This course requires a good amount of work and effort. Each lab, on the average, requires 4-6 hours of work; some labs require more work. Please budget your time! Plan to spend a good amount of time on this course. Completing the labs can sometime take time and bring a lot of frustrations (in particular if you are working in a physical lab settin); this is part of the game. The hope is to give you a real experience and make you ready for when you step out in the real world; so be ready!

Please Note: In order to accommodate (almost) all students, we have accepted more students in the class than initially anticipated. Therefore, it is essential that the lab equipments are used judiciously. Please follow Guidelines & Announcements to reserve lab stations.

This course has an accompanying Moodle site. In the case of a conflice, all information on Moodle have precedence over content of this Web site.

The Basics

Class site
This web site (http://www-edlab.cs.umass.edu/cs491g/) is provided primarily as a convenience. We will use Moodle (moodle.umass.edu) as the course management system and Piazza (piazza.com) for discussions.

Parviz Kermani
Office hours: Wednesdays 3:30-5, or by appointment at any time by Zoom or in-person, if possible.

Kyle Godinho (kgodinho@umass.edu)

Class Notes /

All notes and Lab instructions will be avialable to students through Moodle.

The labs are modified/updated varsions of the labs from the following tesbook. This book is currently being updated and revised by me and one of the authors of the original boos.

Mastering Networks: An Internet Lab Manual by Jorg Lieberherr , University of Virginia ; Magda El Zarki , University of California , Irvine . ISBN: 0-201-78134-4. Publisher: Addison-Wesley. Copyright: 2004. (for information, no need to purchase)

Class times

The formal class time is on Fridays at 2:30-3:45 PM. Our class meets at this time to discuss the lab for the following week. Attendance to these meeting (except the first class) is optional, but students are strongly enoouranged to join the discussion and to learn about the next lab assignment and share their experience with other classmates. We will discuss material which might be well beyond scope of the course.

Please Note: There might be an assignment due at the end of the first week of the semester, when the class meets for the first time.

Room 224, LGRT (across from Ed Lab). You will need the numeric key to the lab in order to enter, which can be obtained from the instructor when you show up for the first class. The building is open to everyone M-F 7am-8pm, Sa 7am-2pm, Su 5pm-8:30pm, but needs an access card for entry outside these hours. You can access the lab 24x7.

In Fall 2020 semester, the classes will be online and we use GNS3. there is no need to access the physical lab in LGRT 224. I will try to make it feasible to access the lab remotely through the Internet (no promisses!)
Lab report schedule
Lab reports are due on specific dates. Here is a tentative schedule. Labs are due at 10:00am of ther day of submission. No extension granted.
COMPSCI 453 or equivalent and permission of the instructor. 

Incomplete Policy: There will be no incomplete's given for this course. Don't enroll in the course if you think you might not be able to finish. Remember - there is usually a waiting list for the course, so make sure you are committed to completing the course.