CS491G: Computer Networking Lab
(Spring 2023)
Overview Schedule Guidelines Lab tips Resources


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. The 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 will be done in a networked lab setting with a few racks each of which consists of 4 Cisco2600-series routers or Juniper MX104 routers, 4 ethernet switches (Juniper EX3300 or simpler TP-Link), 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 SDN routers and labs will expose students to the underlying concepts.

The labs are self-paced (do them in the lab 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 refresh conceptual networking material that you would have already covered in the prerequisite for this course. We will also use the lecture slot to resolve problems encountered in the lab. 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.

Class site
This web site (http://www.cs.umass.edu/~arun/491g) is provided primarily as a convenience. We will use Moodle (moodle.umass.edu) as the course management system and Piazza (piazza.com) for discussions.

V. Arun
Office hours: Right after class or by appointment.

The textbook is 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. 
Note: I will be providing updated labs based on an upcoming edition of this textbook, so you don't need to buy the textbook this semester.
Class times
The class formally meets on Wednesdays 2:30-3:45 PM in CMPSCI 142. For some classes, we may meet in the lab instead and these will be announced accordingly.
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.
Lab report schedule
Lab reports are due on specific dates. Here is a tentative schedule.
COMPSCI 453 or equivalent and permission of the instructor. Lab equipment is limited, so enrollment will be limited accordingly.

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.