87771 - Laboratory of Networking T

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Decent work and economic growth Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Students attending this course will consolidate their knowledge on theoretical and practical aspects of Communication and Computer Networks by means of hands-on experiments on real network equipment and services. The students will learn how to design and manage a typical corporate telecommunication network and will gain the basic competencies of a network administrator.

Course contents

This course focuses on some of the practical aspects of Communication and Computer Networks, with particular reference to 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
  • Basics of network security, SSH protocol
  • IP addressing and network planning, subnetting
  • Network interface configuration, manual 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
  • K. R. Fall, W. R. Stevens, TCP/IP Illustrated, Vol. 1, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-321-33631-6
  • Y.-D. Lin, R.-H. Hwang, F. Baker, Computer Networks: An Open Source Approach, McGraw-Hill, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-07-131587-6
  • Slides provided by the instructor
  • 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 with focus on practical aspects) and hands-on 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 skills.

Assessment methods

The final examination will assess the student's ability to understand the practical aspects of Communication and Computer Network administration. Students will be asked to answer a few multiple-choice questions on the course topics, and then solve a practical exercise related to the lab practices performed during the course.

Teaching tools

Software-based protocol analyzers, such as Wireshark and tcpdump.

Linux-based workstations running network administration software tools.

Virtual machine hypervisors and/or container management systems, such as Virtualbox or Docker.

Managed Ethernet switches.

Office hours

See the website of Walter Cerroni