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CSC4062 Practicum and Certification in Networking

Projects Overview

Fall 2011

Mount Vernon Nazarene University
School of Natural and Social Sciences


The purpose of the projects in this course is to give the student an experience in solving a significant real world networking design and implementation project. The projects selected for this year all very real projects – there are specific networking problem that need to be solved for t he networking needs of a course to be offered in January 2012 in Belize.

The Need

In January 2012 MVNU will be offering Senior Colloquium in Belize for the first time. A major aspect of this version of this course is to immerse the students in Belize culture. This won't happen if the student is constantly “plugged in” to Facebook, youtube, instant messaging, etc, back home. However, Senior Colloquium is a heavily research oriented course, requiring the students to do significant online investigations for their various papers, presentations, and projects.

In addition, the networking speeds in Belize are quite slow. Having 20+ students sharing a 1Mbs link and get real work done can be problematic unless all users are very careful.

This leads to the following components of a solution. These solutions all need to run collectively on a single small computer, probably a Netbook computer. Thus as a group we must converge on a single operation system for the solution.

  1. Web cache – This is to cache paged visited, thus reducing traffic on the link.

  • Simulate 1Mb link, 20 active web users

  • Identify several solutions meeting goals.

  • Configure, test and compare solutions

  • Propose best solution, fully implement

  • Demonstrate and graph wait times and aggregate throughput with/without cache

  1. Firewall

  • Assume 20 users, 1 Mb link

  • Block: social networking, instant messaging, streamed content, downloading/uploading videos, sound.

3. Bandwidth management

  • Balance bandwidth among all active users.

  • Reduce priority on large transfers once a threshold is met.

  • Record usage by user

  • Prepare and present usage reports by users.

  1. Testing

  • Create a complete automated test environment for above solutions.

  • Authentic Google search simulation and link following

  • Authentic simulation of typical user work load.

  • Modes which include streaming on 1-n to demonstrate effect.

5. Local Ubuntu updates cache

  • Create a local Ubuntu update repository cache

  • Auto update the cache during overnight hours.

The above lists are just very high level goals to start the process. You will select a project and then begin by writing up a more complete requirements specification, and submit it for approval. In all of these project both Doug Karl and I will be “users” or “customers” who you must elicit the required information from.

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