Teaching Experiences With a Virtual Network Laboratory

  • Wong K
  • Wolf T
  • Gorinsky S
 et al. 
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The Open Network Laboratory (ONL) is an Internet-accessible virtual
laboratory facility that can deliver a high quality laboratory
experience in advanced networking {[}3,7]. Our experience with ONL
indicates that it has potential to improve student understanding of
fundamental networking concepts and increase enthusiasm for
experimentation with complex technology. Furthermore, these benefits can
be delivered with less effort from the instructor than using a
traditional approach of socket programming and ns-2 simulation
exercises. The system is built around a set of high-performance,
extendible routers which connect personal computers acting as end
systems. Users configure their virtual network through the Remote
Laboratory Interface (RLI), an intuitive graphical interface. The RLI's
real-time charts and user data facility make it easy to directly view
the effect of system parameters on traffic behavior. These features can
enhance learning by providing users with multiple representations of
network phenomena. We describe how the ONL facilities have improved our
ability to meet instructional objectives and discuss some approaches to
improving the laboratory experience.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Education
  • Experimental Computer Science
  • Laborato

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  • Ken Wong

  • Tilman Wolf

  • Sergey Gorinsky

  • Jonathan Turner

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