Reti Locali e Data Center

Overview

The course presents the main technologies, protocols and algorithms currently used in local area networks, particularly with respect to wired infrastructures. In addition, it introduces the main technologies used in the growing field of datacenters, namely storage area networks, datacenter technologies and topologies, virtualization, high performance computing.

Relevance is also given to lab exercises, which aim at practicing with the presented topics.

The course is taught in Italian, although most of the documentation is in English.

This course is available to all Computer Engineering (master-level degree) students at Politecnico di Torino. This site refers to Academic Year 2018/2019.


Prerequisites

General knowledge about computer networks. Detailed knowledge about the IP protocol and the most important protocols of the TCP/IP suite. Capability to design IP networks and to manage static routing. General understanding of data-link network technologies, in particular Ethernet. Capability to analyze network traffic, particularly with respect to the most important protocols of the TCP/IP suite.


Lecturers

The course is taught by Fulvio Risso and Guido Marchetto.


Class recordings

Lectures of this class are registered and made available on the official teaching portal at Politecnico di Torino. Recordings are available only to enrolled students. Recording are made in a “best effort” way; some class recordings may not be available due to technical problems (e.g., a crash in professor's laptop) or for copyright problems (e.g., seminars given from non-Polito people).


Lab and exercises

This course includes multiple labs, focusing on the most important topics presented in the lectures. Lab includes not only configuration, but also fault generation and the dynamic analysis of the given protocol with respect to that fault. This is needed to understand how protocols react to external solicitations.

In addition, several homework are available on the most important topics of the course.

Labs and homework are optional but strongly encouraged. In our experience, homework and labs represent a key helper to pass the exam. Please note that the exam often includes some questions related to the lab exercises.


Personal projects

Students with high average mark (>27/30) can replace the exam with a special project. The project can focus either on research topics, or some teaching support activities. In most cases we require a short presentation (30 mins) in which the student discusses the achieved results.

List of possible topics:

  • Design and initial operating setup of an OpenStack cluster. (Galletto - Lacuku)
  • Securing the Polycube network software framework with automatic code analysis (e.g., Coverity).
  • Integrating monitoring primitives in the Polycube network provider for Kubernetes.
  • Offloading network functions to the hardware: the Linux switchdev approach. Analysis of the solution and preliminary examples.
  • Remotizing network services in the polycube networking framework through gRPC. (Marchi)
  • Creation of an 802.1D bridge in the polycube networking framework . (Scopelliti)
  • Testing the interoperability between an eBPF 802.1D bridge and real Cisco devices. (No longer available)
  • Creation of a network monitor application in the Polycube framework.


Exams

Exam usually includes a variable mix of exercises, open-answer questions, and closed-answer questions. The texts of the previous exams are not available; student can be confident that exercises and questions are similar to the ones already given as part of the learning material.

Students whose grade exceeds a given threshold have the possibility to ask for an additional oral examination. This consists in one question, whose outcome can improve or worsen the grade of the written examination.

More details about exam rules are available in the slides presented at the beginning of the course.


Previous years

This course is delivered in AY 2018/19 for the first time. A similar subject, with partially overlapping topics, was Progetto di Reti Locali, which is no longer available this year.


Textbooks

Unfortunately no textbook is available for this course due to the novelty of the topics covered in this subject. For Ethernet and switched networks a very good textbook is the following: