Virtualized Open Source Networking Lab

Virtualized Open Source Networking Lab

Lee Chao (University of Houston-Victoria, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2205-0.ch006
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This chapter considers a virtualized open source networking lab to support Web based IT education. It discusses the difficulties in teaching networking related IT courses online. The discussion leads to the solution of virtualized open source technology. The chapter also examines some strategies in developing an open source virtual networking lab for hands-on practice in networking related IT courses. It then presents a case study on the use of an open source virtual networking lab in e-learning.
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Constructing networking labs often requires tremendous effort. It needs a careful design of a network’s infrastructure to meet the requirements by networking related courses. It also requires experience and hands-on skills for troubleshooting. Similar to the development of many IT projects, designing network infrastructure includes the planning, designing, and implementing phases. For example, Kapadia (1999) describes the design for the network infrastructure at Purdue University where a demand-based network computing system was implemented for reducing duplication of effort. For developing network infrastructure for large universities, Penrod and Harbor (2000) provide a case study to illustrate how to plan and implement the network systems. The case study discusses the issues related to the planning and creation of an IT governance structure. Penrod and Harbor (2000) illustrate some organization structures that can overcome barriers while implementing an e-learning system.

The construction of a network system requires the knowledge about network devices and network protocols. The book by Teare and Paquet (2005) discusses network hardware devices such as routers, network interface cards, switches, and bridges. Teare and Paquet (2005) explain how these devices are used in an enterprise-level network design and implementation process. As described by Olifer and Olifer (2006), network protocols are used to control and manage the communication over a network. The network protocol plays an important role for network security, performance, and management. For network management, various tools have been developed for managing networks. Many of these tools are open source products included in the Linux operating system (Maxwell, 2000). In the area of network management for e-learning, issues related to management of networked education in higher education are discussed by Uys (2001).

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