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Getting Students Hands Dirty with Clean-Slate Networking

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Authors
Nick Feamster and Jennifer Rexford
Abstract
Conventional networking courses treat today’s protocols and mechanisms as fixed artifacts, rather than as part of a contin- ually evolving system. To prepare students to think criti- cally about Internet architecture, we created a graduate net- working course that combines “clean slate” networking re- search with hands-on experience in analyzing, building, and extending real networks. Our goal was to prepare students to create and explore new architectural ideas, while teaching them the platforms and tools needed to evaluate their de- signs in practice. The course, with offerings at both Georgia Tech and Princeton, focused on network management as a concrete way to explore different ways to split functional- ity across the end hosts, network elements, and management systems. The programming assignments exposed students to a range of systems, including Click, Quagga, Emulab, OpenFlow/NOX, Mininet, the Transit Portal, and publicly- available Netflow and BGP measurement data.
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Page last modified on April 30, 2011