About the ITL

Overview

The Clarkson University Internet Teaching Laboratory is one of the few ITLs in New York State as well as the United States as a whole. It was founded through a program administered by CAIDA. The lab is used for work on computer networking, computer and network security, internet engineering, teaching, labs, workshops, and projects. Students involved in the lab work on our current projects, ITL for course credit, and lab maintenance. Involvement in the lab provides applied, hands-on computer science experience, and practical knowledge. Alumni of COSI, VR, and the ITL work for wekk-known software and computer companies.

The ITL is in Science Center room SC334, which contains 26 PCs, servers, an overhead projector, and a public access printer (itlprinter.sclab.clarkson.edu). The PCs are connected to the main Clarkson network, so that students can access the Internet. Each PC also has a second Ethernet card and a serial connection to configure the routers with.

The ITL

The networking equipment is mounted in four 19-inch racks located in the server room in SC334. The serial port of each PC is connected to a patch panel in one of these racks. From there, any PC can be connected to the console port of any router to allow students to configure the routers for various experiments. The networking equipment is networked together, but is isolated from the Clarkson networks and the Internet.

The network rack

The PCs are also loaded with a wide variety of networking software including software to examine traces of network traffic and software to simulate networks of various kinds.

Students who are trained in the use of the hardware and software in the room are given keys in exchange for being in the lab several hours per week to answer questions and help other students.

The Clarkson Networking Club, a special interest group with Clarkson's Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) student chapter, periodically holds evening sessions in which students present the results of their directed study classes with Computer Science faculty. The lab is under the direction of Prof. Jeanna Matthews (jnm@clarkson.edu).

Cisco 7000 Routers

The Clarkson University Internet Teaching Laboratory has three Cisco 7000 routers. These routers were donated through a program administered by the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) and funded by the National Science Foundation, the Association for Computing Machinery and a number of private companies including MCI Worldcom, Cable & Wireless and Cisco Systems. We have a variety of interface cards for our Cisco 7000s including 4 FDDI cards, 4 HSSI cards, 6 8-port serial cards and one Multichannel interface card. The Cisco 7000s have two processors, a route processor (RP), and a switch processor (SP). Before arriving at Clarkson, our Cisco 7000s were used to route traffic as part of the main Internet backbone.

Cisco 7000 Routers

Cisco 2500 Series Routers

The Clarkson University Internet Teaching Laboratory has five Cisco 2500 series routers. These routers were donated by Cisco Systems to support the Cisco Networking Academy at Clarkson. We have 2 Cisco 2511s, each with 2 serial and 1 Ethernet.

We have one Cisco 2514 with 2 serial and 2 Ethernet ports. We have 2 Cisco 2524s, each with 2 serial and 2 Ethernet ports.

Cisco 2500 Series Router

Additional Networking Hardware

The Clarkson University Internet Teaching Laboratory has a variety of other networking equipment, much of it retired from Clarkson's production environment. This additional equipment includes a Cisco 4000 with a FDDI interface and 2 6-port Ethernet blades, a Cisco Catalyst 2900 24-port switch, a Cisco Catalyst 5000 with a FDDI interface and a 12-port Ethernet blade, 6 HP J3202A Advance Stack Switching Hubs, and a Cisco 1604 with 2 Ethernet, 2 ISDN and 1 Serial Interface. Finally, we have a Cisco AGS+, one of Cisco's first router products.

Software

The PCs in the lab are currently running dual boot Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux, both administered by students actively participating in the ITL. VMware is also installed on the Windows side, which allows Linux to be used on the same PCs. This provides students a platform for experimenting with networking software for both Windows and UNIX. Applications available under Windows include Wireshark and MRTG. Applications available under Linux include the network simulator, ns. The full Cisco Networking Academy Curriculum Semesters 1-4 is available to qualified students including the eSim, Cisco's router simulator.

Demonstration of Networking Tools and Concepts