29040 - Telecommunications Networks Laboratory T

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

This course intends to consolidate the knowledge of theoretical aspects of Communication and Computer Networks with practical experience through hands-on experiments on real network equipment and services. The student will gain the basic competencies of a network administrator.

Course contents

This course deals with some of the practical aspects of Communication and Computer Networks, focusing in particular on IP network administration issues. Significant part of the course schedule is dedicated to hands-on laboratory exercises using open-source software platforms.

Specific course topics include:

  • Introduction to Linux as an operating system for network administration
  • Software tools for network virtualization
  • Software tools for protocol analysis: wireshark, tcpdump
  • IP addressing and network planning, subnetting, NAT
  • Network interface configuration, fixed and via DHCP protocol
  • IP packet forwarding with direct and indirect delivery, ARP protocol, IP routing tables
  • Ethernet switch and virtual LAN configuration (IEEE 802.1Q protocol)
  • Firewall and NAT service configuration
  • Basic configuration of IP routing protocols on Linux platforms


  • M. L. Merani, M. Casoni, W. Cerroni,  Hands-On Networking. From Theory to Practice, Cambridge University Press, UK, 2009, ISBN: 9780521869850
  • Y.-D. Lin, R.-H. Hwang, F. Baker, Computer Networks: An Open Source Approach, McGraw-Hill, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-07-131587-6
  • K. R. Fall, W. R. Stevens, TCP/IP Illustrated, Vol. 1, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-321-33631-6
  • Slides provided by the teacher
  • Linux man and info commands
  • Suggested documentation available on-line
  • Linux user's manuals

Teaching methods

The course consists of lectures (to introduce specific topics and focus on operational aspects) and practical laboratory sessions. Significant part of the course schedule is dedicated to lab experiments, which are essential to gain a deep knowledge of the practical aspects of Communication Networks. To motivate students and stimulate their interest, each lab exercise is finalized to achieve practical goals that are also functional to perform the following ones. Lab exercises are also intended to stimulate teamwork capability.

Assessment methods

The final examination will assess the student's ability to understand the practical aspects of Communication and Computer Network administration. During the oral exam, each student will be asked to discuss a final report on the lab exercises performed during the course and, possibly, a final project.

Teaching tools

Software-based protocol analyzer.
Linux-based workstations running network administration software tools. 
Virtual machine hypervisor.
Ethernet switch.
Projector for classroom lectures.

Office hours

See the website of Walter Cerroni